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Coupar Angus

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Coupar-Angus, a town and a parish partly in Forfar, but mainly in Perth, shire. The town stands in the centre of Strathmore, near the left bank of the Isla, on a small tributary of that river, 4¼ miles SE of Blairgowrie, 12¾ NE by N of Perth, and 15 NW of Dundee; whilst its station, the junction for Blairgowrie, on the Scottish Midland section of the Caledonian, is 15¾ miles from Perth, 22 from Dundee, 62¾ N by W of Edinburgh, and 79¼ NE of Glasgow. The part of it on the left bank of the rivulet is in Angus or Forfarshire; and, being the older portion, occasioned the whole to be called Coupar-Angus. Dating from a remote antiquity, the town was long a time-worn, decayed, and stagnant place, but within recent years has undergone great revival and improvement, and become a centre of much traffic and a seat of considerable trade. It is governed by nine police commissioners, under selected sections of the general police and improvement act of Scotland, adopted in July 1871; and has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments, branches of the Bank of Scotland, the Union Bank, and the National Bank, a local savings' bank, five principal inns, a gas company, a town-house with a steeple, a literary association, masonic and good templar lodges, a Bible society, a young men's Christian association, bowling and curling clubs, and a volunteer corps. In 1874 a much-needed water supply was introduced, at a cost of nearly £4000, from springs on the Pitcur estate, which are guided to a reservoir close to the Dundee turnpike, containing 55,000 gallons. There are three linen-works, a tannery, farina works, a brewery, and steam saw-mills. A grain market is held on Thursday, and cattle markets fall on the third Thursday of every month but June, August, September, and October. The Queen has driven thrice through Coupar-Angus, on 11 Sept. and 1 Oct. 1844, and 31 Aug. 1850. Henry Guthrie (1600-76), Bishop of Dunkeld, was a native. A Roman camp here, immediately E of the churchyard, is supposed to have been formed either by Agricola or Lollius Urbicus, and seems to have been a square of 1200 feet, with two strong ramparts and wide ditches; but now is represented only by remains of the eastern part of the ramparts. In 1164 King Malcolm the Maiden founded the Cistercian abbey of St Mary's within the area of this Roman camp. A large and stately structure, richly endowed by several of the Scottish kings and by the Hays of Errol, it passed at the dissolution to the Balmerino family. An ivy-clad fragment, in the SW corner of the churchyard, is all that is left of it, a beautiful arch having been demolished in 1780 to furnish material for the parish church. This, dating originally from 1681, was in great measure reconstructed in 1780, and thoroughly rebuilt in 1859. Other churches are the Free, U.P. (1790), Evangelical Union (1789), Original Secession (1826), and Episcopal (1847). A new one-story public school, erected (1876-77) at a cost of £2700, with accommodation for 502 children, had in 1880 an average attendance of 299, and a grant of £286, 18s. 6d. Pop. (1793) 1604, (1841) 1868, (1861) 1943, (1871) 2149, (1881) 1959. The parish, containing also the villages of Arthurstone, Balbrogie, and Washington, is bounded N by Alyth, NE by Meigle, SE by Meigle and Kettins, S by Cargill, and NW by Caputh, Blairgowrie, and Bendochy. Its greatest length, from NE to SAV, is 6 miles; its breadth varies between 5 furlongs and 2£ miles; and its area is 47691/3 acres, of which 184 are in Forfarshire, and 70½ are water. The isla, winding 10§ miles ' in many a loop and link,' roughly traces all the northern and north-western border; along it lies a considerable extent of haugh-land, protected by embankments, 7 feet high, from inundations by the river. The rest of the area mainly consists of the level grounds of Strathmore, but is bisected from NE to SW by a ridge, along which runs the great highway from Perth to Aberdeen, and which commands a splendid view of the Sidlaw Hills along the one side of the strath, and of the Grampian Mountains on the other. In the extreme SW the surface sinks to 100 feet above sea-level, thence rising to 224 near Keithick, 172 at Kemphill, 210 at Easter Denhead, and 208 near Arthurbank. The formation is Old Red sandstone; and the soil is mainly a good sandy loam. Mansions are Balgersho House, Keithick House, Isla Park, Balbrogie, Artlmrstone, Denhead, Kinloch, and Bankhead; and 6 proprietors hold 'each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 15 of between £100 and £500, 14 of from £50 to £100, and 45 of from £20 to £50. Giving off a portion quoad sacra, to Meigle, Coupar-Angus is in the presbytery of Meigle and synod of Angus and Mearns; the living is worth £442. Valuation (1882) £16,297, 14s. 2d., of which £1844, 16s. Id. was for the Forfarshire section. Pop. of civil parish (1801) 2416, (1831) 2615, (1861) 2929, (1871) 3055, (1881) 2819, of whom 265 were in Forfarshire; of q. s. parish (1871) 2797, (1881) 2546.—Ord. Sur., shs. 48, 56, 1868. See the Rev. C. Rogers' and Major-Gen. A. S. Allan's Rental Book and Historical Notices of the Abbey of Coupar-Angus (2 vols., Grampian Club, 1879-80).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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