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Rattray

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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Rattray, a town and a parish in Strathmore district, E Perthshire. The town stands on the left side of the river Ericht, opposite Blairgowrie, of which it is virtually a suburb, and with which it is connected by a four-arch bridge, repaired and widened in 1871. It comprises the villages of Old Rattray and New Rattray, the latter (not yet a century old) lying close to the river, the former ½ mile to the NE; and it is a burgh under the General Police and Improvement (Scotland) Act of 1862. Flax and jute spinning is the staple industry; and there are two post offices under Blairgowrie (Old and Now Rattray), two inns, a curling club, a fair on the Tuesday after 11 Feb., the parish-church (1820; 620 sittings), a Free church, and a U.P. church. Pop. (1871) 216l, (1881) 2533, of whom 1501 were females. Houses (1881) 402 inhabited, 19 vacant, 3 building.

The parish is bounded N by the Drimmie section of Bendochy and by Alyth, E by the Creuchies section of Blairgowrie and by Bendochy proper, and S, SW, and W by Blairgowrie proper. Its utmost length, from N by W to S by E, is 5½ miles; its breadth increases southward from 1 furlong to 22/3 miles; and its area is 5457 acres, of which 75½ are water, and 848 belong to its Bleaton or detached portion (1¾ x 11/8 mile), which, lying 31/8 miles NNW of the nearest point of the main body, and 11½ N by W of Blairgowrie, is bounded NE, SE, and S by Alyth, W by Caputh (detached), and NW by Kirkmichael. The Black Water for 2¼ miles traces all the north-western and western boundary of this detached portion; whilst the Ericht, which is formed 3½ miles lower down by the confluence of the Black Water and the Ardle, winds 7¼ miles south-byeastward and eastward along all the western, southwestern, and southern boundary of the main body. Over most of this course the Ericht is a romantic stream, overhung with copsewood, chiefly small oaks; and above Craighall its banks are sheer precipices of rock, upwards of 200 feet high, crowned with plantation, and parapeted with wall, to keep cattle and strangers from falling over. In the extreme S the surface declines to 190 feet above sea-level, and thence it rises gradually northward until, at the boundary with the Creuchies section of Blairgowrie, it attains a maximum altitude of 909 feet above sea-level. Thus the main body, for 1¼ mile from the southern boundary, is flat, or very gently ascending; and, over the rest of the area, consists of the lowest and slowly graduated heights which, several miles beyond the northern boundary, attain a Grampian elevation. The fine southern exposure, combined with the bield afforded by the vast mountain-rampart in the comparatively near distance, renders the situation pleasant and the climate very healthy. The lands in the S have a dry and pretty fertile soil, and are all arable; those in the N are disposed chiefly in pasture. The Bleaton or detached portion, which rises eastward from 795 to 1247 feet, forms part of the ascending ranges of the frontier Grampians. The rocks are variously igneous, Devonian, and Silurian. On an oblong mound called the Castle Hill, 11/8 mile E by S of Old Rattray, are vestiges of the ancient castle of Rattray, a very large building, the original residence of the Rattray or De Rattrieff family. On the farm of Standingstanes, which hence received its name, are remains of a stone circle. Mansions, noticed separately, are Craighall and Glenericht. A third, Parkhill, ¾ mile N of Old Rattray, is the seat of Charles Hill Whitson, Esq. (b. 1840; suc. 1881), who owns 998 acres in the shire, valued at £1389 per annum. In all, 4 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 13 of between £100 and £500. Giving off its detached portion to Persie quoad sacra parish, Rattray is in the presbytery of Dunkeld and the synod of Perth and Stirling; the living is worth £257. Two public schools-Craig Mill and Rattray-with respective accommodation for 95 and 243 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 62 and 262, and grants of £42, 10s. and £220, 3s. Valuation (1866) £9104, 16s. 9d., (1884) £13,182, 0s. 2d. Pop. (1801) 880, (1831) 1362, (1861) 2161, (1871) 2610, (1881) 3051, of whom 3018 were in the ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., sh. 56, 1870.

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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