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Monifieth

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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Monifieth (Gael. monadh-feidh, 'hill of the deer'), a village and a coast parish of S Forfarshire. The village, built along a southward brae, within 300 yards of the Firth of Tay, has a station on the Dundee and Arbroath Joint line, 11 miles WSW of Arbroath, 2¼ ENE of Broughty Ferry, and 5¾ ENE of Dundee, under which there is a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments. It is a thriving place, with a good many very fine villas, a large jute mill, two machine works, an inn, a cemetery, etc. The parish church, rebuilt in 1813, is a plain but conspicuous building, with 1100 sittings; and the graveyard around it contains some beautifully sculptured antique tombstones, more tasteful than are usually found in a country cemetery. One of two Free churches, standing 2½ miles NW of the village, was erected soon after the Disruption, and is a plain structure; the other, in the village, was founded with much ceremony in November 1871, owed much of its origin to the munificence of the eleventh Earl of Dalhousie, and is a neat edifice in the Gothic style, with 400 sittings. In the month of Feb. 1882 the congregation connected with the parish church commenced the erection of a Sunday school hall, built and fitted after the best models now in use in America. This building was finished and opened on Saturday, 23 Dec. 1882, and has since been used, not only for Sunday school instruction, but also for lectures, public meetings, and purposes of general utility. It is seated, when used as a lecture-room, for 600 persons, and has two class-rooms, one of which is used as a library; a keeper's house is also attached. This building is the first, or one of the first, of the kind which has been built in Scotland, and several other halls on the same plan have since been built, or are in the course of building. The idea of the hall was suggested by the Rev. Dr Young, minister of the parish, who had been for upwards of twenty years Convener of the General Assembly's Committee on Sabbath Schools, at a congregational meeting held on the occasion of the twenty-first anniversary of his ministry, and the idea was realised by the cordial and generous contributions of the congregation. The total cost was £2100. Pop. of the village (1861) 558, (1871) 919, (1881) 1564.

The parish, containing also the villages of DrumSturdy and Barnhill, with four-fifths of the town of Broughty Ferry, is bounded N and NE by Monikie, E by Monikie and Barry, SE and S by the Firth of Tay, and W by Dundee and Murroes. Its greatest length, from N by E to S by W, is 47/8 miles; its breadth increases southward from 9 furlongs to 37/8 miles; and its area is 67671/5 acres, of which 780 are foreshore and 157/10 water. Dichty Water, coming in from the W, winds 2¾ miles east-by-southward to the Firth at Milton; Murroes Burn runs 13/8 mile south-by-westward along the western boundary to the Dichty; and Buddon Burn first runs 2½ miles east-south-eastward across the northern interior and along the Murroes and Monikie boundaries, and then, after a divergence into Monikie, flows 3 furlongs along all the Barry boundary to the Firth of Tay. The coast, 37/8 miles in extent, consists chiefly of low sandy ground, with considerable extent of light downs or links, and long has suffered gradual encroachment by the sea. An almost level plain extends behind the links in the section E of the Dichty; and an elongated swell or low ridge, bold on the S but gently sloping on the N, extends behind the links in the section W of the Dichty. The rest of the land has mostly a southward exposure, attaining 320 feet near Balmossie, 431 at Laws Hill, 357 near Mattocks, and 500 at the north-eastern boundary- eminences that command an extensive and charming view. The sedimentary rock, yielding what is known as 'Arbroath pavement,' has been quarried in the N; and eruptive rocks occur in the S. The soil on the seaboard is partly light and sandy, partly a rich black loam, and generally very fertile; of the central tracts is mostly an excellent black loam, highly cultivated, and bearing heavy crops; but towards the N is tilly and moorish. About 545 acres are under wood; 910 are pasture (chiefly links); and the rest of the land is in tillage. Antiquities other than those noticed under Broughty Ferry and Laws, are Cairn Greg, the Gallow Hill of Ethiebeaton, a stone circle known as 'St Bride's Ring' and sites or vestiges of five pre-Reformation places of worship, at Monifieth village, Chapel-Dockie, Eglismonichty, Kingennie, and Broughty Ferry. David Doig, LL.D. (1í719-1800), a writer in the Encyclopœdia Britannica and rector of Stirling grammar school, was a native. Estates, noticed separately, are Grange, Laws, and Linlathen; and 10 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 35 of between £100 and £500, 46 of from £50 to £100, and 137 of from £20 to £50. Giving off the whole of Broughty Ferry quoad sacra parish and part of that of St Stephen, Monifieth is in the presbytery of Dundee and the synod of Angus and Mearns; the living is worth £382. Two public schools, Mattocks and Monifieth, with respective accommodation for 100 and 507 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 52 and 218, and grants of £45, 17s. and £202, 8s. Valuation (1857) £18,332, (1884) £52,423, 11s., plus £6160 for railways. Pop. (1801) 1407, (1831) 2635, (1861) 5052, (1871) 7252, (1881) 9521, of whom 3608 were in the ecclesiastical parish of Monifieth, 5559 in that of Broughty Ferry, and 354 in St Stephen's.—Ord. Sur., sh. 49, 1865.

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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