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Lochee

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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Lochee, a town on the E border of Liff and Benvie parish, Forfarshire, 1¾ mile by road NW of the centre of Dundee, but 6 miles by the Newtyle branch of the Caledonian railway. Forming part of the parliamentary and royal burgh of Dundee, it may be regarded as mainly a suburb thereof; yet it has the history, the proportions, and, to some extent, the interests of a separate town. With scarcely one building a century old, it long presented, and partly still presents, an uncontinuous and dispersed appearance, as it was formed without any precise alignment, and with reference only to the narrow notions and the private conveniences of the original and early feuars, so that it largely consists of mere lanes and incommodious thoroughfares. Still, it exhibits results of important improvements, tasteful renovations, and well-arranged extensions; is traversed by a very creditable main street, with substantial houses and good shops; shares the amenities of the fine public park of Balgay Hill, acquired in 1871 for the use of its inhabitants, and for those in the W end of Dundee; and has a post office under Dundee, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments, branches of the Royal and North of Scotland Banks, two chief inns, and a number of miscellaneons institutions. Of two Established churches, the first, Lochee (1150 sittings), was built in 1829-30. It was recently remodelled through the liberality of Mr Thomas H. Cox at a cost of £5000, and in 1880 was raised to quoad sacra status. The second, St Luke's (750 sittings), was formerly a U.P. church, which, becoming insufficient for the increasing congregation, was purchased for the Establishment in 1874 for £1500, and was made quoad sacra in the succeeding year. The U.P. church, successor to what is now St Luke's, was built in 1871 at a cost of £4000; and has a tower and spire rising to the height of 172 feet, and containing a fine peal of bells, the automatic arrangement for the ringing of which is the only one of the kind in Scotland. It figures conspicuously in the view from Balgay Park, and from a long reach of country to the W; and contains 1000 sittings. The Free church was built in 1846, and the Baptist chapel in 1866. St Margaret's Episcopal church, built in 1861, is a plain Middle Pointed edifice, with nave and chancel, and 120 sittings. The Roman Catholic church of the Immaculate Conception was built in 1866, and contains 700 sittings; whilst St Clement's (1857) is now the chapel of the Wellburn Asylum, conducted by the Little Sisters of the Poor, for 200 old and destitute men and women. Handloom weaving of coarse linen fabrics was long the principal occupation of the inhabitants, and towards the close of last century employed nearly 300 looms, and produced goods to the value of £12,520 a year. Bleaching was afterwards introduced, and continued to increase till it occupied, in 1819 and previous years, an area of not less than 25 acres. Factories for spinning, weaving, dyeing, bleaching, printing, and calendering were afterwards erected, and soon employed so many hands as to lead to a great and rapid extension of the town. The principal factory, the Camperdown Linen Works of Messrs Cox Brothers, on the N side of the town, occupies an area of 22 acres, and was erected in 1849-64. The largest jute factory in the world, it is a neat and regular suite of buildings, with an elegant clock-turret, a gigantic chimney-stalk, 282 feet high, which alone cost £6000, a half-time free school, etc. It employs 5000 persons within its own limits, besides 400 who work in their own houses; contains 820 power-looms engaged on flax or jute sackings, and 150 handlooms engaged on carpeting; has steam-engines varying from 3 to 120 horse-power, and aggregately equal to 2600 horsepower, and 34 boilers each 35 feet long, and 7 feet in diameter; and turns out annually some 24, 000,000 yards of sacking, and 14,000,000 yards of other fabrics. An excellent sandstone has long been worked in several quarries contiguous to Lochee, and was a chief material in the construction of Dundee harbour. Pop. (1881) of Lochee quoad sacra parish, 2762; of St Luke's, 3716; of Lochee registration district (1871) 11, 076, (1881) 12,370, of whom 5214 were males. Houses (1881) 2493 inhabited, 110 vacant, 1 building.—Ord. Sur., sh. 48, 1868.

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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