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Carmyllie (Milton of Carmyllie)

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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Carmyllie, a village, a railway, quarries, and a parish of SE Forfarshire. The village stands 15/8 mile S of the terminus of the railway, and 6½ miles W by N of Arbroath; is the centre of business for the quarries; and has a post office under Arbroath, and a fair on the third Tuesday of April, old style. The railway, constructed as private property by the Earl of Dalhousie, was sold in 1865 to the Scottish North-Eastern, and passed, with that railway, to the Caledonian; joins the Arbroath and Dundee line at Elliot Junction, ¾ mile SW of Arbroath; skirts the beautiful Kelly Den, so interesting to geologists; goes thence, up Elliot Water, to Carmyllie quarries; was formed, and long used, exclusively for conveying paving and other stones from these quarries; and, in 1871, was improved and opened for the transit also of passenger trains. The quarries supply sandstone slabs, paving stones, and building sandstone; and having, in some way or other, been worked for centuries, began, in last century, to be worked for grey sandstone slates, and about 1806 for pavement stones. The most extensive works in Forfarshire for what is known as ' Arbroath pavement,' they furnish that stone from level beds 18 inches thick, in form to be raised in very large slabs, and of quality to receive a beautiful polish, and to be well adapted for billiard tables. They have given constant employment to as many as 300 men, and turned out daily 150 tons of material; are provided with a draining-tunnel which cost £3000, with 6 steam-engines and 14 powerful cranes, with numerous planing, cutting, and polishing machines, and with other appliances for detailed operations. Paving-stones, cisterns, copes, balustrades, columns, etc., are sent from them to all the chief cities of Great Britain, to many parts of Continental Europe, to the United States of America, and to Australia and other British colonies; and they belong to the Earl of Dalhousie, being worked underlease. The parish is bounded N by Kirkden and a detached portion of Dunnichen, E by Inverkeilor and St Vigeans, SE by Arbirlot, S by Panbride, SW by Monikie, and W by a detached section of Guthrie and by Dunnichen. Its greatest length, from E to W, is 4½ miles; its breadth, from N to S, varies between 2¾ and 35/8 miles; and its land area is 7553 acres. The surface, forming part of the south-eastern heights and skirts of the Sidlaw Hills, is a low plateau of elevated plain in the SE, sinking to 300 feet above sea-level. Thence it rises north-westward in a series of such rounded uplands as Dykehead (600 feet) and West Hills (648), which command a prospect from the German Ocean to the Benchinnan mountains, and from Schiehallion to Fifeness and the Lammermuirs. Several streams rise on or near the western and north-western border, and drain the interior south-eastward in the basin system of Elliot Water. The rocks are nearly all of the kind worked in the quarries; they abound in Devonian fossils, and contain the ` seraphim ' figured in Hugh Miller's Old Red Sandstone. The soil, on the banks of the streams, is a fine deep alluvium; on some of the acclivities, is of a dry, light-coloured, friable character; and elsewhere is mostly fine black vegetable mould, but wet and spongy, on a tilly or gravelly bottom. The Carmyllie property belonged from an early period to Arbroath Abbey, and, passing after the Reformation through various hands, came about 1640 to the Panmure family. (See Brechin.) In the S of the parish is the site of Carnegie Castle, from 1358 a seat of the ancestors of the Earls of Northesk and Southesk; the present chief mansion is Guynd. Remains of a noted tumulus are near the summit of Carmyllie Hill; vestiges of an ancient camp are in Guynd Den; and several urns and stone coffins have been found. The Rev. Patrick Bell, LL.D. (1800-69), inventor of the reaping-machine, was minister from 1843. Formed in 1609 out of portions of Panbride, St Vigeans, and Inverkeilor parishes, Carmyllie is in the presbytery of Arbroath and synod of Angus and Mearns; the living is worth £217. The parish church dates from the erection of the parish, and contains 500 sittings. There is also a Free church; and 2 public schools, East and West, with respective accommodation for 120 and 196 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 77 and 88, and grants of £49,17s. and £64,8s. Valuation (1881) £8837,17s. 6d., including £894 for the railway. Pop. (1801) 892, (1831) 1153, (1861) 1286, (1871) 1309, (1881) 1137.—Ord. Sur., shs. 49,57,1865-68.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available.

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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