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Aberlemno

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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Aberlemno (Gael. abhir-leumnach, ' confluence of the leaping stream '), a village and a parish of central Forfarshire. The village stands on the left bank of a rivulet, 3¼ miles N by W of Auldbar Road station on the Caledonian, and 6 NE of its post-town, Forfar. The present parish comprises the ancient parishes of Aberlemno and Auldbar: but the former is thought to have originally included the portion of Oathlaw through which the Lemno flows, and to have had its church where that stream enters the South Esk. It is bounded N by Careston and Brechin, E by Brechin and Guthrie, S and SW by Rescobie, W by Oathlaw, and NW by Tannadice. Of irregular outline, it measures 6½ miles from NE to SW, and 5 from NNW to SSE; its land area is 8914 acres. The South Esk, roughly tracing all the north-western and northern boundary, is the only considerable stream: the only loch, Balgavies, on the southern border, is ½ mile long by 1 furlong wide, contains pike and perch, and was formerly dredged for marl. The surface declines towards the South Esk, and from N to S attains an altitude of 452 feet at the Mote, of 323 at Blibberhill, of 663 in the eastern summit of the Hill of Finhaven, of 441 near the Wood of Kellockshaw, of 492 at Pitkennedy, of 800 in fort-crowned Turin Hill on the south-western border, of 348 near Framedrum, and of 384 near Turin House. The lower grounds are for the most part fertile and well cultivated: the higher are often clothed with broom and heath. A greyish sandstone abounds in the SW, and is worked in several quarries both for building and for paving purposes. Melgund and Flemington Castles are ruins: Auldbar Castle, Balgavies, and Carsegownie are interesting old buildings, still inhabited. Older than any of these are two sculptured stones, standing one in the churchyard, the other a little to the N. The former, about 6 feet high, represents a battle in which both horse and foot are engaged, and in which a bird attacks a helmeted man, vainly attempting to cover himself with a shield. Above are a mirror and less intelligible emblems: on the back is a finely ornamented cross, surrounded by quaint figures of animals. ' This monument,' says Worsaae, ' might have been reared after a victory, whether over the Danes remains uncertain. At all events, the stone is Scotch, not Scandinavian ' (Danes and Northmen, pp. 210-213). A third and similar stone was brought to Auldbar Castle from the ruins of a neighbouring chapel. The Earl of Minto and Viscount Melgund (cre. 1813) owns nearly one-half of the parish: and 7 other proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 or upwards, 4 of between £100 and £500, and 1 of between £20 and £50. Aberlemno is in the presbytery of Forfar and synod of Angus and Mearns. The church is mainly a reconstruction of 1722, with some 450 sittings: its minister's income is £392. There is also a Free church, and under the board are the Aberlemno school and a subscription school at Pitkennedy, which, with respective accommodation for 152 and 67 scholars, had (1879) an average attendance of 74 and 35, and grants of £63,16s. and £31,12s. 6d. Valuation of lands (1881) £10,210,8s. 11d.: of railway, £664. Pop. (1831) 1079, (1871) 1007, (1881) 993.—Ord. Sur., sh. 57,1868.

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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