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Callander

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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Callander, a village and a parish of SW Perthshire. The village lies 250 feet above sea-level, on the river Teith, at the junction of the Dunblane, Doune, and Callander section of the Caledonian, with the Callander and Oban railway, 11 miles WNW of Dunblane, 15½ NW of Stirling, 52¼ WNW of Edinburgh, 45½ N by E of Glasgow, and 70¾ ESE of Oban. Beautifully situated on both sides of the river (here spanned by a threearched bridge), and sheltered on the N by a line of precipitous crags, partly covered with wood, partly bare and weather-worn, it commands magnificent views of Ben Ledi, culminating 4½ miles W by N, and of the upper basin of the Forth engirt by crests of the Grampians, and culminating on the summit of Ben Lomond. It chiefly consists of one long wide street; is built on a regular plan, with good slated houses and numerous handsome villas; and owes its prosperity, first to the stationing of soldiers at it in 1763, next to the introduction of the cotton manufacture, next to becoming a centre for tourists visiting the Trossachs, next to the opening of the railway from Dunblane, and next to its coming into favour as a place for summer rustication. It continues to rise rapidly to importance as a focus of communication of every kind throughout the picturesque south-western section of Perthshire, together with similarly beautiful adjacent regions; is the starting-point of public conveyances from the terminus of the Dunblane railway westward to Loch Katrine and Loch Lomond; partly adopted the general police and improvement act of Scotland prior to 1871; and has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, branches of the Bank of Scotland and the Commercial Bank, 4 chief hotels, gas and water works, a public hall, with billiard and reading rooms and library, a hydropathic establishment, the parish church, a Free church, an Episcopal church, a public and a Free Church school, etc. Thursday is market-day; and fairs are held on 10 March (hiring), 16 May (cattle), the third Tuesday of July, and the first Thursday of December o. s. The waterworks, formed in 1872 at a cost of £3000, draw their supply from the river Leny, ½ mile below Loch Lubnaig. The parish church, built on one side of a sort of square in 1733, and containing 638 sittings, is about (Aug. 1881) to be rebuilt; St Andrew's Episcopal church, Early English in style, was erected in 1859. The public and the Free Church school, with respective accommodation for 150 and 256 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 64 and 157, and grants of £30, 5s. 8d. and £159,7s. 6d. Pop. (1841) 1107, (1861) 884, (1871) 1271, (1881) 1625.

The parish, containing also the village of Kilmahog, was anciently a chapelry dependent on Inchmahome. It is bounded N by Balquhidder, NE by Comrie, SE by Kilmadock, S by Port-of-Monteith and Aberfoyle, and W by Buchanan in Stirlingshire. Its greatest length from E to W is 17 ½ miles; its breadth from N to S varies between 21/8 and 8 miles; and its area is 53,816¾ acres, of which 2630½ are water. Lochs Katrine, Achray, and Vennachar, with their connecting streams, lie along the southern boundary, at altitudes above sea-level of 364,276, and 270 feet; the lower 2 miles of Loch Lubnaig project into the interior from the N, and, together with the river Teith which flows from it, divide the parish into two unequal parts, placing about one-third on the E and two-thirds on the W; Finglas Water rises on the northern border, and runs 5½ miles south-south-eastward, through the interior, to the stream between Lochs Achray and Vennachar; and Keltie Water, with Brackland Falls on it, rises also on the northern border, and runs about 7 miles south-south-eastward, through the eastern wing, and along a small part of the eastern boundary, to the Teith, 1½ mile ESE of Callander town. From W to E rise the following eminences, of which those marked with asterisks culminate on the northern or eastern boundary: -* Parlan Hill (2001 feet), * Meall Mor (2451), An Garadh (2347), Cruinn Bheinn (1787), Bealach-na-h Imriche (1592), * Lag a' Phuill (1649), Meall Cala (2203), Meall Gainmheich (1851), Sron Armaille (1149), * Ben Vane (2685), Ben Ledi (2875), * Beinn Eaich (2660), * Stuc a Chroin (3189), * Meall-na h-Iolaire (1958), * Meall Odhar (2066), Cnoc Mor (1078), Callander Craig (1000), Meall Leathan Dhail (1479), and * Uamh Bheag (2179). The surface, indeed, consisting of the northern half of the upper portion of the basin of the Teith, is mainly mountainous throughout the N, and through great part of the centre, and exults in the magnificent scenery of the -Lady of the -Lake along all the southern border, including picturesque masses of the Grampians, together with Strathgartney, the better half of the Trossachs, all Glen Finglas, the Pass of Leny, and the romantic glen and waterfall of Keltie. The higher grounds, in some parts, are clad with oak-woods and thriving plantations; a bold romantic height, the Crag of Callander, situated to the N of the town, forms a striking contrast to the valley below; and a fine peninsula, immediately W of the town, lies between the two great head-streams of the Teith flowing from respectively Lochs Vennachar and Lubnaig. All the chief places and objects are elsewhere noticed in separate articles. The rocks are various, and include some valuable minerals. Limestone, of a very beautiful colour and superior quality, chiefly deep blue with intersections or stripes of pure white, is plentiful, and has been largely worked. Slate of a blue colour and very durable, has been quarried on three estates. A grey sandstone, and a conglomerate have likewise been much worked for building purposes. A vein of lead ore is in Ben Ledi, and was for some time mined, but proved uncompensating. The soil of the arable land is partly a rich loam, capable of high cultivation, but mostly is a light gravel, greatly improved by draining and manure. Vestiges of a castle of the Earls of Linlithgow exist near the manse; remains of an ancient fortification, called Bocastle, crown a hill about 1 mile W of the town, and by Skene are identified with a stationary camp of Agricola (A.D.80); but the fine embankments known as the 'Roman Camp' are now set down as a geological formation. Natives were Francis Buchanan, M. D. (1762-1829), writer on India, and Dr Rt. Buchanan (1785-1873), professor of logic in Glasgow University. Six proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 14 of between £100 and £500,13 of from £50 to £100, and 41 of from £20 to £50. Callander, including part of the quoad sacra parish of the Trossachs with 201 inhabitants in 1871, is in the presbytery of Dunblane and synod of Perth and Stirling; the living is worth £399. Valuation (1881) £19,039, 5s. 9d. Pop. (1801) 2282, (1831) 1909, (1841) 1665, (1861) 1676, (1871) 1869, (1881) 2166.—Ord. Sur., shs. 38,39,1871-69. See pp. 86-105,217-221,240,241, of Dorothy Wordsworth's Tour in Scotland (ed. by Princ. Shairp, 1874); chap. ii. of Alex. Smith's Summer in Skye (1865); and vol. ii., pp. 36,37,299-308, of Passages from the English -Note-books of -Nathaniel Hawthorne (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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