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Drymen

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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Drymen, a village and a parish of SW Stirlingshire. The village stands 15/8 mile N by W of Drymen station, on the Forth and Clyde Junction section of the North British, this being 6¾ miles ENE of Balloch and 23½ WSW of Stirling; and, forming a good centre for visiting some of the fine scenery in the W of Stirlingshire, it has a post office under Glasgow, with money order, savings' bank, and railway telegraph departments, a branch of the Royal Bank, and fairs for cattle, sheep, and horses on the last Wednesday of April, 17 May, and the Friday before the first Donne November market, for hiring on 21 May and the first Friday of November. The parish is bounded N by Aberfoyle and Port of Monteith, in Perthshire; E and SE by Kippen, Balfron, and Killearn; S and SW by Dumbarton and Kilmaronock, in Dumbartonshire; and W by Buchanan. Its utmost length, from N by E to S by W, is 11 miles; its breadth varies between 6½ furlongs and 10¾ miles; and its area is 30,973¼ acres, of which 123 are water. Endrick Water, entering from Killearn, flows 7¾ miles southward and west-north-westward 'in many a loop and link' along the Killearn and Kilmaronock borders and across the southern interior; from the N it is joined here by Altquhar, from the SW by Catter, Burn. Duchray and Kelty Waters, again, both head-streams of the Forth, trace 4 and 2¼ miles of the Aberfoyle border; and the Forth itself winds 3¾ miles eastward along all the boundary with Port of Monteith. The drainage belongs thus partly to the Clyde and partly to the Forth; but the 'divide' between the two river systems is marked by no lofty height. Along the Endrick the surface sinks to about 30 feet above sea-level, along the Forth to 40; and the highest point in Drymen between is Bat a' Charchel (750 feet), whilst the road from Drymen village to Bucklyvie nowhere exceeds 310 feet. In the southern wing of the parish are Meikle Caldon (602 feet) and Cameron Muir (530); in the north-western, Drum of Clasmore (577), Maol Ruadh (624), *Gualann (1514), Elrig (683), Maol an Iarairne (720), and the * south-eastern shoulder (1750) of Benvraick, where asterisks mark those heights that rise on the Buchanan boundary. The tract along the Endrick, a narrow vale, in places scarcely a mile in width, contrasts strongly with the wide desolate moorlands on either side of it, and presents in some parts very beautiful scenery. A stretch of about 3 miles by 2½, to the S of this valley, mainly consists of Cameron Muir, which passes into junction with the western skirts of the Lennox Hills; and the region to the N of the valley, measuring about 8½ miles by 9, and bisected by the watershed between the Clyde and Forth, is almost all either moss or moor or mountain, its north-eastern portion forming part of Flanders Moss, which, lying along the Forth, has been in recent years extensively reclaimed. The greater portion of the arable land lies at elevations of from 40 to 250 feet above sea-level; but here and there cultivation has been carried as high as 450 feet. The soil ranges froin fertile clay and rich brown loam, through nearly all gradations, to moorish earth and spongy moss; but the commonest soil is poor and tilly, over a cold retentive bottom. About 9944 acres are in tillage, 1350 pasture, 556 under wood, and 21,700 waste. Duchray Castle is an interesting antiquity. A large cairn, in which sarcophagi and human bones were found, was on East Cameron farm; and remains of a Roman fort, known as Garfarran Peel, are on Garfarran farm, at the western extremity of Flanders Moss. Drumbeg, near the parish church, was long but falsely believed to be the birthplace of John Napier of Merchiston (1550-1617), whose patrimonial inheritance was partly situate here, and who at the house of Gartness, on the Endrick, close to a waterfall, the Pot of Gartness, worked out much of his famous treatise on logarithms. Mansions are Endrickbank and Park House. The Duke of Montrose and Wm. C. G. Bontine, Esq. of Gartmore, own land respectively to the yearly value of £4000 and £2053; and 8 other proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 12 of between £100 and £500,8 of from £50 to £100, and 13 of from £20 to £50. Drymen is in the presbytery of Dumbarton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £368. The parish church (1771; 400 sittings) stands near the village, where also is a U.P. church (1819). Two public schools, Auchintroig and Drymen, with respective accommodation for 56 and 120 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 20 and 75, and grants of £33 and £69, 19s. 2d. Valuation (1860) £11,508, (1882) £16,455, 7s. 3d., plus £8671 for railway. Pop. (1801) 1607, (1831) 1690, (1861) 1619, (1871) 1405, (1881) 1431.—Ord. Sur., shs. 38,30,1871-66.

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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