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South Esk, River

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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Esk, South, a river of Forfarshire, 48¾ miles long, rising in the NW corner of the county, at an altitude of 3150 feet above sea-level, within ½ mile of feeders of the Callader and Muick, both of which flow to the Dee. It flows SE for 20¼ miles to Inverquharity, to which point it is a rugged Highland stream, and thence it flows due E to Montrose. In its upper reaches its waters are supplemented by Lochs Brandy and Wharral, Rottal and Glenmoy Burns, flowing in on the E bank, and on the W side by White Water from Glen Doll, Drums Burn, and Prosen Water, joining it at Cortachy. Carity Burn enters the Esk from the W, and Glenquiech Burn enters from the N. The South Esk then passes Tannadice and Finhaven Castle, and, at the last-named place, it receives the Lemno, and further down the Nora, a beautiful and rapid stream. Leaving Auldbar Castle on the right, the South Esk passes Brechin with its castle and cathedral, then the grounds of Kinnaird Castle; and soon after receiving the Pow, a sluggish burn 7 miles long, expands into Montrose Basin, an inland lake at high tide 21/8. miles by 1n mile, and 7 miles in circumference. At low tide the basin is a melancholy expanse of mud with a narrow stream at the S side, and the Taycock Burn flowing in at the NE corner. The basin is joined to the sea by two channels which reunite and form Rossie Island or lnchbrayock. The wider of the two outlets is crossed by a suspension bridge, built in 1828 at a cost of £20,000, and by the new railway viaduct. (See North British Railway.) From this point seawards the South Esk presents a fine navigable channel. It traverses or bounds the parishes of Cortachy and Clova, Kirriemuir, Tannadice, Oathlaw, Aberlemno, Careston, Brechin, Farnell, Dun, Maryton, Montrose, and Craig. The South Esk with its tributaries has some capital fishing, but it is largely preserved. Trout-fishing, however, is plentiful in all the streams, and there are three varieties of this fish- one yellowish, another whitish, and a third very dark, with small red spots deeply imbedded, and like a pike. The title Earl of Southesk was bestowed in 1633 on Lord Carnegie, formerly Sir David Carnegie of Kinnaird. The peerage was forfeited in 1716 on account of the participation of the fifth Earl in the rising of the Fifteen, but was restored in the person of the present Earl in 1855. See Kinnaird.-Ord, Sur., shs. 65, 56, 57, 1870-68.

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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