Parish of Half Morton

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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1791-99: Morton
1834-45: Morton

Half-Morton, a Border parish of SE Dumfriesshire, containing Chapelknowe hamlet, 3 miles NE of Kirkpatrick station, and 6 WSW of Canonbie, under which it has a post office. The ancient parish of Morton, comprising the present parish of Half-Morton, and about a third of what now is Canonbie, in the year 1621 was annexed in its eastern half to Canonbie, in its western half to Wauchope. Wauchope, in turn, was subsequently annexed to Langholm, under the condition that the minister of Langholm should officiate every fourth Sunday in Half-Morton. That condition fell into neglect, insomuch that during twelve years prior to 1833 Half-Morton had no parochial ministry. A temporary arrangement then was made, that an assistant to the minister of Langholm should devote his whole time to Half-Morton; and this arrangement in 1839 was transmuted into a permanent recognition of Half-Morton as a separate parochial charge. The present parish is bounded N by Middlebie, E by Canonbie, SE by Cumberland, S by Gretna, and SW and W by Kirkpatrick-Fleming. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 35/8 miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 3 miles; and its area is 6100¼ acres, of which 16¾ are water. Woodside or All-for-nought Burn, tracing the northern boundary, and Hall Burn, out of Canonbie, unite at the NE corner of the parish to form the river Sark, which, winding 6¾ miles south-south-eastward along all the Canonbie and Cumberland border, is joined by woodfringed Cadgill Burn from the interior; whilst another of its affluents, the Logan or Black Sark, after traversing the south-western district, and at two points tracing the western and south-western boundary, passes off into Gretna. The surface sinks in the extreme SE along the Sark below Corries Mill to 95 feet above sea-level, and rises gently thence to 281 feet near Chapelknowe, 353 near Hillhead, 408 near Cadgillhead, 458 near Berclees, 476 near Solway Bank, and 500 near Highstenries. The rocks are Permian, consisting of red sandstone stratal and the soil is much of it of fair fertility. Sir John Heron Maxwell of Springkell is chief proprietor. Half-Morton is in the presbytery of Langholm and synod of Dumfries; the living is worth £183. The parish church, built in 1744, and enlarged in 1833, contains 212 sittings, and stands 7 furlongs NE of Chapelknowe, a little nearer which is a Free church (1843; 250 sittings); whilst at Chapelknowe itself is a U.P. church (1822; 244 sittings). A public school, with accommodation for 148 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 83, and a grant of £57, 13s. Valuation (1860) £3413, (1883) £5439, 0s. 6d. Pop. (1801) 497, (1831) 646, (1861) 716, (1871) 611, (1881) 497.—Ord. Sur., sh. 10, 1864.

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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