Parish of Mouswald

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: Mouswald
1834-45: Mouswald

Mouswald, a village and a parish of S Dumfriesshire. The village stands 2 5/8 miles ESE of Racks station, and 7 ESE of Dumfries, under which it has a post office. It occupies a site once covered with forest, in the eastern vicinity of Lochar Moss, and thence derives its name, written anciently Mosswald, and signifying ' the forest near the moss.'

The parish is bounded N by Lochmaben, E by Dalton, S by Ruthwell, SW by Caerlaverock, and W by Torthorwald. Its utmost length, from N by W to S by E, is 4 1/8 miles; its breadth increases southward from 1 ¾ to 4 ¼ miles; and its area is 5891 ¼ acres, of which 2 ½ are water. Lochar Water for 1 ½ furlong traces all the Caerlaverock boundary; Wath Burn, coming in near its source from the N, traces all the western boundary to Lochar Water, and looks mostly like a mossy grassgrown ditch; and four small burns rise in the interior, and run sluggishly to Wath Burn. Springs of pure water are numerous and copious; and one of them, called St Peter's Well, near the parish church, is a continuous fountain for 100 feet, and, running to the Wath Burn's largest tributary, prevents that rivulet from ever freezing for a considerable way below their confluence. The south-western district, to the extent of nearly 900 acres, is part of Lochar Moss, only 30 to 40 feet above sea-level; the central district is variously flat and undulating; and the northern consists of spurs from the broadbased range of Tinwald and Torthorwald, rising so gradually as to be arable to the summit, attaining an extreme altitude of 816 feet above sea-level, and commanding an extensive and very beautiful view. Greywacke and greywacke slate are the predominant rocks; blue limestone is found on Bucklerhole Farm; and fine white sand underlies Lochar Moss. The soil of the lands adjacent to Lochar Moss is partly reclaimed bog; of the low tracts further E and N is light and sandy; and of the higher grounds is tolerably deep and rich. Nearly three-fourths of the entire area are in tillage; about 190 acres are under wood; and the rest is either pastoral or waste. Mouswald Mains or Place, the ruined fortalice of the Carruthers family, was the largest of five square strongholds, of which Raffles is the most entire. Other antiquities are a strong double-ditched camp on Burrow Hill; a watch-tower on Panteth Hill; Tryal Cairn, 288 feet in circumference, 1 ¼ mile NE of the parish church; and a recumbent effigy of Sir Simon Carruthers of.Mouswald. Rockhall, noticed separately, is the only mansion; and Sir A. D. Grierson, Bart., is chief proprietor, 4 others holding each an annual value of more, and 4 of less, than £500. Mouswald is in the presbytery of Lochmaben and the synod of Dumfries; the living is worth £300. The parish church, on a fine eminence adjacent to Mouswald village, was built about 1830, and is a handsome edifice, seen from most parts of the parish, and containing 386 sittings. The Free church of Ruthwell stands at the southern boundary, 7 furlongs SSE of Mouswald village; and Mouswald public school, with accommodation for 135 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 68, and a grant of £67, 5s. Valuation (1860) £4741, (1884) £6795, 12s. 4d. Pop. (1801) 705, (1831) 786, (1861) 633, (1871) 647, (1881) 558.—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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