Parish of Kirkmichael

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: Kirkmichael
1834-45: Kirkmichael

Kirkmichael, a village and a parish in Carrick district, Ayrshire. The village stands, 176 feet above sea-level, on Dyrock Burn, 3 miles E by S of Maybole, under which it has a post office. The environs are pleasant; and the place itself presents a neat, agreeable appearance, with little gardens attached to its houses, and with interspersions of trees. Pop. (1861) 463, (1871) 372, (1881) 343.

The parish, containing also the village of Crosshill, is bounded N by Dalrymple, E by Straiton, S by Dailly, SW by Kirkoswald, and W by Maybole. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 8 7/8 miles; its breadth varies between 5 furlongs and 5 1/8 miles; and its area is 16,1142/3 acres, of which 185 are water. The river Doon winds 6 ¼ miles westward along all the northern boundary; Girvan Water, after running 6½ furlongs northward along the eastern boundary, meanders 4¾ miles west-by-southward through the interior, and next flows 2¾ miles south-south-westward along the Straiton and Kirkoswald border; and Dyrock Burn, issuing from Shankston Loch, runs 5 ¼ miles west-south-westward along the eastern boundary, and through the interior, till it falls into Girvan Water, 1 mile below Kirkmichael village. On the eastern border lie triangular Loch Spallander (3 x 2 furl.) and Shankston Loch (2 ¼ x 1 furl.); and near the latter are Barnsham Loch (3 x 1 furl.) and Loch Crom (1½ x ¾ furl.). Along the Doon the surface declines to 140, along Girvan Water to 93, feet above sea-level; and, from N to S, it attains 629 feet at Lochhill near Shankston Loch, 642 near Guiltreehill, 711 at Glenside Hill near Loch Spallander, and 1406 at Glenalla Fell. The predominant rocks are igneous and Devonian. Sandstone has been quarried, and limestone largely worked; but coal has been sought for without success, and lead ore is only supposed to exist in one of the hills. The soil, on some lands adjacent to the streams, is a rich sharp mould; on other low lands is of a clayey nature, inclining to loam on slopes; of some of the lower hills is light and gravelly; and on the higher uplands is a thin turf on a shingly bottom. A large proportion of the land is in a state of high cultivation, and nearly 1200 acres are under wood. There are traces of two ancient circular forts on Guiltreehill Farm, and of three others at Deanston, Cassanton, and Castle-Downans; and ruins of a preReformation chapel existed, till a recent period, on Lindsayston Farm. Kirkmichael House, 3 furlongs S of Kirkmichael village, is a large fine mansion, with beautiful pleasure-grounds; its owner, John Shaw-Kennedy, Esq. (b. 1826; suc. 1877), holds 1689 acres in the shire, valued at £2601 per annum. Other mansions, noticed separately, are Cassillis House and Cloncaird Castle; and the property is mostly divided among eight. Giving off a large piece to the quoad sacra parish of Crosshill, and a fragment to that of Patna, Kirkmichael is in the presbytery of Ayr and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the living is worth £298. The parish church, at the NE end of Kirkmichael village, was built in 1787, and contains 660 sittings; its picturesque graveyard is surrounded by large old ash trees. The public school, with accommodation for 148 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 93, and a grant -of £68, 10s. Valuation (1860) £12,769, (1883) £16,407, 7s. 2d. Pop. (1801) 1119, (1831) 2758, (1861) 2823, (1871) 2254, (1881) 1989, of whom 969 were in the ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., sh. 14, 1863.

Kirkmichael, an Annandale parish of N Dumfriesshire, whose church stands, 390 feet above sea-level, near the left bank of the Water of Ae, 3¾ miles NW of Shieldhill station, 4½ N of Amisfield station, and 9 N by E of the post-town, Dumfries. Comprising the ancient parish of Kirkmichael and the larger part of Garvald, it is bounded N by Kirkpatrick-Juxta, NE and E by Johnstone, SE by Lochmaben, S by Tinwald, SW by Kirkmahoe, and W by Closeburn. Its utmost length, from NNW to SSE, is 9 1/8 miles; its utmost breadth is 5 miles; and its area is 17,130¾ acres, of which 148 are water. The Water of Ae, from a point within 1 ¼ mile of its source upon Queensberry Hill to a point only 3 furlongs from its confluence with Kinnel Water, hurries 12 3/8 miles south-south-eastward on or near to all the western, south-western, southern, and south-eastern border; Kinnel Water itself, over a distance of 2¾ miles to a point 5 2/3 furlongs above the influx of the Ae, roughly traces part of the boundary with Johnstone; and gienkill and Garvald Burns, running 6¾ and 7 ¼ miles through the interior southward to the Ae, divide the parish into three pretty equal portions. In the SE is Cumrue Loch (1 x 2/3 furl.), as large again till it was reduced by drainage; and in the N, near the Martyr's Stone, a still smaller but very deep tarn lies at an altitude of 1160 feet. The SE corner of the parish is a level tract, declining to 170 feet above the sea; beyond, the surface rises north-north-westward to 324 feet at Nether Garvald, 546 at Carrick, 896 at Kirkmichael Fell, 1183 at Kirkland Hill, 1201 at Kirk Hill, and 1307 at Holehouse Hill. Red sandstone predominates in the plains, and has been worked; alum slate, interspersed with iron pyrites, occurs in the SW; and Silurian rocks prevail throughout the hills. The soil along the lower reaches of the Ae and the Kinnel is very fertile alluvium; in patches amounting to over 500 acres, is mossy; and in the middle districts, is mostly dry and gravelly, but partly moorish and heathy. Rather more than one-third of the entire area is either meadow or arable land; woods cover some 350 acres; and the rest of the parish is chiefly sheep pasture. Antiquities are vestiges of numerous Caledonian forts and camps; traces of part of the Roman road from Cumberland to Clydesdale; and remains of a Roman castellum in the manse garden, of Glenae Tower, of Garvald church, and of Wallace's House or Tower, ½ mile NW of the last. This the patriot is said to have garrisoned with sixteen men, whilst he was meditating the capture of Lochmaben Castle (1297); and a large stone, called the ` Sax Corses, ' 2 miles ENE of the church, marks the grave of the Englishman, Sir Hugh de Moreland, and his followers, who fell in an encounter with Sir William. Blue Cairn, too, at the northern boundary, on the SE slope of Queensberry, is the traditional site of Wallace's victory over Greystock, Sir Hugh's companion in arms, who was slain with most of his 300 followers. Kirkmichael House, 1½ mile ESE of the church and 5 miles WNW of Lochmaben, is a handsome Tudor edifice of 1833, with finely wooded grounds and two artificial sheets of water; its owner, John Stewart Lyon, Esq. (b. 1868; suc. 1881), holds 2994 acres in the shire, valued at £2522 per annum. The Duke of Buccleuch is a larger proprietor, and 5 lesser ones hold each an annual value of between £100 and £500. Kirkmichael is in the presbytery of Lochmaben and synod of Dumfries; the living is worth £358. The parish church, built in 1815, contains over 500 sittings. There is also a Free church; and two public schools, Garvald and Nethermill, with respective accommodation for 56 and 100 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 48 and 72, and grants of £45, 11s. and £57, 13s. Valuation (1860) £7506, (1883) £9660, 1s. 10d. Pop. (1801) 904, (1831) 1226, (1861) 1026, (1871) 903, (1881) 849.—Ord. Sur., sh. 10, 1864.

Kirkmichael, a village and a parish of NE Perthshire. The village stands upon Airdle Water, 705 feet above sea-level, and 14 miles NNW of Blairgowrie, under which it has a post office. A handsome bridge, built here across the Airdle in 1842, was greatly damaged by the flood of 1847, but afterwards repaired.

The parish, containing also Spittal of Glenshee, is bounded N by Crathie in Aberdeenshire, E by Glenisla and Alyth in Forfarshire, SE by detached sections of Rattray, Caputh, and Bendochy, S by Blairgowrie (detached) and Clunie, SW by Logierait and DunkeldDowally (detached), W by Moulin, and NW by Blair Athole. Its utmost length, from NNW to SSE, is 16 ¼ miles; it breadth varies between 4 1/8 and 10 3/8 miles; and its area is 57, 558 2/3 acres, of which 275 2/3 are water. Airdle Water, entering from Moulin, winds 7 ¼ miles south-south-eastward, till it passes off below Ballintuim House on its way to a confluence with the Shee or Black Water, which, gathering its head-streams at Spittal of Glenshee (1125 feet), has here a south-south-easterly course of 10 miles near to or along the eastern border. One of its head-streams issues from Loch nan Eun (3½ x 1¾ furl.; 2550 feet), lying close to the Aberdeenshire boundary; and one of its affluents is fed from Loch Shechernich (4 x 1¾ furl.; 1350 feet), close to the Forfarshire boundary. Along the Airdle the surface declines to 570, along the Black Water to 780, feet above sea-level; and thence it rises to *Knock of Balmyle (1458 feet), *Creag nam Mial (1843), Creag a' Mhadaidh (1474), *Creag Dhubh (2082), Lamh Dearg (1879), Meall Uaine (2600), *Meall a' Choire Bhuidhe (2846), Carn an Daimh (2449), *Monamenach (2649), Ben Ghulbhuinn (2641), *Creag Leacach (3238), Carn Mor (2846), *Cairnwell (3059), *Beinn Iutharn Bheag (3011), and *Glas Thulachan (3445), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on or close to the confines of the parish. The Airdle's narrow vale, some patches along the Black Water, and a belt of territory extending from the Airdle at Kirkmichael village eastward to the Black Water, are low comparatively and mostly under cultivation; but nearly all the rest of the surface is lofty upland, chiefly mountainous, a portion of the Central Grampians. The rocks are mostly metamorphic, and one or two out of many copious springs are medicinal, believed to be anti-scorbutic. The soil of the low grounds along the streams is thin and dry, on a sandy bottom; that on the higher arable grounds is wet and spongy, requiring a dry warm season to render it productive. Little more than one-twelfth of the entire area is in tillage; about 750 acres are under wood; and the rest is either pastoral or waste. A rocking-stone, 3 ¼ miles SE of Kirkmichael village, is estimated to weigh 3 tons; and near it are four concentric stone circles. To the W are several standing stones, vestiges of eight or more other stone circles, and a cairn 270 feet in circumference and 25 high, surrounded at a little distance, and at different intervals, with a number of smaller cairns in groups of eight or ten. Ashintully, Kindrogan, and Woodhill, noticed separately, are the chief mansions. Including all Glenshee quoad sacra parish and a portion of Persie, Kirkmichael is in the presbytery of Dunkeld and synod of Perth and Stirling; the living is worth £188. The parish church, at Kirkmichael village, was built in 1791, and contains 596 sittings. There is also a Free church; and three public schools-Ballintuim, Glenshee, and Kirkmichael-with respective accommodation for 64, 47, and 130 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 28, 25, and 58, and grants of £37, 1s., £38, 7s. 6d., and £62, 17s. Valuation (1860) £12,588, (1883) £16,754, 4s. 11d. Pop. (1801) 1563, (1831) 1568, (1861) 1224, (1871) 965, (1881) 849, of whom 293 were Gaelic-speaking, and 568 belonged to Kirkmichael ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., shs. 56, 65, 55, 64, 1869-74.

Kirkmichael, a parish of S Banffshire, containing the village of Tomintoul, 14½ miles S of Ballindalloch station, this being 12 miles NE of Grantown and 12 SW of Craigellachie. It is bounded NE by Inveraven, E, SE, and S by Tarland (detached), Strathdon, and Crathie in Aberdeenshire, W by Abernethy in Inverness-shire, and NW by Cromdale in Elginshire. Its utmost length, from N by W to S by E, is 17 7/8 miles; its width, from E to W, varies between 2 and 11 7/8 miles; and its area is 76,331 acres, of which 380½ are water. The pellucid Aven, issuing from lone Loch Aven (13 x 1½ furl.; 2250 feet), winds 12 miles east-north-eastward and 163/8 miles northward along Glenaven, till it passes off into Inveraven parish. During this course it is joined by Builg Burn, flowing 2½ miles north-by-westward out of Loch Builg (6 x 2 furl.; 1586 feet) at the Aberdeenshire border; by the Water of Caiplaich or Ailnack, running 6 5/8 miles north-eastward along the Abernethy border, then 3 ¼ north-north-eastward across the interior; by Conglass Water, running 8 miles north-westward through the eastern interior; by the Burn of Brown or Lochy, running 4 miles northward along the Abernethy boundary, then 2 north-north-eastward across the interior; and by thirty-four lesser tributaries. The surface, sinking along the Aven to 698 feet above sea-level, is everywhere hilly or grandly mountainous, the chief elevations to the E of that river, as one ascends it, being Carn na Dalach (1352 feet), *Carn Daimh (1866), Cnoc Lochy (1528), Tom na Bat (1723), *Carn Liath (2598), *Carn Ealasaid (2600), Liath Bheinn (2183), *Meikle Geal Charn (2633), Meall na Gaineimh (2989), *Ben Aven (3843), *Benabourd (3924), and *Ben Macdhui (4296); to the W, *Carn Eachie (2329), Cnoc Forgan (1573), Carn Meadhonach (1928), Big Garabhoum (2431), *Caiplich (3574), and *Cairngorm itself (4084), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the confines of the parish. The southern district, thus lying all among the Cairngorm Grampians, is wholly uninhabited. The northern, mainly consisting of rangas of mountains and congeries of hills, presents for the most part a moorish, desolate, forbidding aspect, and is inhabited only along the banks of the lower reaches of the Aven and of the Aven's principal tributaries. Granite is the prevailing rock of the mountains; sandstone occurs round Tomintoul; excellent grey slates and pavement slabs are quarried on the banks of the Aven; limestone abounds-in many parts; and ironstone of rich quality has been mined near the source of Conglass Water. The soil of a considerable portion of the arable land is fertile alluvium; that of most of the rest is a rich loam. A good deal of natural wood is dotted along the valley of the Aven; not more than between 2000 and 3000 acres are in tillage; and all the rest is pastoral waste or deer-forest. The Duke of Richmond and Gordon owns nearly nine-tenths of the parish, 1 other proprietor holding an annual value of more, and 2 of less, than £100. Giving off the quoad sacra parish of Tomintoul, Kirkmichael is in the presbytery of Abernethy and synod of Moray; the living is worth £302. The parish church, 4 miles NNW of Tomintoul, was built in 1807, and contains 350 sittings. There is also a Free church; and Kirkmichael public, Tomintoul public, and Tomintoul Roman Catholic schools, with respective accommodation for 70, 141, and 200 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 22, 76, and 45, and grants of £55, 2s., £76, 8s., and £34, 8s. 6d. Valuation (1843) £3325, (1881) £6215. Pop. (1801) 1332, (1831) 1741, (1861) 1511, (1871) 1276, (1881) 1073, of whom 260 were Gaelic-speaking, and 387 were in the ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., sh. 75, 1876.

Kirkmichael or Resolis, a parish of Ross-shire and Cromartyshire, which, containing the villages of Gordon's Mills and Jemimaville, lies in the NW of the Black Isle, and comprises the ancient parishes of Kirkmichael and Cullicudden. Its church stands 7 miles WSW of Cromarty, and 3 SW of the post-town and station, Invergordon. It is bounded NW, N, and NE by the Cromarty Firth, E and SE by Cromarty, SE by Rosemarkie and Avoch, and SW by Urquhart. Its utmost length, from NE to SW, is 6¾ miles; its utmost breadth is 3¾ miles; and its area is 12, 449 acres. The coast-line, 9 1/8 miles in extent, has a gravelly shore, interspersed with low flat rocks; and from it the surface rises to 397 feet at Kilbeachie Wood, 231 at the Bog of Cullicudden, and 838 at the highest point of broadbased Ardmeanach or Mullbuie, on the SE boundary. The interior, however, is intersected by a valley, which, extending north-eastward nearly from end to end of the parish, contains by far the greater part of its arable land, and is traversed by the Burn of Resolis to the Cromarty Firth at Gordon's Mills. Old Red sandstone, varying in hue from red to a deep yellow, is the prevailing rock, and has been quarried, although it is mainly of inferior quality for building purposes. The soil, for the most part a light black loam on a hard tilly bottom, along the north-western shore is sharper and more productive; but almost everywhere requires laborious tillage and careful husbandry. Some tracts are embellished with plantations or natural wood, but most parts are bare or moorish. The chief antiquities are numerous tumuli on the moors, traces of ancient camps, the fragmentary ruin of Castlecraig, and the remains of old Kirkmichael church, graphically described by Hugh Miller. Mansions, both noticed separately, are Newhall and Poyntzfield; and 2 proprietors hold each an annual value of more, 7 of less, than £500. Kirkmichael is in the presbytery of Chanonry and synod of Ross; the living is worth £365. The parish church, built in 1830, is amply commodious. There is also a Free church; and two new public schools, Cullicudden and Newhall, each with accommodation for 123 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 64 and 76, and grants of £53, 11s. and £67, 15s. Valuation (1860) £4782, (1881) £6491. Pop. (1831) 1470, (1861) 1568, (1871) 1527, (1881) 1424, of whom 601 were Gaelic-speaking.—Ord. Sur., shs. 94, 93, 83, 84, 1876-81.

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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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