Parish of Montrose

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.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2022.

It has taken much time and money to make the six-volumes of Groome's text freely accessible. Please help us continue and develop by making a donation. If only one out of every ten people who view this page gave £5 or $10, the project would be self-sustaining. Sadly less than one in thirty-thousand contribute, so please give what you can.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry Arrow

Links to the Historical Statistical Accounts of Scotland are also available:
(Click on the link to the right, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Browse scanned pages")

1791-99: Montrose
1834-45: Montrose

Montrose, a parish containing a royal burgh of the same name, on the coast, at the NE corner of Forfarshire. It is bounded N by Logie-Pert parish and by Kincardineshire, E by the North Sea, S by Craig parish, and SW by Dun parish. The boundary with Kincardineshire has evidently followed the course of the North Esk river, but now, both above and below the bridge by which the coast road from Dundee to Aberdeen crosses the river, the line follows an old channel, in the former case to the S, and in the latter to the N, of the modern one. The boundary on the S is the river South Esk, and on the SW the eastern foreshore of the Montrose Basin, along the track of Tayock Burn, which enters it W of Newmanswalls House, and then it follows the course of this stream for almost a mile to a point E of Newbigging. Elsewhere it is artificial. In shape the parish is, roughly speaking, a triangle with blunted corners, the sides being on the N, E, and SW. The greatest breadth across the N end, from the point on the W where Dun, Logie-Pert, and Montrose parishes meet to that on the E at the old mouth of the North Esk river, is 3¾ miles; the breadth, from the North Esk opposite Stone of Morphie (Kincardineshire) on the N to the South Esk at Montrose harbour on the S, is 37/8 miles; and the area is 4722.415 acres, of which 95.855 are water, 492.172 foreshore, and the rest land. All along the coast, between the rivers, a flat sandy beach is bounded by a line of sandhills from 20 to 30 feet high, covered with bent. Immediately within these is a belt of sandy undulating ground, with close short herbage, known to the N as Charleton and Kinnaber Links, and to the S as Montrose Links. From this the ground rises, at first gradually, but afterwards more steeply, to the W, the greatest height (317 feet) being reached near the W corner, to the W of Hillhead of Hedderwick. From this rising ground, sometimes known as Montrose Hill, along the lower slopes of which are the numerous villas and houses forming the village of Hillside, there is an excellent view of the Forfarshire and Kincardineshire Grampians; of the end of the vale of Strathmore, with its mansions and woodland; of the round tower and spires of Brechin, and the windings of the South Esk, down past the basin and on to the mouth below the town of Montrose. In the N, along part of the course of the North Esk, there are high wooded banks, while thriving plantations extend along the W side of the Links of Charleton and Kinnaber The soil all over the links is sandy, and the shells show that the deposit is a modern one, so that within the recent period Montrose Basin must have been a bay. On the W side of the links is a raised beach of shingle, and to the W of this the soil is very fertile, being a strong clayey loam. A stiff underlying clay of marine origin, and containing remains of starfishes, is worked for the manufacture of bricks and tiles at Dryleys and Puggieston. The underlying rocks belong to the Lower Old Red sandstone formation. The drainage of the parish is carried off by the North Esk and the South Esk. The north-western part of the parish is traversed for over 2½ miles by the Perth and Aberdeen section of the Caledonian railway system, and from Dubton Junction station a branch line, 3 miles in length, communicates with the town of Montrose through the SW part of the parish. The Montrose and Arbroath section of the North British system, crossing the South Esk by a viaduct over ¼ mile long, passes by the NW side of the town, and, after a course of 2½ miles, unites with the Caledonian system at Kinnaber Junction to the N. From this the Montrose and Bervie railway, also belonging to the North British system, branches off and runs parallel to the coast along the W edge of Montrose and Kinnaber Links, for a distance of 2 miles, till it crosses the North Esk. The parish is also traversed by the main road along the coast from Dundee to Aberdeen, which, entering at the SW corner of Montrose, passes through the town, and then along the W edge of Montrose and Kinnaber Links, parallel to the Montrose and Bervie railway, till it reaches Kincardineshire at the North Esk, which it crosses by a good stone bridge erected in 1775.80. There are also a number of good district roads, of which the principal are those to Brechin and to Fettercairn. Near the centre of the N border of the parish, 2 miles NNW of the town of Montrose, is Sunnyside Lunatic Asylum, erected at a cost of over £20,000, and subsequently enlarged, and with accommodation for over 400 patients. This institution originated with a Mrs Carnegie of Charleton, and the original building on the links, near the town, was erected in 1780-82. A royal charter of incorporation was obtained in 1810, and the present building was erected in 1860. It is supported by endowments and by fees received for patients, of whom the average number is about 470, about 4/5 being pauper lunatics. The asylum, which is managed by a medical superintendent, a medical assistant, a steward, a matron, and a lady superintendent, is considered one of the best establishments of the kind in the country. Kinnaber, in the NE of the parish, is associated with the story of George Beattie, author of John o'Arnha [see St Cyrus]. The industries are mostly connected with the town, but there is a bleachwork and mills on the North Esk, and brickworks at Dryleys and Puggieston. Besides the town of Montrose the parish has also, close to Dubton station, on the NW, the village of Hillside, which is mainly composed of villas. The mansions are Charleton House, Newmanswalls House, and Rosemount House. Ten proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 or upwards, 49 hold each between £500 and £100, 99 hold each between £100 and £50, and there are a large number of smaller amount. The parish is in the presbytery of Brechin, in the synod of Angus and Mearns. The charge is collegiate, with two ministers; and the living is worth £530 a-year. The civil parish includes also the quoad sacra parishes of Melville (in the town of Montrose) and Hillside. Besides the church at the latter place, and those mentioned in connection with the burgh, the Free church of Logie-Pert is also just within the border of the parish, on the N. The landward school-board has under its charge Loanhead public school, which, with accommodation for 210 pupils, had (1883) an average attendance of 116, and a grant of £91, 15s. Landward valuation (1857) £5853, (1884) £9151, 13s., plus £3521 for railways. Pop. of parish (1755) 4150, (1801) 7974, (1831) 12, 055, (1861) 15, 668, (1871) 15,783, (1881) 16,303, of whom 7352 were males and 8951 females. Of the total population in the civil parish in the latter year 11, 746 were in the ecclesiastical parish, while 3077 were in the Melville quoad sacra parish, and 1480 were in Hillside quoad sacra parish.—Ord. Sur., sh. 57, 1868.

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

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better