Parish of Rescobie

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: Rescobie
1834-45: Rescobie

Rescobie, a parish of central Forfarshire, whose church stands on the northern shore of Rescobie Loch, 7 furlongs E by N of Clocksbriggs station, this being 2½ miles ENE of the post-town, Forfar. It is bounded N by Oathlaw, Aberlemno, and Guthrie; E by Kirkden; S by Kirkden, Dunnichen, and Forfar; and W by Kirriemuir. Its utmost length, from WNW to ESE, is 7¾ miles; its breadth varies between 5 furlongs and 27/8 miles; and its area is 6724 acres, of which 165 are water. Rescobie Loch, 2 to 20 feet deep, and lying at an altitude of 196 feet above sea-level, extends 1¼ mile east-south-eastward, and varies in width from 200 to 550 yards. Lunan Water, issuing from its foot, flows 23/8 miles east-south-eastward along the Aberlemno and Guthrie boundary, and early in this course expands into Balgavies Loch (4 x 11/3 furl.). From the shores of Rescobie Loch the surface rises southward to Dunnichen Hill (764 feet) on the Dunnichen boundary, and northward to Turin Hill (814) on the Aberlemno boundary. The face of the latter eminence presents a mural range of rock not unlike that of the Salisbury Craigs at Edinburgh; and its summit commands a very extensive and brilliant view of both land and sea. Devonian rocks, mainly grey paving-stone and Old Red sandstone conglomerate, are predominant; display, in some places, curious interstratification; and have long been worked in large quarries of remarkable appearance. The soil is much of it a dark brown loam, with good 'body,' but elsewhere is thin and moorish, sharp and gravelly, or clayey; and sometimes varies much within one and the same field. Nearly one eleventh of the entire area is under wood; rather more than one-tenth is in permanent pasture; and nearly all the rest of the land is in tillage. In 1099 Donald Ban, the 'usurper,' taken prisoner and blinded by Eadgar, his nephew, was condemned to perpetual imprisonment at Roscolpin or Rescobie where he died. There were formerly two fortalices of considerable importance, called the castles of Rescobie and Weems, but they have entirely disappeared. An ancient stronghold on the summit of Turin Hill is believed to have been one of the oldest stone forts in Scotland. It comprised a circular citadel of 685 square yards in area, and an extensive range of contiguous buildings. Parts of the citadel still remain, with walls 13 or 14 feet thick; and they popularly bear the name of Kemp or Camp Castle. Mansions are Burnside, Carse-Gray, Ochtcrlony, Pitscandly, and Reswallie; and 5 proprietors hold each an annual value of more, 3 of less, than £500. Rescobie is in the presbytery of Forfar and the synod of Angus and Mearns; the living is worth £327. The parish church was built in 1820, and contains 560 sittings. The public school with accommodation for 62 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 32, and a grant of £35, 15s. Valuation (1857) £6579, (1885) £8465, 7s., plus £1841 for railway. Pop. (1801) 870, (1831) 808, (1861) 747, (1871) 748, (1881) 685.—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

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