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Parish of Little Dunkeld

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: Little Dunkeld
1834-45: Little Dunkeld

Dunkeld, Little, a Strathtay parish of central Perthshire, containing the villages of Birnam, Inver, Dalguise, and Balnaguard, with the stations of Murthly, Dunkeld, and Dalguise. It is bounded N by Logierait, NE by Dunkeld-Dowally and Caputh, E by Kinclaven, s by Auchtergaven, the Tullybeagles section of Methven, the Logiealmond section of Monzie, and Fowlis Wester, W by Dull and a fragment of Weem. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 111/4 miles; its width varies between 23/8 and 143/8 miles, the latter measured from W by N to E by S, viz., from Loch Fender to the Tay near Murthly station; and its area is 41, 9411/4 acres, of which 8721/3 are water. The Tay sweeps 173/8 miles east-south-eastward, southward, and east-south-eastward again, along all the boundary with Logierait, Dunkeld-Dowally, and Caputh; its affluent, the Bran, from 9 furlongs below its exit from Loch Freuchie, winds 121/4 miles east-north-eastward, partly along the southern border, but mainly through the interior. Loch Skiach (6 x 31/3 furl.) and Little Loch Skiach (21/4 x 1½ furl.) lie towards the middle of the parish; and on its western border are Lochs Creagh (12/3 x ¾ furl.) and Fender (2¾ x 2 furl.). In the furthest E the surface sinks along the Tay to less than 200 feet above sea-level, thence rising westward and north-westward to Kingswood (451 feet), Birnam Hill (1324), Little Trochrie Hill (1199), Creag Liath (1399), Airlich (1026), Meikle Crochan (1915), Craig Vinean (1247), Druim Mor (1203), Meall Mor (1512), Craig Hulich (1809), Meall Dearg (2258), Creag Mhor (1612), Creag an Eunaich (1506), Meall Reamhar (1659), Elrick More (1693), Craig Lochie (1700), and Creag Maoiseach (1387), where the eleven last are all to the N of the Bran. Roofing-slate, of excellent quality and of a deep-blue hue, has been quarried on Birnam Hill, and fine-grained sandstone near Murthly, while potters-clay occurs in Strathbran. The soil is black loam throughout most of the eastern valley, on the other arable lands is partly black mould, partly a mixture of sand and gravel, and on the hills is very poor. Nearly three-sevenths of the entire area are regularly or occasionally in tillage, less than a fifth is pastoral, about one-thirteenth is under wood, and all the remainder is waste. A considerable though ever lessening number of cairns, stone circles, and hill-forts make up the antiquities, with ` Duncan's Camp ' upon Birnam Hill, the ruins of Trochrie Castle, an old bridge across the Bran a little higher up, and a memorial stone at Ballinloan that arks the meeting-place of feudal courts. In the days of Bishop James Bruce, about the middle of the 15th century, this parish suffered severely from the raids of Robert Reoch Macdonnochie; and at some period unknown to record its church and its clergy would seem to have fared but poorly at the hands of its own parishioners. For-

' Oh! sic a parish, oh! sic a parish!
Oh! sic a parish is Little Dunke'!
They hae hangit the minister. dround the precentor,
Dung doun the steeple, an' fuddl'd the bell.'

Thanks to the beauty of its scenery, Little Dunkeld has any interesting memories of visits from illustrious personages-the poets Gray and Wordsworth, the Queen and Prince Consort, Millais the painter, and others. Perhaps the most interesting of all is that thus noted in Burns's Highland Tour-:` 30 Aug. 1787. Walk with Mrs Stewart and Beard to Birnam top-fine prospect down Tay-Craigiebarns hills-Hermitage on the Bran, with a picture of Ossian-breakfast with Dr Stewart- Neil Gow plays-a short, stout-built, honest, Highland figure, with his greyish hair shed on his honest social brow-an interesting face, marking strong sense, kind open heartedness, mixed with unmistrusting simplicity- visit -his house-Marget Gow.' Neil Gow (1727-1807) was born at Inver; so was his son, Nathaniel (17661831-), who was himself a masterly violinist. The principal mansions are Murthly Castle, Dalguise House, Kinnaird House, Kinloch Lodge, Torwood, St Mary's Tower, and Erigmore; and 6 heritors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 7 feuars of between £100 and £500, 9 of from £50 to £100, and 7 of from £20 to £50. Giving off portions to the quoad sacra parishes of Aulree and Logiealmond, Little Dunkeld is in the presbytery of Dunkeld and synod of Perth and Stirling; the living is worth £358. There are two churches-the one, by the Tay, nearly opposite Dunkeld, built in 1798, and containing 820 sittings; the other, in Strathbran, near Rumbling-Bridge, 3 miles to the WSW, rebuilt in 1851, and containing 250. There is also a Free church of Strathbran and Dalguise, standing near Trochrie, 4 miles WSW of Dunkeld; and the five schools of Drumour, Little Dunkeld, Murthly, Balnaguard, and Dalguise, with respective accommodation for 67, 200, 88, 37, and 56 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 46, 137, 59, 27, and 56, and grants of £37, 14s., £144, 5s. 6d., £57, 11s. 6d., £37, 3s., and £52, 17s. Valuation (1843) £8960, 6s. 10d., (1882) £20, 209, 6s. 11d. Pop. of parish (1801) 2977, (1831) 2867, (1861) 2104, (1871) 2373; of registration district (1871) 2352, (1881) 2149.—Ord. Sur., shs. 47, 48, 55, 1868-69.

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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