Parish of Ruthven

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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Ruthven, a small parish of W Forfarshire, 3 miles E of Alyth and 4½ N by E of Meigle, under which it has a post office. It is bounded NE, E, and SE by Airlie, SW, W, and NW by Alyth in Perthshire. Its utmost length, from E by N to S by W, is 2¾ miles; its utmost breadth is 21/8 miles; and its area is 20875/6 acres, of which 38½ are water. The river Isla has here a winding course of 37/8 miles; viz., 1¼ mile west-South-westward along the north-western border, 2¼ miles South-South-eastward through the interior, and 3 furlongs South-westward along the Southeastern border-though the point where it first touches and that where it quits the parish are only 21/8 miles distant as the crow flies. With rocky bed, and bold, wellwooded banks, it offers many pretty bits of scenery. The surface, a gentle Southerly slope, on the northern side of Strathmore, is diversified by some swells and knolls, and attains a maximum altitude of 325 feet, whilst sinking Southward to 165. The rocks are sandstone beds of the Old Red formation, and masses of débris from the Grampians. The sandstone is a good building material; and the gravels of the débris have been much used for roads. The soil, in general, is a light loam on a gravelly bottom. About two-thirds of the entire area are in tillage; 450 acres are under wood; and 170 are pasture. Much of the wood is oak coppice, both profitable and ornamental; and the rest is chiefly planted larch and Scotch firs on naturally poor land. Ruthven Castle, an ancient baronial residence, belonging at one time to the Earls of Crawford, stood in the SE of the parish near the left bank of the Isla, but, falling into ruin, was long ago removed. A knoll in the neighbourhood still bears the name of Gallows Hill, from being the place where the old feudal barons of Ruthven erected their gibbet; and a small field adjoining it is known by the name of the Hangman s Acres. Ruthven House, near the site off the castle, 3 miles NNE of Meigle, is the seat of Thomas Wedderburn-Ogilvy, Esq. (b. 1814; suc. 1853), who holds 6336 acres in the shire, valued at £5735 per annum. He is sole proprietor, his maternal great-grandfather having purchased the estate (long held by the Crichtons) in 1744. Ruthven is in the presbytery of Meigle and the synod of Angus and Mearns; the living is worth £226. The parish church, on the right bank of the Isla, near Inverqueich, was built in 1859, and contains 150 sittings. Adjacent to it is the manse, rebuilt in 1874. Ruthven in the 12th century was a vicarage of the abbey of Arbroath, dedicated to St Maluack, and specially confirmed by Pope Honorius III. in 1219. The public school, with accommodation for 64 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 50, and a grant of £40, 16s. 9d. Valuation (1857) £1865, (1885) £2195, 2s., plus £136 for railway. Pop. (1801) 211, (1841) 471, (1861) 265, (1871) 247, (1881) 195.—Ord. Sur., sh. 56, 1870. See a work by the minister, Dr M'Pherson, F.R.S.E., on The Ecclesiastical Antiquities of Strathmore (1885).

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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