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Parish of Fowlis Easter

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: Fowlis Wester
1834-45: Fowlis Wester

Fowlis-Easter, a parish on the eastern border of Perthshire, containing the village of Fowlis, 6 miles WNW of Dundee; and, since 1618, united to the contiguous parish of Lundie in Forfarshire. It is bounded SW by Longforgan in Perthshire, and N by Lundie, E and S by Liff and Benvie, in Forfarshire. Its utmost length, from WNW to ESE, is 43/8 miles; its width from ¼ mile increases eastward to 2¼ miles; and its area is 2827 acres, of which nearly 3 are water. The sur face ascends, from flat carse lands to the braes of the Carse of Gowrie, from less than 180 feet above sea-level near Mains of Fowlis to 929 at Blacklaw Hill, at the north-western extremity, which commands a beautiful view of the Carse and of the southern screens of the Tay. A lake of 55 acres, the Piper-Dam, lay in its upper part, but was drained about 1780 for sake of its marl. About two-thirds of the land are in tillage; and the rest is mainly disposed in woodland and pasturage. By David I. Fowlis and other lands were granted, for gallantry at the Battle of the Standard (1138), to William of Maule, who was succeeded by his son-in-law, Roger of Mortimer. From the latter's descendant, Fowlis passed by marriage (1377) to Sir Andrew Gray of Broxmouth, the first Lord Gray; and by the ninth Lord it was sold, in 1669, to an ancestor of the present proprietor, Keith-Murray of Ochtertyre. Fowlis Castle stands to the S of the village, towards the head of the beautiful Den of Fowlis or Balruddery, a favourite field alike for geologist and botanist. From 200 to 300 years old, it was suffered to go to decay towards the close of last century, but has recently been rendered habitable for farm labourers. A church of Fowlis-Easter is first mentioned in 1180, and in l242 was dedicated to St Marnan. The present church is commonly said to date from 1142, but is Second Pointed in style, and probably was built about 1452 by Andrew, second Lord Gray of Fowlis, who made it collegiate for a provost and several prebends. Measuring externally 891/3 by 29 feet, it is all of hewn stone, and retains a finely-sculptured aumbrye, a mutilated octagonal font (restored from Ochtertyre), and a curious carved rood screen, with paintings of the Crucifixion, the B. V. Mary and the infant Christ, St John Baptist and the Agnus Dei, St Peter, etc. Of three round-headed doorways, one has been blocked up; and one, the priest's, is enriched with a crocketed canopy. In the churchyard are a crosscarved coffin-slab and a plain passion cross 6 feet high. A public school, with accommodation for 91 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 43, and a grant of £49, 19s. Valuation (1882) £3731, 17s. 2d. Pop. (1831) 322, (1861) 317, (1871) 291, (1881) 311.—Ord. Sur., sh. 48, 1868. See vol. ii. of Billings' Baronial and Ecclesiastical Antiquities (1852); T. S. Muir's Descriptive Notices of Ancient Parochial and Collegiate Churches of Scotland (Lond. 1848); and an article by Andrew Jervise in vol. vii. of Procs. Soc. Ants. Scotl. (1870).

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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