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Parish of Fowlis Wester

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: Lundie and Fowlis
1834-45: Lundie and Fowlis

Fowlis-Wester, a parish of central Perthshire, containing Fowlis village, 2¾ miles NNE of Abercairney station, and 4¾ ENE of Crieff, under which it has a post office. Gilmerton, 2 miles NE of Crieff, with another post office, lies on the western border of the parish, which consists of two slenderly united sections and a small detached north-westerly district. The main body is bounded N by Little Dunkeld, E by Little Dunkeld, a detached section of Monzie, and Methven, SE by Methven, S by Madderty, SW by Crieff, W by Crieff and Monzie, and NW by the Amulree section of Dull. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 10½ miles; its breadth varies between 5 furlongs and 67/8 miles; and its area is 22,858½ acres, of which 55½ are water, and 590¾ belong to the detached portion, which extends for 4½ furlongs along the river Almond, 5 miles WSW of Amulree. Nearly 9 miles lower down the Almond has an cast-bynortherly course of 9 furlongs along the boundary with Crieff, 51/3 furlongs across the interior at the neck of the main body, and 1½ mile along the boundary with Monzie (detached); whilst the Bran winds 31/8 miles along all the northern border. Other boundaries of the parish are traced by Fendoch, Shiligan, and Milton Burns, and sluggish Pow Water separates it from Madderty. Here, in the SE, along the Pow, the surface declines to less than 200 feet above sea-level, thence rising to 441 feet at Aldie, 706 near Drummick, 806 at Murray's Hill, 1098 at Stroness, 1153 at Meall Quhanzie, and 2117 at Meall Tarsuinn. The northern portion of the main body, whilst sinking to 490 feet along the N bank of the Almond, rises north-north-westward to 932 feet at Castlehill, 1737 at Craig Lca, 2025 at Meall Reamhar, 2044 at Meall nan Caoraich, and 1569 at Dalreoch Hill, from which again it descends to 700 feet along the Bran. Lastly, the detached position varies in altitude from 800 feet to 2367 on Beinn na Gainimh at its north-eastern corner. The northern division of the main body, consisting of rugged spurs of the Grampians, and dividing Strathbran from Glenalmond, is, with trifling exception, all of it wild or pastoral. The southern, in a general view, has a singularly varied and unequal surface, flecked and clumped with coppices and groves; but along Pow Water, throughout the southern border, consists of an opulent and finely-sheltered valley. The dells and ravines of the hillier portions are graced in numerous places with tiny cascades, and abound throughout with other features of fine close scenery. The hills themselves, with their large extent of southern exposure, are so adorned with wood and fine enclosures as to present a very charming appearance; and, from many points, they command magnificent views of Strathearn. Granitc, clay slate, and sandstone are the prevailing rocks; but columnar trap and limestone also occur. The slate, of beautiful dark blue colour, possesses superior properties for roofing purposes, and has long been largely quarried at Craiglea. The sandstone in places suits well for building, having a beautiful colour and a durable texture; admits of fine polish; and has been quarried on the lands of Abercairney and Cultoquhey. The soil, alluvial in the valley of the Pow, is elsewhere variously gravelly, sandy, loamy, and clayey. Little more than a fourth of the entire area is in tillage; woods and plantation cover some 1800 acres; and the rest is pastoral or waste. The castle of the ancient Earls of Strathearn stood on the E side of a ravine ¾ mile E of Fowlis village, and is now represented by only a grassy knoll. Remains of a double concentric stone circle, comprising 40 stones in the exterior range, and measuring 54 feet in circumference, crown the brow of a hill to the N of the village; and three other ancient Caledonian standing stones and a cromlech are on the W; whilst in the middle of the village square stands the 'Cross of Fowlis,' transferred to its present site from Bal na croisk, near the mouth of the Sma' Glen, and sculptured with figures of men and animals. Buchanty has been noticed separately, as likewise are the four mansions, Abercairney, Cultoquhey, Glen Tulchan, and Keillor Castle. Sir David Moray of Gorthie, author of The Tragical Death of Sophonisba (1611), and governor to Prince Henry, was born at Abercairney; and at the parish school were educated the Rev. William Taylor, D.D. 1744-1823), principal of Glasgow University, and the Rev. Archibald Alison (1757-1839), author of the Essay on Taste. Fowlis-Wester gives off portions to Monzie and Logiealmond, and itself is a living, of £327 value, in the presbytery of Auchterarder and synod of Perth and Stirling. The church, at the village, is a long and ugly edifice of Reformation time, with 500 sittings, and with a fine lych-gate, bearing date 1644, but evidently older. The patron saint was Beanus, born 'apud Fovlis in Stratherne;' and till 1877 a yearly market was held at Fowlis village on his birthday, 26 Oct. o.s. Balgowan public, Fowlis public, and Glenalmond subscriptic school, with respective accommodation for 84, 114, and 67 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 60, 53, and 14, and grants of £54, 2s., £45, 15s., and £27, 6s. Valuation (1866) £14, 092, (1883) £15, 569, 19s. 11d. Pop. of civil parish (1801) 1614, (1831) 1680, (1861) 1433, (1871) 1161, (1881) 1112, of whom 51 were Gaelic-speaking; of ecclesiastical parish (1871) 850, (1881) 771; of registration district (1871) 1028, (1881) 978.—Ord. Sur., sh. 47, 1869.

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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