Parish of Abdie

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: Abdie
1834-45: Abdie

Abdie (13th c. Ebedyn—i.e. abthen or abden, 'abbey lands'), a parish of NE Fife, on the Firth of Tay, contains the Mount Pleasant suburb of Newburgh, its post-town and station, and also the villages of Lindores and Grange of Lindores. Till 1633 it included the present parish of Newburgh, by which and by Dunbog it is cut into three distinct portions. The middle and largest of these is 4 miles long by 3: the smallest, 3 furlongs to the W, and on the Perthshire border, measures 1¼ by ¾ mile: and the third, 1 mile to the E, has an equal length and breadth of 1½ mile. Their total area is 6537½ acres, of which 1585½ are foreshore and 135 water. The surface is charmingly diversified by hills belonging to the Ochil range, the chief elevations from W to E being Lumbenny (889 feet), Golden Hill (600), Braeside (563), Woodmill Mains (656), the Mains of Lindores (580), and Norman's Law (558). Some of these hills are clothed or crowned with plantations, but much of the highest ground is mere hill-pasture, dotted with heath and gorse. On their ascents, a deep black soil alternates with a light and gravelly one of very inferior quality: along the Tay lies a rich alluvium, like that of the Carse of Gowrie, and fields have been here reclaimed from the Firth within the last 50 years. Devonian rocks form part of the basement, and include a limestone and red sandstone, which formerly were worked. Trap rocks also occur, and are quarried at three points for building and paving purposes. The largest sheet of water is Lindores Loch, near the centre of the parish, which, nearly 4 miles in circumference, is fed by the Priest's Burn, and sends off the Den rivulet to the Tay. The pike and perch, with which this loch abounded, were netted out in August 1880, with a view to stocking it with trout. At its foot is the site of a castle, called Macduff: and 'Wallace's Camp,' ½ mile from the Firth, preserves the memory of the victory of Black Irnsyde, said to have been gained over Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, in 1298. Earlier antiquities than these are a barrow known as Watchman's Tower, the hill-fort of Dunmore on Norman's Law, and a stronghold on the picturesque craig of Clachard, whose six westward ramparts are from 5 to 6 feet high. The roofless church of St Magridin, on the loch's western margin, was consecrated in 1242, and contains a 14th-century foliated tombstone: a female recumbent effigy: and, in the Denmiln Aisle (1661), some monuments of the Balfours of Denmiln Castle, which, now in ruins, was the seat of that family from 1452 to 1710. As such it was the birthplace of Sir James Balfour (1603-57), herald, annalist, and antiquary, and of his brother, Sir Andrew (1630-94), physician and founder of Edinburgh's first botanical garden. Modern mansions are Inchrye Abbey, a castellated building, and Lindores House: 4 proprietors holding each an annual value of £1000 and upwards, 1 of £500, 2 of £400, 2 of between £200 and £300, etc. The eastern portion of Abdie, with 107 inhabitants, is annexed for church, school, and registration purposes to Dunbog: the remainder constitutes an ecclesiastical parish, in the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife. The church is a plain edifice, seating 550, and erected in 1827 at a cost of £1200: the minister's income is £404. There is also a Free church for Abdie and Newburgh jointly: and at Grange of Lindores is a school, which, with accommodation for 152 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 87, and a grant of £72, 2s. Valuation (1881) £10,439, 5s. 2d. Pop. of civil parish (1801) 725, (1841) 1508, (1871) 1164: of q. s. parish (1871) 1057, (1881) 862. See Alex. Laing, Lindorcs Abbey and Newburgh (Edinb. 1876).—Ord. Sur., sh. 48, 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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