Parish of Dairsie

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: Dairsie
1834-45: Dairsie

Dairsie, a parish in the NE of Fife, containing at its eastern border the village of Dairsiemuir or Osnaburgh, 5 furlongs NNW of Dairsie station, this being 3¼ miles SSW of Leuchars Junction, and 3 ENE of Cupar, under which it has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and railway telegraph departments. Bounded NW by Kilmany and Logie, N and E by Leuchars, SE by Kemback, SW and W by Cupar, the parish has an utmost length from E to W of 25/8 miles, a varying breadth from N to S of 5 furlongs and 2½ miles, and an area of 2560¼ acres, of which 5¼ are water. The Eden winds 2½ miles north-eastward along all the Kemback border; and where, close to Dairsie station, it quits this parish, the surface declines to less than 100 feet above sea-level, thence rising westward and north-westward to 505 feet on Foodie Hill, and 554 on Craigfoodie, which, presenting to the SW a precipitous and quasi-columnar front, commands a very extensive view. Sandstone abounds in the S; and trap-rock is quarried in two places. The soil, in most parts fertile, in many is rich and deep; and little or nothing is waste. Dairsie Castle, a ruin on a rising-ground near the Eden, was the meeting-place of a parliament in 1335, and was occupied by John Spottiswood, Archbishop of St Andrews, when writing his History of the Church and State of Scotland. Craigfoodie is the chief mansion; and 4 proprietors hold each an annual value of £1000 and upwards, 2 of between £500 and £1000,1 of from £100 to £500, and 3 of from £20 to £50. Dairsie is in the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife; the living is worth £400. The parish church containing 313 sittings, was ` built and adorned after the decent English fashion ' by Archbisbop Spottiswood in 1621. A squat, four-bayed oblong, with octagonal bell-turret and dwarf-spire, it ` only shows,' says Hill Burton, ` that the hand of the builder had lost its cunning, and that neither the prelate nor his biographer had an eye for mediæval art; it is a piece of cold mimicry, like the work of the cabinetmaker rather than of the architect,' etc. (Hist. Scot., vii. 102, ed. 1876). There is also a Free church; and a public school, with accommodation for 135 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 112, and a grant of £90,9s. Valuation (1882) £6573,3s. 11d. Pop. (1801) 550, (1831) 605, (1861) 638, (1871) 687, (1881) 693.—Ord. Sur., shs. 48, 49,.1868-65. See vol. i. of Billings' Antiquities (1845).

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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