Parish of Dunning

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: Dunning
1834-45: Dunning

Dunning (Gael. dunan, ' small fort '), a village and a parish of Lower Strathearn, SE Perthshire. The village stands, 200 feet above sea-level, on Dunning Burn, near the northern base of the Ochils, 1¾ mile SE of Dunning station on the Scottish Central section of the Caledonian, this being 4¼ miles NE of Auchterarder, 23½ NE of Stirling, 60¼ NNW of Edinburgh, 53½ NE of Glasgow, and 9½ WSW of Perth, under which Dunning has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and railway telegraph departments. Burned by Mar's forces in the retreat from Sheriffmuir to Perth, with the exception of a single house, on 14 Nov. 1715, it now is a neat little place, held in fen of Lord Rollo, under a baron-bailie; and possesses a branch of the Union Bank, a local savings' bank, an hotel, gas-works, a town-hall, a library and reading-room, a mutual improvement society (1858), bowling and curling clubs, and a bread society. A thorn-tree, planted to commemorate its burning by the Jacobites, and protected by a strong circular wall, still stands in the centre of the village. Wednesday is market-day; and fairs are held on the last Tuesday of April, 20 June, and the Monday before the first Tuesday of October. The parish church contains 1000 sittings, as rebuilt and enlarged in 1810, when only the tower was spared of the Norman church of St Serf, built in the beginning of the 13th century. This, with its saddle-roof and SW stair-turret, is a very characteristic structure, tapering upwards in three unequal stages to a height of 75 feet. In the course of recent repairs, a fine Norman arch between the tower and the interior of the church, which had been barbarously bricked up and disfigured, was reopened and restored. There are also a Free church and a U.P. church; whilst a public and an infant and industrial school, with respective accommodation for 241 and 68 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 116 and 60, and grants of £86, 8s. and £50, 6s. Pop. (1841) 1068, (1861) 1105, (1871) 943, (1881) 1113.

The parish, containing also the village of Newton of Pitcairns, is bounded N by Findo-Gask, NE by Forteviot, E and SE by Forgandenny, S by Orwell in Kinross and by Fossoway, SW by Glendevon, and W by Auchterarder. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 6½ miles; its breadth, from E to W, varies between 2¼ and 5¼ miles; and its area is 14,928 acres, of which 181/3 lie detached, and 73 are water. The Earn, here winding 3¼ miles eastward, roughly traces all the northern boundary, and here receives Dunning Burn, running 3¼ miles north-by-eastward over a gravelly bed; another of its affluents, the Water of May, rises on the eastern slope of John's Hill, at the SW corner of the parish, and thence flows 47/8 miles eastward and north-eastward through the southern interior and along the Forgandenny border, till it passes off into Forgandenny. In the W is triangular White Moss Loch (1¾ x 1½ furl.), and in the E the tinier Loch of Montalt (1 x ½ furl.). Sinking in the NE along the Earn to 34 feet above the sea, the surface rises southward to the green pastoral Ochils, and, tolerably level over its northern half, attains 193 feet near Mains of Duncrub, 171 near Nether Garvock, 1064 at Rossie Law, 932 near Montalt, 1419 at Simpleside Hill, 1302 at Skymore Hill, 1337 at Cock Law, 1558 at Corb Law, and 1500 at John's Hill, the two last culminating on the Auchterarder border. Trap rock prevails in the S, sandstone throughout the centre and the N; and both have been quarried. The soil is light and sandy along the Earn, clay or gravel in other arable tracts, and on the Ochils such as to yield good pasturage for sheep. A fort is on Rossie Law, a standing stone near Crofts; and urns have been found and pieces of ancient armour. Mansions are Duncrub House, Garvock, Pitcairn, Inverdunning, and Kippen; and 5 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 7 of between £100 and £500, 5 of from £50 to £100, and 15 of from £20 to £50. Dunning is in the presbytery of Auchterarder and synod of Perth and Stirling; the living is worth £415. Valuation (1882) £13, 886, 1s. 3d. Pop. (1801) 1504, (1831) 2045, (1861) 2084, (1871) 1832, (1881) 1635, this singular decrease in the landward part of the parish being due to the absorption of small farms into large.—Ord. Sur., shs. 40, 39, 48, 47, 1867-69.

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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