Parish of Clunie

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: Clunie
1834-45: Clunie

Clunie (Gael. cluaine, ` place of the good pasture '), a parish in Stormont district, NE Perthshire, whose church, on the W shore of the Loch of Clunie, is 5½ miles W by S of the post-town, Blairgowrie, and which contains the post-office hamlet of Forneth. Irregular in outline, it is bounded N by Kirkmichael, E by the Blackcraig section of Blairgowrie, Kinloch, and Caputh, SW by Caputh, W by Caputh and Dowally-Dunkeld, NW by Logierait. Its greatest length, from NNW to SSE, is 7¾ miles; its breadth, from E to W, varies between ¼ and 31/8 miles; and its area is 11,678 acres, of which 294¼ are water, and 1458 belong to two detached portions, Essendy (1¾ x ¾ mile) and Gourdie (15/8 x ¾ mile), which, lying less than ½ mile SE of the main body, are separated there from by Caputh. Baden Burn, rising on Meall Dubh, flows 2 miles SSE through the southern interior, then 2¾ miles along the Blairgowrie boundary, which for 1¼ mile more is traced by Lornty Burn, flowing 1¾ mile ESE through Clunie from Loch Benachally. Buckny Burn, again, runs 2 miles S and W along the western border, and through the interior to the Lunan, which itself winds 3 miles ESE through the southern division of the parish to the Loch of Clunie, next 1¼ mile E to the Loch of Drumallie. The Loch of Clunie, in shape resembling a triangle with southward apex, has an equal utmost length and breadth of 5 furlongs, is 84 feet deep, and contains pike, perch, trout, and eels; Loch Benachally (7 x 3½ furl.) is the other chief sheet of water. The surface sinks in the furthest S to 230, in the SE to 195, feet above sea-level; thence ris ing northward to 653 feet on the Craig of Clunie, a romantic mass of trap rock, and to 560 near Stars of Forneth, 1045 on Arlick, 1594 on Benachally, 1692 at Craig Wood, and 1775 on Meall Dubh, which culminates right on the Kirkmichael boundary. In the detached portions are Gourdie Hill (517 feet) and Aikenhead (296). Granite, quartz, sandstone, and limestone are plentiful; and a fine blue slate, copper pyrites, and sulphate of barytes are found. Mineral springs are at Milton of Clunie, and a little to the E of Bogmile. The soil of the arable lands is generally light and gravelly, but yields good crops. Nearly 3000 acres are either regularly or occasionally in tillage, and hundreds of acres, waste not long ago, are covered now with thriving plantations of larch and Scotch pine. A number of cairns have disappeared, but part of the Picts' Dyke is traceable near Buckny Burn; near the church is a standing stone; and eight parallel mounds and trenches, known as the Steeds' Stalls, and said to have been formed by an advanced guard of the Caledonian host to watch the movements of the invading Romans, are on the SE slope of Gourdie Hill. On a large green knoll, too, 50 feet high, to the W of the Loch of Clunie, are vestiges of a 'summer palace or hunting-seat of Kenneth Macal pin, ' according to the Old Statistical; and on an islet in the loch itself are the ruins of Clunie Castle. The islet, half an acre in extent, is evidently artificial, a crannoge probably or lake-dwelling; the castle, with walls 9 feet in thickness, is said to have been built by George Brown, Bishop of Dunkeld from 1485 to 1514, to have been a residence of the Earls of Airlie, and to have been the birthplace of the Admirable Crichton (1560-83). The last it certainly was not, for he was born at Eliock in Dumfriesshire; possibly, however, part of his boyhood was spent in this parish, where his father purchased an estate. Forneth and Gourdie are the principal mansions; and 4 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 5 of between £100 and £500, and 3 of less than £100. Clunie is in the presbytery of Dunkeld and synod of Perth and Stirling; the living is worth £271. The parish church, rebuilt in 1840, is a good Gothic structure, with a tower and 600 sittings; a Free church stands in the Essendy section. A public school, with accommodation for 106 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 76, and a grant of £86,16s. Valuation (1881) £8018,8s. 5d. Pop. (1801) 913, (1831) 944, (1861) 699, (1871) 603, (1881) 582.—Ord. Sur., sh. 56,1870.

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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