Parish of Currie

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: Currie
1834-45: Currie

Currie, a village and a parish of W central Edinburghshire. The village, a pleasant little place, stands on the steep left bank of the Water of Leith, here spanned by a 14th century bridge, 6 miles SW of Edinburgh, having one station (Curriehill) on the main line of the Caledonian, and another (Currie) on its Balerno loop; at it is a post office, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments. Pop. (1861) 345, (1871) 329, (1881) 255.

The parish containing also the villages of Balerno and Hermiston, is bounded N by Corstorphine, E by Corstorphine and Colinton, SE by Penicuik and the Listonshiels section of Kirkliston, SW by Midcalder, W by Kirknewton, and NW by Ratho. Its utmost length, from NNE to SSW, is 8¼ miles; its breadth varies between 4½ furlongs and 41/8 miles; and its area is 11,236 acres, of which 132¾ are water. The Water of Leith, coming in from the uplands of Midcalder, winds 1¼ mile north-north-eastward along the Kirknewton border, next 6 miles east-north-eastward across the middle of the parish, receiving by the way Dean, Cock, and Bavelaw Burns, and other still smaller tributaries. Near the Colinton and Penicuik boundaries lie Clubbiedean, Harelaw, and Threipmuir reservoirs, supplying the Edinburgh waterworks; and the Union Canal runs 2¾ miles through the northern interior in the vicinity of Hermiston. The surface, in the N forming part of the Corstorphine plain, has a general southerly rise to the Pentland Hills from less than 200 feet above sea-level to 800 on Warlaw Hill, 1250 near Craigenterry, and 800 at East Rig. The rocks belong mainly to the Calciferous Limestone series, traversed at Ravelrig by a mass of diorite; whilst just to the SE of Threipmuir reservoir is one of three separate localities among the Pentlands, where rocks of Upper Silurian age are so surrounded and covered unconformably by the Lower Old Red sandstone, that their relations to the Lower Silurian series can nowhere be ascertained. Excellent sandstone abounds along the left bank of the Water of Leith, especially in the neighbourhood of Balerno, and has been largely quarried; limestone of inferior quality has been worked on the Malleny estate; and a German, one Joachim Gonel, proposed in 1683 to open a copper-mine near East Mill, but the scheme would seem to have fallen to the ground. The soil of the uplands is moorish; but that of the low tracts is rich and highly cultivated, the rental of one or two farms here having increased 700 per cent. within the last 150 years. Dairy-farming and sheep-farming are also carried on; and within the parish are 2 large paper-mills and 2 snuff manufactories. Sibbald and other antiquaries identified Currie with 'Coria,' the chief seat of the Damnonii in the 2d century, a.d., which Skene, however, places at Carstairs; among its antiquities are a supposed Roman station on Ravelrig Hill and the ruins of Lennox Tower and Curriehill Castle. Illustrious natives or residents were Sir Thomas Craig (1538-1608), author of Jus -Feudale; the Lord Clerk Register, Sir John Skene of Curriehill (1549-1612), legal antiquary; his son, Lord President Sir James Skene (1580-1633); Sir Archibald Johnston, Lord Warriston (1610-63), lawyer and statesman; Jas- Anderson, LL- D. (1739-1808), writer on agriculture; General Thomas Scott of Malleny (1745-1841); John Marshall, Lord Curriehill (1794-1868); and his son and namesake (1827-81), also an eminent judge. The principal mansions are Baberton, Curriehill, Hermiston, Lennox Lea, Lymphoy, Malleny, Ravelrig, and Riccarton; and 13 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 9 of between £100 and £500, 9 of from £50 to £100, and 25 of from £20 to £50. Currie is in the presbytery of Edinburgh and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £395. The parish church, at the village, successor to one that down to the reign o Charles I. appears to have been subordinate to the collegiate church of Corstorphine, was built about 1785, and contains 800 sittings. A Free church for Currie and Colinton stands at Juniper Green; at Balerno are a U.P. church and St Mungo's Episcopal chapel; and two public schools, Balerno and Currie, and Balerno Episcopal school, with respective accommodation for 176,200, and 126 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 103, 122, and 57, and grants of £82, 5s- 6d., £95,18s-, and £39,4s. Valuation (1860) £18,692, (1882) £32,217, including £8443 for railways and waterworks. Pop- (1801) 1112, (1831) 1883, (1861) 2248, (1871) 2360, (1881) 2390.—Ord. Sur., sh. 32,1857.

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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