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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Culter, a village in the upper ward and the E of Lanarkshire, and a parish partly also in Peeblesshire. The village stands upon Culter Water, 2¾ miles SSW of Biggar, and 15/8 mile SSE of Culter station on the Peebles branch of the Caledonian, this being 1¾ mile W by N of Symington Junction, and 17¼ miles W by S of Peebles. It chiefly consists of neat houses, embowered among shrubs and trees; at it are the parish church, a public school, and a post office under Biggar; whilst a Free church stands 1 mile to the N.

The parish is bounded N by Biggar and Skirling, E by the Kilbucho and Glenholm portions of Broughton, SE by Drummelzier, SW by Crawford and Lamington, and NW by Symington. In shape resembling a rude triangle with southward apex, it has an utmost length from N by W to S by E of 7¾ miles, an utmost breadth from E to W of 35/8 miles, and an area of 11,932½ acres, of which 485/6 are water, and 1713 belong to Peeblesshire, being also, however, claimed for Broughton. The Clyde winds 25/8 miles north-north-eastward along all the Symington border; and its affluent Culter Water, formed by three head-streams in the southern extremity of the parish, runs 6¾ miles northward and north-westward, first through a narrow glen, where it makes some romantic falls, and next across a finely-wooded, cultivated plain. The surface sinks near Culter station, at the NW corner of the parish, to 665 feet above sea-level, thence rising eastward to 1345 feet on the Hartree Hills, and southward to 820 near Cornhill, 745 at Highfield, 939 at Nether Hangingshaw, 1187 on Snaip Hill, 1596 on Turkey Hill, 1880 on *Scawdmans Hill, 2087 on * King Bank Head, 1578 on Ward Law, 2454 on *Culter Fell, 1769 on Woodycleuch Dod, 1679 on Knock Hill, 1874 on Snowgill Hill, and 2141 on *Hillshaw Head, where asterisks mark those summits that Culminate on the Peeblesshire border. The northern district, including the Peeblesshire section, comprises a considerable portion of the broad dingle extending from the Clyde in the neighbourhood of Symington eastward to the lower reach of Biggar Water; with its mansions, lawns, and groves, it presents an aspect more like that of a rich English level than like that of a Scottish hill region. The southern district exhibits a striking contrast to the northern, a long range of green hills, partly planted and parked, rising steeply from the plains and gradually merging into heathy mountains, the ` divide ' between Clydesdale and Tweeddale. The rocks include some Devonian conglomerate, but are mainly Silurian; whilst the soil over most of the lower grounds is a sandy loam, in the eastern part of the Peeblesshire section inclines to clay, and on the braes and hills is light and dry. About one-third of the area is either regularly or occasionally in tillage, and upwards of 400 acres are under wood. The antiquities include five circular camps, two tumuli, the remains of Cow Castle near the eastern border, and, in the Peeblesshire portion, the site of Hartree Tower. Culter Allers House, near the village, a Scottish Baronial edifice of 1882, is the seat of John Menzies Baillie, Esq. of Culter Allers (b. 1826; suc. 1880), who owns 4648 acres in the shire, valued at £2010 per annum; and other mansions, separately noticed, are Birthwood, Cornhill, Culter Mains, and Hartree. In all, 3 proprietors hold each an annual value of more, and 4 of less, than £500. Culter is in the presbytery of Biggar and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £290. The parish church, built in 1810, contains 300 sittings; and the Free church, dating from 1843, was restored in 1874 at a cost exceeding £900. The public school, with accommodation for 89 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 66, and a grant of £64,11s. Valuation (1882) £8941, 7s. 6d., of which £2141,14s. 6d. was in Peeblesshire. Pop. (1801) 369, (1831) 497, (1861) 665, (1871) 593, (1881) 574.—Ord. Sur., sh. 24,1864.

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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