Kirkton of Auchterhouse

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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Auchterhouse, a village and a parish of SW Forfarshire. The village or Kirkton of Auchterhouse, occupying a central position, has a post office under Dundee, and, ¾ mile WSW, a station with telegraph office on the Caledonian, 12¼ miles NW of Dundee and 4½ SE of Newtyle. At it stands the parish church, described in Muir's Characteristics of Old Church Architecture (Edinb. 1861):-` Erected in 1630 on the site of a decayed church, as appears by some fragments of tracery and other carved work lying about, it consists of chancel, 27 feet by 21 feet 5 inches, nave, 56 feet 7 inches by 33 feet, and a square tower at the W end. All the windows are squaretopped, and of three lights, except the E one, which is of two lights and placed in the gable. The chancel doorway is also flat-headed, that in the nave is of semiclassic character, with a three-centred arch, imposts, and moulded jambs. On the N side both divisions of the church are blank. The chancel arch is acutely pointed, and may possibly be a remnant of the older building, though it has nothing of the patched appearance of an ancient fabric remodelled.' This the last specimen of early church architecture in Scotland contains some 400 sittings, and at its E end has a mortuary chapel of the Airlie family.

The parish includes also the hamlets of Dronley near the southern, and of Boniton near the north-western, border. It is bounded N by Glamis, E by Glamis, Tealing, and Mains, S by Liff and Perthshire, W by Lundie, and NW by Newtyle. It has an extreme length from N to S of 37/8 miles, a breadth from E to W of from 23/8 to 3½ miles, and a land area of 5708 acres. The southern border is traced by a rivulet, which, flowing eastward out of Lundie, unites near Dronley with the Dronley Burn to form the Digiity; and from a point near the confluence of these two streams the surface rises northward and north-westward up to the Sidlaw Hills- to 552 feet at 3 furlongs SE of the Kirkton, 1399 feet in Auchterhouse Hill at the NE angle of the parish, and 950 feet in a summit behind East Mains, 2½ furlongs from the western boundary. About five-eighths of the entire area are under cultivation, one-fourth is under wood, and one-twelfth in hill pasture; the cultivated portion having for the most part a soil of black mould over a stratum of till or clay, or a bed of marl incumbent upon rock, and mixed in some places with sand. The rocks are chiefly Devonian, even in the hills, but there are intersected by trap dykes or overlaid with expanded trap; and sandstone is worked by two stone merchants. ` Weems,' or ancient cave-dwellings, occur, and in one of them were found a quern, some bones, and a brass ring. The fine old baronial mansion of Auchterhouse, 1 mile SW of the Kirkton, is a seat of the Earl of Airlie, who holds more than half of the rental of the whole parish, three other proprietors dividing most of the remainder; near it are fragments of a castle, said to have belonged to a Sir John Ramsay, and to have been visited by Wallace on his landing at Montrose with French auxiliaries. In the words of an old metrical record-

'Good Sir John Ramsay, and the Ruthven true,
Barclay and Bisset, with men not a few,
Do wallace meet,-ail canty, keen, and crouse,
And with three hundred march to Ochterhouse.'

Auchterhouse is in the presbytery of Dundee and synod of Angus and Mearns. Its minister's income is £391. The one public school, with accommodation for 168- children, had (1879) an average attendance of 95, and a grant of £72,12s. Valuation (2881) of lands, £8532,19s.; of railway, £1833. Pop. (1831) 715, (1871) 721, (1881) 661.—Ord. Sur., sh. 48,1868.

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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