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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Auchterderran, a hamlet and a parish of SW Fife. The hamlet stands ¾ mile N by W of Cardenden station, and 2¾ NE of Lochgelly, a town with a head post office and another station, lying within the western border of this parish. The latter is bounded N by Kinross-shire and Kinglassie, E by Kinglassie and Dysart, SE by Kirkcaldy and Abbotshall, S by Auchtertool, SW by Beath, and W by Ballingray. With a very irregular outline, rudely resembling a cross, it has a length from E to W of from 2½ to 61/8 miles, a width from N to S of of which 150¼ are water. Loch Gelly (5¾ x 3½ furlongs) lies on the Auchtertool border, and sends off a rivulet to the Ore, a sluggish stream, which winds through the middle of the parish from W to E along a low alluvial plain, traversed also by the Dunfermline branch of the North British railway.

'Colquhally and the Sillertoun,
Pitcairn and Bowhill,
Should clear their haughs cre Lammas spates
The Ore begin to fill '—

so the rhyme warns four farms in Auchterderran, and the warning is wholesome enough, since the Ore very readily overflows its banks. N and S of it hills rise to a height of 400 and 500 feet above sea-level, points of elevation being Charleston (344 feet), Harelaw (445), Auchterderran hamlet (287), Wester Colquhally (504), Lochgelly House (500), and Muirhead (437). The soil, mixed clay and sand, or black earth resting upon trap, is principally cold and stiff, yet there are large well cultivated farms, Dothan (424 acres) letting for £693 in 1875, whilst Balgreggie (130 acres) is all of it under grass. Woods occupy some 520 acres; and the entire surface is parcelled out into arable and pasture lands, plantations, limestone quarries, coal and ironstone mines, thoroughfares, etc. The mining interest is very extensive; and seven collieries, belonging chiefly to the Carconiferous Limestone series, were at work here in 1879, that of Lochgelly being noteworthy for the great fire of 1870-71. A ruin, named Carden Tower, near the SE border, is the only antiquity. Four proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 13 of between £100 and £500,7 of from £50 to £100, and 21 of from £20 to £50. For ecclesiastical and schoolboard purposes, Auchterderran forms one quoad sacra parish, and Lochgelly another, both in the presbytery of Kirkcaldy and synod of Fife. The ancient church of Auchterderran was given by Fothad, last Bishop of Alban (1059-93), to God, St Serf, and the hermit Culdees of Lochleven; the present building was erected at the hamlet in 1789, and its minister's income is £463. The public school, with accommodation for 350 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 189, and a grant of £177,10s. Valuation (1881) £19,294, 10s. Pop. of quoad sacra portion (1871) 1623, (1881) 1747; of entire parish (1811) 2403, (1841) 3352, (1871) 4017, (1881) 4332, of whom 2484 were in Lochgelly burgh.—Ord. Sur., sh. 40,1867.

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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