Saturday, 22 December 2007
Longforgan Perthshire Scotland
Longforgan, Perthshire, Scotland. Longforgan Photographs. Longforgan in 1846. Longforgan, a parish, in the county of Perth; containing, with the villages of Balbunno and Kingoodie, 1660 inhabitants, of whom 458 are in the village of Longforgan, 2 miles (E. N. E.) from Inchture, and 5½ (W.) from Dundee. This place, the name of which, in a charter of Robert Bruce's in 1315, granting the lands and barony to Sir Andrew Gray, is written Lonforgund, appears to have obtained its prefix to distinguish it from other places called Forgan in the neighbourhood. The parish forms the eastern extremity of the Carse of Gowrie, and is about nine miles in length, and of very irregular figure, varying from a mile and a half to four miles in breadth. It is bounded on the south by the river Tay, which washes its shores for nearly five miles; and comprises 8992 acres, whereof 7200 are arable, 1003 woodland and plantations, and 189 hill-pasture and waste. The surface is greatly diversified, rising in some parts into hills of considerable elevation, of which those of Ballo and Lochton, parts of the Sidlaw range, are the principal, the former being nearly 1000, and the latter nearly 1200, feet above the level of the sea. From the banks of the Tay, also, the land rises gradually towards the north-west to the hill of Drimmie, from which is obtained a rich prospect of the luxuriant plains of the Carse of Gowrie. The lower lands form a broad, level, and fertile tract in the highest state of cultivation; and the scenery is embellished with extensive and thriving plantations, and with gentlemen's seats, round some of which is timber of ancient and stately growth. Numerous streamlets issue from copious springs of excellent water, affording an ample supply, and some are sufficiently powerful to turn several mills.
The soil in the lower grounds is chiefly clay with a rich black loam, but in some parts of them clay intermixed with gravel of a reddish colour, which by good management is rendered very fertile. In the upper districts of the parish, the soil, though inferior in quality to that of the carse land, is dry, and well adapted for turnips, with the exception of some small portions which, resting on a more compact clay, are moist and less productive. The crops are, wheat, barley, oats, peas, beans, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture attained a highly-advanced state under the auspices of the Carse of Gowrie Agricultural Society, which held its meetings for the promotion of improvements in husbandry in the village of Longforgan, but which has now merged into the Perthshire Agricultural Association. The lands are inclosed partly with stone dykes, and partly with hedges; considerable benefit has been effected by draining, and the landowners have introduced the plan of embankments, for reclaiming a large portion of land on the shores of the parish. The farm-buildings are substantial and commodious; and on most of the farms are threshing-mills, of which one is driven by steam. The cattle are chiefly a cross of the short-horned breed, but not many are reared, and very few sheep, the lands not being adapted for the pasture of live stock; some horses are bred, but the greater number are brought from other places. The woods consist of oak, ash, elm, Spanish chesnut, beech, lime, and plane trees, of which many fine specimens are found on the lands of Castle-Huntly, Drimmie, Mylnefield, and Longforgan. There are quarries of freestone at Kingoodie, and in the higher district of the parish. The former, the property of Mr. Henderson, are near the Tay, and have been wrought from a remote period; the stone is of a blueish hue, very compact and durable, and susceptible of the finest polish. Great quantities of it are raised, and sent to Aberdeen, Perth, Dundee, and other places, about sixty persons being continually employed; and the lessees of the quarries have constructed docks, and provided other facilities for shipping the produce, in which three boats are always engaged. The stone of the other quarry, which is the property of Lord Kinnaird, is of similar quality to that of Kingoodie, though of a whiter colour. This quarry, however, from which the stone was raised for the erection of Rossie Priory, is not wrought to any very great extent, its situation precluding the facility for shipping off the produce. The salmon-fishery in the Tay, which was formerly very considerable, and afforded an abundant supply for the inhabitants and also for distant markets, has since the prohibition of the use of the stakenet been wholly discontinued. The rateable annual value of the parish is £13,588.
Drimmie House, the seat of the Kinnaird family, was destroyed by fire at the commencement of the last century; and Rossie Priory, the present residence of Lord Kinnaird, was erected in its stead, at some distance from the site of the old mansion, within the parish of Inchture, under which head it is described. Castle-Huntly, the seat of George Paterson, Esq., to whose ancestor it was sold in 1777, is an ancient and stately mansion, built of stone from the quarries of Kingoodie by the second lord Gray, of Foulis; the walls are ten feet in thickness, and exhibit no marks of decay, though the building has stood for nearly five centuries. The round tower, which is nearly 120 feet high, commands a most extensive and rich view, comprising the entire Carse lands strewed with handsome residences, the river Tay for nearly the whole of its course till it falls into the German Ocean, the opposite coast of Fife with the Lomonds, part of the vale of Strathearn, the Ochils, and the lofty range of Sidlaw. Considerable additions have been made to the castle; but uniformity of character has been preserved, and the whole forms one of the most magnificent seats in the country. Mylnefield, the seat of Mr. Henderson, is a handsome mansion sheltered with stately timber; and Lochton is also a handsome house, pleasantly situated. The village is neatly built and well inhabited: about 150 of its people are employed in the manufacture of coarse-linen, and a considerable number of women and children are engaged in spinning and winding the yarn. The nearest market-town is Dundee, with which, and with other towns, a facility of intercourse is maintained by good roads; that from Aberdeen passes through the parish, and from this principal road branch off two others, the one leading to the quarries at Kingoodie, and the other to Cupar. A small harbour has been constructed at Kingoodie, where lime from Sunderland, and coal from Dundee, are landed. The post-town is Inchture. Fairs are held on the first Wednesday in June, the first Wednesday in October, O. S., and the last Monday in April, for the sale of cattle, agricultural produce, and other merchandize. The parish is in the presbytery of Dundee and synod of Angus and Mearns, and patronage of the Crown; the minister's stipend is £268. 3. 4., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £13 per annum. The church is a spacious and substantial edifice, well situated for the convenience of the parishioners, and adapted for a congregation of 1000 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial schoolmaster has a salary of £34, with £16 fees, and a house and garden; he has also £6. 6. from Mr. Paterson, and £2. 10. from Lord Kinnaird, for the gratuitous instruction of poor children on their respective estates: an excellent schoolroom has been lately erected. A small library has been established, which consists chiefly of religious works; and a savings' bank was opened in 1824, but it has not been much encouraged. At Dron are the ruins of a chapel belonging formerly to the abbey of Cupar-Angus founded by Malcolm IV., in 1164, for monks of the Cistercian order; the remains consist chiefly of the east and west gables of the building, in the latter of which is a large window of elegant design, and are situated in a deep dell, on a rocky eminence, at the base of which is a small rivulet of beautifully limpid water. A silver coin of the reign of Robert II. or III. was found on a farm here in the year 1826; the legend, Robertus, Dei Gratia Scotorum Rex, is still legible, but every other part is completely obliterated.