- KINGLASSIE, a parish, in the district of Kirkcaldy, county of Fife; containing 1155 inhabitants, of whom 421 are in the village of Kinglassie, 7 miles (N. W.) from Kirkcaldy. The name of this place is supposed to have been derived from a Gaelic term signifying marshy or grey land, from the ancient appearance of the surface; and near the village there is still some portion of land which retains that character. The parish is about five miles in length, and varies from one to three miles and a half in breadth, comprising a very irregular area of 7260 acres, of which 6250 are arable and in good cultivation, 450 woodland and plantations, and 300 pasture and waste. The surface is uneven, rising into several steep ridges, and in some places forming gentle acclivities interspersed with hills. The river Leven, which issues from the loch of that name, washes the northern part of the parish; and the river Lochty flows through the village, and receives the streamlet called the Sauchie in its immediate vicinity. The Orr, which rises in the parish of Ballingry, intersects the southern portion of this parish, and, together with the Lochty, falls into the Leven at a short distance from its eastern extremity. The soil is various, consisting of loam, clay, and gravel, which in parts are found in combination; the greater portion is a stiff clay, and in some places are tracts of moss and sand. The principal crops are, oats, barley, and wheat, with potatoes, turnips, and the usual green crops: flax, the cultivation of which was for some years discontinued, is also raised in considerable quantities. The system of husbandry is very much advanced; iron ploughs are in general use, and the most recent improvements in agricultural implements have been adopted. Draining has been extensively practised; and much waste land has been reclaimed, and brought into cultivation, under the auspices of an agricultural association consisting of practical farmers and the principal landed proprietors, who hold an annual meeting in the village in August. Attached to most of the farms are threshing-mills; three are put in motion by water, and one by a steam-engine of seven-horse power. Great attention is paid to the rearing of cattle, which are of the pure Fifeshire breed; the number of calves annually reared is about 300. The plantations consist chiefly of larch, ash, spruce, and Scotch fir; and in one, are some fine specimens of oak and beech: they are generally well managed. The substratum is mostly whinstone; and limestone, coal, and ironstone are found in several places. Coal was formerly wrought, but for some years the working of it has been discontinued; limestone has also been worked, and some quarries of freestone have been opened, and are at present in operation. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7457. Inchdairnie is an ancient mansion to which a handsome addition has been made within the last thirty years.The village is inhabited chiefly by weavers, and persons employed in the different trades requisite for the supply of the parish; the number of looms is twentyfour. There is a public ale and porter brewery, which is carried on extensively; and fairs, chiefly for cattle, horses, and shoes, are held on the third Wednesday in May, O. S., and the Thursday before Michaelmas-day, O. S. Facility of communication with Kirkcaldy and the neighbouring towns is afforded by good roads, of which one, from Kirkcaldy to Cupar, traverses the eastern portion of the parish, giving also means of intercourse between Edinburgh and Dundee. The parish is in the presbytery of Kirkcaldy and synod of Fife, and patronage of Lord Rothes; the minister's stipend is £223. 4. 4., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £18 per annum. The church, an ancient edifice, was, with the exception of the eastern gable and part of the side walls, rebuilt in 1773, and within the last twenty years has been repaired, and adapted for a congregation of 346 persons. The parochial school affords education to about 100 pupils: the master has a salary of £34, with £30 fees, and a good house and garden; also six bolls of oats annually, the gift of an old proprietor. There is in the village a female school, in which knitting and sewing are taught on very moderate terms; and on the southern boundary of the parish is a school erected by Mr. Ferguson, of Raith, who gives the master a salary, with a house and garden rent-free. A Sabbath school is maintained in the village; and a parochial subscription library has been established. The poor possess land situated in the parish of Abernethy, in the county of Perth, and producing a rental of £100 per annum, but subject to a considerable drawback for the payment of improvements previously made on the estate. On the farm of Dogtown is a pillar of hewn stone, sculptured with some allegorical devices, which are much mutilated. It is by some supposed to have been erected by the Danes, to commemorate the fall of some of their chieftains in their hostile irruption into the county in the reign of Constantine II., and by others to have been raised by the Scots as a memorial of their having defeated and repulsed the Danes, who had encamped on the shores of the river Leven. The height in this parish called Goats Milk Hill is thought to have been one of the chain of Danish forts which were thrown up between Fifeness and Stirling, and during the occupation of which, a mill was built on the bank of the river Leven, which is still called Mill-Danes. Some workmen recently employed in deepening the bed of that river discovered a Roman sword and battle-axe, and several heads of iron spears; and on reopening a well on a farm in the parish, which had been closed for several centuries, an antique dagger, with a handle of wood inlaid with brass, was found.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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