- KINLOSS, a parish, in the county of Elgin; containing, with the village of Findhorn, 1202 inhabitants, of whom 24 are in the hamlet of Kinloss, 2 miles (N. E.) from Forres. This place derives its name from the Celtic words Ceann-loch, signifying "the head of the bay," and descriptive of its situation on the border of Burgh-Head bay, in the Moray Frith, by which it is washed on the north. A magnificent abbey was founded here by David I., in the year 1150, and its establishment confirmed in 1174 by a papal bull; the abbots were mitred, and sat in parliament. It was richly endowed, and became the scene of many splendid banquets. King Edward I., also, resided here for the space of six weeks in the year 1303, and a part of his army remained for a still longer period. At the Reformation, Edward Bruce, of Clackmannan, was commendator; he was created Baron Kinloss in 1601, and his son, Thomas, became Earl of Elgin and Baron Bruce, of Kinloss, in 1633. By the latter, the lands and feu-duties were sold to Brodie, of Lethen. The parish was disjoined from Alves, Rafford, and Forres, and erected into a separate parish in 1657; it is nearly four miles long, and of about the same breadth, and comprises 5065 acres, of which 2850 are cultivated, 1765 undivided common, 250 under plantations, and the remainder waste. The coast extends for about four miles eastward, and is low, except in parts where sand-banks have been formed by repeated drifts. On the west is Findhorn loch, a capacious and secure natural harbour, formed by the expansion of the river of the same name, and communicating, by a narrow strait, with the Frith; at the mouth is the bar, a sandy ridge which shifts with heavy floods and strong easterly winds, but the nature and soundings of which are so well known to the pilots that an accident is of very rare occurrence.The site of the parish is generally low, being not more than ten or twelve feet above the sea at high water; but near the southern boundary the surface rises considerably, and affords an extensive view, embracing the plantations of Grangehall, the ruins of the ancient abbey, with the church and several fertile and well-cultivated tracts, interspersed with farm-houses, and in the distance, on the north, the town of Findhorn, with its shipping. The sea is supposed to have made great encroachments on this coast, the bar at the entrance of the harbour being partly formed of land once in tillage, and the present town being the third of the same name, owing to inundations. The burn of Kinloss, which, flowing from east to west, falls into the bay of Findhorn a little below the church, divides the parish into two nearly equal parts. The soil exhibits several varieties; but they are all sandy, clayey, or gravelly modifications of the rich loamy earth which generally prevails: the proportion of moss is inconsiderable. The ordinary subsoil of the whole is sand or gravel. All kinds of white and green crops are raised, of good quality, amounting in annual value to nearly £12,000; and the produce of dairy-cows, fat-cattle, sheep, swine, and horses is also considerable. The six-shift course of husbandry, with every improved usage, is followed; and much attention is paid to the breed of the various kinds of stock. Among the most conspicuous advances are, the reclaiming of large tracts of waste ground; draining and inclosing; and the erection of neat and commodious farm houses and offices. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3925. The mansion of Grangehall is a spacious and handsome modern residence, of quadrangular form, and ornamented with thriving plantations of Scotch fir, larch, birch, and oak. That of Seapark, also a modern building, has been of late greatly improved, and the grounds beautified with many young trees.A considerable part of the population are engaged in fisheries, and reside at Findhorn, in the northern portion of the parish. There is a daily post; and a turnpike-road runs between Findhorn and Forres, which has, at the bridge of Kinloss, a branch eastward to Burgh-Head and Elgin. Grain, sheep, cattle, and swine are sent for sale to Aberdeen, Glasgow, and London, and salmon also to the last place; herrings are exported to Ireland, the continent, and the West Indies. Fairs are held for sheep, cattle, and horses, at Findhorn, on the second Wednesday, O. S., in March, July, and October. The parish is in the presbytery of Forres and synod of Moray, and in the patronage of the Earl of Moray, and Mr. Brodie, of Lethen, alternately: the minister's stipend is £240, with a manse, and a glebe of between four and five acres, valued at £5 per annum. The church was built in 1765, and thoroughly repaired in 1830. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £34, with a house, and £10 fees; also an allowance from the Dick bequest. The parish contains a flourishing friendly society; and a savings' bank, in connexion with that in Forres, has been lately established. The chief relic of antiquity is the ruin of the abbey, which, till it became dilapidated, was used as the parish church. In the year 1652, the walls were broken down, and the stones sold to Cromwell's soldiers, for the erection of the citadel of Inverness. Since that period, depredations have been made upon the materials, at different times; and all that now remains of this once imposing structure is the east gable, for the preservation of which a buttress of mason-work has been raised by the liberality of a resident gentleman.See the article upon Findhorn.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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