Kinnettles


Kinnettles
   KINNETTLES, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 3 miles (S. W.) from Forfar; containing, with the village of Douglaston, and hamlet of Kirkton of Kinnettles, 437 inhabitants. This place appears to have derived its name from the situation either of its church, or of an ancient mansion-house, near the extremity of a tract of marshy land, once the bed of a river. It is unconnected with any event of historical importance, though, from various relics which have at different times been discovered, it appears to have been inhabited at a very remote period. The parish is about two miles in length and the same in breadth, and comprises 3708 acres, of which 2840 are arable and in good cultivation, about 120 woodland and plantations, and the remainder waste. The surface is traversed by a hilly ridge of elliptical shape, which, by a very easy ascent, attains an elevation of about 350 feet above the level of the sea, dividing the parish into two valleys of nearly equal extent. It forms a branch of the Sidlaw hills, and one portion is called the Brigton and the other the Kinnettles hill, from its being in the two estates into which the lands are principally divided. This ridge is mostly in a high state of cultivation, and clothed near the top with rich plantations, forming a very interesting feature in the scenery; and from its summit, which is flat, are many extensive and varied prospects over the surrounding country. The lands are watered by a beautiful rivulet called the Kerbit, which has its source in the parish of Carmylie, and winds through the parish with a tranquil current, giving motion to several mills, and falling into the river Dean; it abounds with trout of excellent quality, and is much frequented by anglers. There are also numerous copious springs, affording an abundant supply of water.
   The soil is extremely various, consisting of rich dry loam in some parts, in others being of a more damp clayey character, in others sandy and gravelly, and in some places an improvable moss. The crops are, oats, barley, wheat, a few acres of rye and peas, with turnips and potatoes. The system of agriculture is advanced; the rotation plan of husbandry is in general practice; the lands have been drained and partially inclosed, chiefly with stone dykes; and the farm houses and offices are substantially built, and well arranged. On most of the farms, threshing-mills have been erected; and all the more recent improvements in the construction of implements have been adopted. The dairy-farms are well managed, and all due attention is paid to the rearing of live stock: the milch-cows, of which about 100 are kept on the farms, are the Ayrshire and Angus. The cattle, generally of the Angus breed, average annually 500; and the sheep, which are of the Leicestershire and Cheviot breeds, with a few of the Linton, South-Down, and Merino, number 350. The plantations consist of silver, spruce, and Scotch firs, and larch, intermixed with oak, ash, plane, elm, beech, lime, birch, and other varieties. The substrata are chiefly whinstone, sandstone, and slate. The whinstone is of compact texture, varying in colour from a dark blue to a pale grey, and is extensively quarried both in the northern and southern districts of the parish; it is, however, very difficult to work, and is obtained only in blocks of small size, of very irregular form, and used chiefly for drains, and for repairing the roads. The sandstone is partly of a grey colour, and partly tinged with a reddish hue; it is quarried for building, and is raised in blocks of massive dimensions. The slate, which is of a fine grey colour, is found chiefly on the banks of the Kerbit rivulet, but not to any great extent; it produces good slates for roofing, and flagstones of very large dimensions and of excellent quality. Copperore, and also veins of lead, are imbedded in the sandstone; manganese is found in the whinstone strata; and garnets, mica, quartz, and calc and lime-spar in the freestone rocks. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4342.
   The mansion-house of Kinnettles is a rather recent building. Brigton is a spacious mansion, partly ancient, but principally of modern erection, having been greatly improved and enlarged by the late proprietor; and there are some other good houses in the parish, of which those erected within the last fifty years are built of stone, and roofed with slate. The village of Kirkton is small, but neatly built, and is mostly inhabited by persons employed in the several handicraft trades requisite for supplying the wants of the inhabitants of the parish. The weaving of various kinds of cloth, chiefly Osnaburghs and brown sheetings, is pursued in different parts of the parish, but only to a very moderate extent. Facility of communication with the neighbouring towns is afforded by good roads, of which the Strathmore turnpike-road passes for more than two miles through the centre of the parish, and the road from Forfar to Dundee through the eastern portion of it. There are bridges over the Kerbit, of which one, at the village of Kirkton, is a suspensionbridge. The parish is in the presbytery of Forfar and synod of Angus and Mearns, and patronage of the Crown; the minister's stipend is £158. 6. 8., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £12. 15. per annum. The church, erected in 1812, at the expense of the heritors, is a neat handsome edifice, adapted for a congregation of 400 persons. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £34, with £40 fees, a house, and two bolls of meal annually in lieu of a garden. There is also a female school, of which the mistress has a house and garden, in addition to the fees. The poor have the interest of a bequest of £50 by Mr. James Maxwell. The upper stone of a hand-mill for grinding corn was discovered by the plough, in a field, in the year 1833; it was rather more than two feet in diameter, and an inch and a half in thickness, of mica schist intermixed with portions of siliceous spar, and studded with small garnets. A small conical hill near the banks of the Kerbit, and which is still called the Kirk Hill, is supposed to have been the site of some religious foundation; but nothing certain of its history is known. There are several springs of chalybeate properties, and two springs strongly impregnated with copper. Colonel William Patterson, F. R. S., many years lieut.-governor of New South Wales, was born in this parish in 1755; and John Inglis Harvey, Esq., who held the office of a civil judge in India, is also a native.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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