Lecropt


Lecropt
   LECROPT, a parish, partly in the county of Stirling, but chiefly in that of Perth, 4 miles (N. W.) from Stirling, containing, with part of the village of Bridge of Allan, 513 inhabitants. Some antiquaries identify this place with the ancient city on the west bank of the river Allan, about a mile above its confluence with the Forth, and which is by Ptolemy called Alauna; and they suppose that the Roman road to Ardoch passed through the lands of Keir, in this parish. There are still remaining here vestiges of one of a chain of forts designated Keirs, all extending along the north side of the vale of Monteith, and thought to have been erected by the Caledonians, to watch the movements of the Roman army: the sites are usually marked out by the mounds of loose stones, now covered with grass, on which they stood. Some of the forts, however, have been wholly destroyed to furnish stones for building inclosures and for various other purposes. The lands of Keir, according to records still extant, formed part of the possessions of the Princess Marjory, sister of Robert Bruce, which she surrendered to the king in favour of William de Monteith; and in the vicinity of the church is a hill where the ancient barons held their courts, and near it another called Gallow Hill, the place for the execution of criminals.
   The parish is washed on the south-west by the river Teith, and on the east by the river Allan, both tributaries of the Forth, by which it is bounded on the south. It is nearly in the form of an equilateral triangle, and comprises by measurement 3102a. 1r. 24p., of which 2553 acres are arable, 30 pasture, 451 woodland and plantations, 18 peat-moss, and the remainder homesteads, roads, and waste. The surface is intersected by a high bank or ridge, stretching in a direction parallel with the north side, and which divides the parish into two distinct portions, the lower being rich carse land, and the more elevated of a dry light soil. From this bank is obtained an extensive and varied prospect of the adjacent country, including, in the foreground, the waters of the Teith, the Allan, and the Forth, flowing in one united stream, between wooded banks, through a tract of fine open champaign studded with well-cultivated farms having hedge-rows interspersed with stately trees. On the opposite side of the valley appear the castle of Stirling, covering the summit of a precipitous rock; the rocks of Craigforth and Abbeycraig; the tower of Cambuskenneth Abbey; the bridge of Stirling; and the meadows on the banks of the Forth, adorned by handsome villas and pleasure-grounds; with the hills of Falkirk in the distance. The Ochils are seen on the east, the mountains of Benvoirlich on the north, and Ben-Ledi and Ben-Lomond on the west. The soil of the carse land is extremely rich, and that of the uplands, though of lighter quality, is fertile; the crops are, wheat, barley, oats, peas, beans, potatoes, and turnips, with flax, ryegrass, and clover. The system of agriculture is highly improved, the farm-buildings generally substantial and well arranged, and the woods and plantations thriving. The substratum is a stiff clay, resting chiefly upon a bed of hard rock; and from an experiment lately made, it has been ascertained that coal and ironstone exist, but in seams too thin to remunerate the trouble of working them. The rateable annual value of Lecropt is £2227.
   Keir House, the seat of Archibald Stirling, Esq., the principal landowner, is a spacious and handsome mansion, to which two wings have been added within the last twenty years. It is situated nearly in the centre of the parish, and contains numerous apartments splendidly decorated, and a picture-gallery seventy feet in length, having a valuable collection of paintings by the first masters; the grounds are tastefully laid out, and the gardens and hot-houses are extensive and productive. Bridge of Allan, a place of fashionable resort for invalids frequenting the mineral waters of Airthrie, is partly within the parish, in which there is no other village. An extensive bleaching establishment at Keirfield, conducted upon the most scientific principles, affords employment to nearly 100 persons, under the immediate superintendence of the proprietor. A flour-mill is in operation, as well as a mill for grinding oats and barley, both having machinery of the most approved kind driven by the river Allan; and there is a fishery, chiefly for salmontrout, producing a rental of about £20 per annum. The great road from Stirling to Perth, Aberdeen, and the Highlands passes through the parish; the Forth is navigable to Stirling for vessels drawing six or seven feet water, and the projected northern branch from the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway to Perth will probably intersect the parish. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dunblane and synod of Perth and Stirling. The minister's stipend is £147. 13. 8., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £16 per annum; patron, Mr. Stirling. The church, built in 1827, is a handsome structure in the later English style, with a square embattled tower embellished with sculptured figures of some of the Scottish reformers, in high-relief, executed by Holmes, of Ayrshire. The parochial school embraces a very complete course of classical and commercial instruction; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees, averaging £12 per annum. An infants' school is supported by the Stirling family; and the poor till lately had the proceeds of several bequests, yielding £7 per annum. Principal Haldane, of the university of St. Andrew's, is a native of this parish.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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