Lochrutton


Lochrutton
   LOCHRUTTON, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, 4 miles (W. S. W.) from Dumfries; containing 659 inhabitants, of whom 130 are in the village of Lochfoot. This place, which is situated in the eastern portion of the stewartry, takes its name from a lake on what was formerly the great road to Ireland, called in the Gaelic language Rutton, or "the straight road." The parish is four and a half miles in length and three miles in breadth, and comprises nearly 8000 acres, of which about 6500 are arable, meadow, and pasture; 250 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moss, moorland, and waste. The surface is boldly undulated to the south, east, and west, rising towards the boundaries in those directions into considerable elevation, but subsiding towards the north into a rich and pleasant vale. The lake from which the parish takes its name is about a mile in length and more than half a mile in breadth, and abounds with pike, perch, and eels; in the centre is a small circular island, partly artificial. The only river is the Cargen Water, a small stream issuing from the lake, and which, after receiving various others in its course for nearly two miles through the parish, falls into the broad stream of the Nith below Dumfries.
   The soil is generally a light shallow loam, and the arable lands are under good cultivation; the crops are, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips, with the various grasses. The farm-buildings are substantial and commodious, and the various improvements in husbandry have been adopted. A considerable number of cattle and sheep are fed on the pastures, and sent to the English markets; and large quantities of oats and barley are forwarded to Dumfries for sale. The principal substrata are whinstone and granite; limestone is found, but of very indifferent quality; and a bed of shell-marl has been discovered, which is used as a substitute for lime. The Markland Well, a chalybeate spring supposed to be efficacious in diseases of the stomach, is resorted to during the summer and autumnal months. The village of Lochfoot is small, and inhabited chiefly by persons engaged in rural pursuits. There are a mill for oats and barley, and one for dressing flax, both of which are driven by the stream from the lake; and to the latter is attached machinery for carding wool and for sawing timber. The great military road from Dumfries to Portpatrick passes through the whole length of the parish. The rateable annual value of Lochrutton is £3836. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery and synod of Dumfries: the minister's stipend is £182. 6. 4. with a manse, and a glebe valued at £15 per annum; patron, the Duke of Buccleuch. The church, a neat plain structure erected in 1819, contains 300 sittings. The parochial school is attended by about seventy children: the master has a salary of £30, with a house and garden, and the fees, averaging £15 per annum; also the interest of a bequest of £62. A small school situated at the extremity of the parish is partly supported by a bequest from the Rev. George Duncan, formerly minister. On a hill in the eastern extremity of the parish are the remains of a Druidical temple; and near the lake is still, tolerably entire, one of the towers of the ancient castle of The Hills, a stronghold of the Douglas family when lords of Galloway, and in which Edward I. is said to have passed a night, on his route from the castle of Caerlaverock to Kirkcudbright.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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