- MURROES, a parish, in the county of Forfar; containing, with the hamlets of Bucklerhead and Kellas, 736 inhabitants, of whom 55 are in the hamlet of Hole of Murroes, 5 miles (N. E.) from Dundee. This parish, the name of which is corrupted from the word Muirhouse, a term expressive of the former uncultivated nature of the soil, touches the parish of Dundee on the south, and is three miles in length and rather more than two in breadth, comprising 4600 acres, of which 4000 are cultivated, 190 acres under wood, and the remainder waste. The surface is undulated, and rises considerably towards the north; the lands in general are well cultivated and have a pleasing appearance. The scenery is enlivened by two rivulets, which, after turning in their course several threshing and corn-mills, and a flax-mill, fall into the Dighty not far from its influx into the Tay. The soil is mostly a black loam, resting on rock, gravel, or clay, the only difference in it being that some portions are much more deep, rich, and fertile than others. All kinds of grain are raised, as well as the usual green crops, to the annual average value of £17,000; and the produce of the dairy amounts yearly to about £1500. The land is cultivated after the most improved usages; and the farmers, encouraged by kind and generous landlords, employ their skill, perseverance, and capital with the best success. Draining is regularly practised; most of the lands are inclosed, some with hedges, but the principal with stone dykes; and many of the farm-houses are of superior character. The cattle are of several breeds; but the Angus is most prevalent. Some of the arable land lets at about 16s., much at from that to £1. 12. per acre, and the best at £3. The substrata consist principally of whinstone and freestone, the latter abundant, and of good quality. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7389.The chief mansion is the house of Ballumbie, a substantial and commodious residence, commanding beautiful views of the Tay and the surrounding country. There are three hamlets; and the inhabitants find a quick sale for their produce at Dundee, whence they procure coal for fuel, as well as from Broughty-Ferry. The parish is in the presbytery of Dundee and synod of Angus and Mearns, and in the patronage of the Crown: the minister's stipend is £172, with a manse, a glebe valued at £15 per annum, and an allowance of £1. 13. 4. in lieu of pasture. The church is a plain antiquated building, supposed to have been erected before the Reformation; it accommodates 400 persons with sittings, and is pleasantly situated in the south-eastern part of the parish, surrounded with lofty trees. The parochial school affords instruction in Latin and Greek, in addition to the usual branches; the master has a salary of £34, with a house, a garden, and £18 fees. The antiquities comprise the remains of the three ancient castles of Powrie, Wedderburn, and Ballumbie, the last formerly belonging to a family of the name of Lovel, to the heir of which, tradition asserts that Catharine Douglas, celebrated in history for the resistance she opposed to the conspirators who assassinated King James I. in the Blackfriars monastery at Perth, was espoused.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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