Newtyle


Newtyle
   NEWTYLE, a parish, in the county of Forfar; containing 1264 inhabitants, of whom a large part are in the New Village, 2¼ miles (S. by E.) from Meigle. This place is conjectured to have taken its name from the slate, or material for tiles, found in the hills of the parish. It measures above two miles in breadth from north to south, and very nearly four miles from east to west, comprising upwards of 4000 acres, of which 2630 are arable, 1370 pasture, 189 wood, and the remainder roads, &c. The Sidlaw hills stretch along the south, chiefly from east to west, and, being covered with verdure nearly to their summits, have a pleasing appearance, and form fine sheep-walks affording excellent pasture. Between the hills of Hatton and Newtyle, two of the most considerable elevations, is the pass to the beautiful valley of Strathmore, commonly called the Glack of Newtyle, which introduces the spectator, in advancing towards the north, to the rich and picturesque scenery, suddenly expanding before him, of the valley below, to the level of which the surface gradually declines from the northern base of the hilly part of the parish on the south. The soil in the southern division is mostly a black earth, or clay, mixed with sand or gravel, and incumbent on rock, mortar, or clay; that in the north is nearly of the same character, but richer in many places, and resting on a subsoil of sand, gravel, clay, and marl. The grain chiefly raised is oats and barley, which, with the other crops, are cultivated under the most approved system of husbandry; and a large extent of barren and swampy ground has recently been brought under tillage. The rearing and feeding of cattle receive much attention; and several of the farmers purchase sheep for eating off their crops of turnips, and sell them, when fattened, in the following spring. On the farm of Auchtertyre, tenanted by Hugh Watson, Esq., an enterprising agriculturist, who introduced the use of bone-manure into this district, a stock of South Down sheep is regularly kept. The farms vary much in size, ranging from small allotments of an acre or two to the rental of £700: land under tillage lets at the average value of £1. 10. or £1. 15. per acre. The farm houses and offices are generally substantial and convenient; several of a superior description have recently been built; and there are thirteen threshing-mills, one of which is impelled by steam, and the rest by water or horse power. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4521.
   Whinstone is abundant, and is used for the repair of roads; and several quarries of freestone are in operation, supplying an excellent material for building. There is also in the hills an inferior kind of slate, which, however, is but little wrought. The plantations, of small extent, consist chiefly of larch and Scotch fir, occasionally intermixed with different kinds of hard-wood: a small copse of natural birch on the northern declivity of the hill of Newtyle, has an interesting and picturesque appearance, and contributes to the improvement of the scenery in that locality. The parish contains the villages of Kirkton, Newbigging, and several hamlets, besides the New Village, separated from Kirkton by the Dundee turnpike-road, and containing nearly 500 persons. The last-named place consists of streets of good width, crossing each other at right angles, and is constructed on a regular plan, upon a site of about fifteen acres, let out in 1832 in lots for building, under leases of ninety-nine years, by Lord Wharncliffe, the proprietor of nearly the whole of the parish: to each house is attached, at the back, a kitchen-garden, and the inhabitants are supplied with water from two excellent wells. Newbigging is the next in size to the New Village, and contains about 230 persons. Numerous hands in the parish are employed in making various articles of manufacture, consisting chiefly of sacking and Hessian sheetings; and the coarse linens called Osnaburghs are also produced, with some shirting and common sheeting. Nearly as many women as men are engaged in the weaving, having applied themselves to it since the spinning-wheel was supplanted by machinery. There are also two meal-mills, and two saw-mills driven by water. A branch of the Dundee National-Security Savings' Bank was instituted in 1839. Peat is obtained from a moss in the south of the parish, now in progress of draining; but coal is chiefly burned, being readily conveyed from Dundee, with which place the general traffic is carried on. The public road from Dundee to Meigle passes through the parish, between Kirkton and the New Village; and several county and statute-labour roads cross each other in different parts. The railway from Dundee to Newtyle was commenced at each end of the line in 1826, and opened in 1832; it is above ten and a half miles long, and was completed at an expense of nearly £100,000. Branches strike off from this line at the northern extremity of the parish, east and west, to Glammis and Cupar-Angus, the latter crossing the turnpike-road.
   The parish is in the presbytery of Meigle and synod of Angus and Mearns, and in the patronage of Lord Wharncliffe: the minister's stipend is £164, with a manse, and a glebe of about six acres, valued at £9 per annum. The church accommodates 550 persons with sittings, but is a very plain edifice, erected in 1767. There is a place of worship for members of the United Secession. The parochial school, for which new premises have lately been built in a superior style, adapted for 170 scholars, affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £34. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees. A library was established about the year 1822. A female school, founded by the late Hon. Mrs. Mackenzie, is maintained by J. A. S. Wortley Mackenzie, Esq., of Belmont; the mistress has a salary of £23. 10., with a free house, a garden, and fuel. Grahame's Knowe and King's Well, in the north-western part of the parish, are traditionally reported to mark the track of Macbeth northward from his fortress on Dunsinnan hill, when fleeing before the Thane of Fife. Not far from the hamlet of Auchtertyre, adjoining a well called the Crew Well, are the remains of a camp of square form, occupied by the army of Montrose for some nights, while the marquess lodged at a castle in the neighbourhood, after having burned the house of Newton of Blairgowrie. Near this place, also, has been discovered an artificial subterraneous cavern of considerable extent and contrivance, supposed to be of Pictish construction. The Castle of Hatton, now in ruins, was built in 1575, by Laurence, Lord Oliphant, and appears to have been originally a strong and spacious structure; it is situated on the north-western declivity of the hill of Hatton, in the pass called the Glack, and commands a beautiful view of the subjacent strath. On the hill of Kilpurnie, the most northern of the Sidlaw hills ranging from the south, and the highest ground in the parish, stands an observatory built in the last century by the proprietor, with a keeper's residence adjoining; the latter, however, has entirely disappeared, and the walls alone of the former remain. This eminence and turret are valuable as a landmark for mariners; and the summit of the hill is supposed to have been formerly used for beacon-fires, commanding, as it does, an extensive range of observation in every direction, and embracing views of the vale of Strathmore, the Grampian mountains, the river Tay with its estuary, the Bell-rock lighthouse in the German Ocean, and the picturesque towers of St. Andrew's.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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