Carriden


Carriden
   CARRIDEN, a parish, in the county of Linlithgow, 1½ mile (E. by S.) from Borrowstounness; containing, with the villages of Blackness, Bridgeness, Cuffabouts, Grangepans, and Muirhouses, 1208 inhabitants. This place derives its name, originally Caer-edin, from an old Roman station on the wall of Antonine, which extended into this parish, nearly to Carriden House. Of this wall, however, there are no remains, though several Roman antiquities have been discovered, at different times, including a gold coin of the Emperor Vespasian, a Roman altar without incription, a brass sword, several vases, and other relics. Few events of historical importance occur in connexion with the parish, except such as are closely identified with the castle of Blackness, which, with the village, is noticed in a separate article. The parish extends for three miles, along the southern shore of the Frith of Forth, and is about two miles in breadth, comprising 2719 acres, of which 2550 are arable, with some fine tracts of meadow and pasture, 113 woodland and plantations, and the remainder roads and waste. The surface is varied, rising from the shore, for nearly a mile, in bold undulations, which, as they approach the south-west, near Linlithgow and Borrowstounness, attain an elevation of 519 feet above the sea, and form part of the Irongath hills; towards the east, they gradually subside into gentle acclivities. The shore is a sloping sand, mixed with calcareous matter, and, at low water, expanding into a considerable breadth of a mixture of alluvial soil and sand; the sandy margin, however, is gradually becoming firmer and more stony, from the encroachment of the sea.
   The soil varies from a light sand to a rich and fertile loam, and, in some parts, to a heavy clay; the system of agriculture is in a highly improved state, and the crops are, grain of all kinds, potatoes, and turnips. Some attention is paid to the rearing of live stock; the sheep, of which small numbers are pastured on the lands, are generally of the black-faced kind; the cattle are the short-horned, occasionally intermixed with others from the north. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4510. The plantations consist of oak, ash, elm, beech, plane, lime, and larch, for all of which the soil is tolerably adapted. There are several quarries of freestone for building, and whinstone for the roads, which are worked for domestic use; coal is every where abundant, and has been wrought from a very remote period. Within the present century, not less than ten collieries have been opened, at a short distance from each other; but only four, of which two belong to the Duke of Hamilton, are at present in operation. Ironstone, also, is wrought to some extent. Carriden House is an ancient mansion with modern additions, situated in grounds tastefully laid out, and embellished with the windings of the Carriden burn, of which the banks are beautifully picturesque.
   At the village of Grangepans, the making of salt is carried on to some extent, for which there were formerly six pans; but only four are now in operation. Near Blackness is a valuable field of clay, twelve feet in depth, affording materials for the making of bricks and tiles, of which, in 1834, the produce amounted to 150,000 bricks, 200,000 roofing, and the same number of draining tiles, since which time, the demand has much increased. At Bridgeness, is a pier for the shipping of coal and salt, and the landing of lime and manure; it has been recently enlarged by the proprietor, and with it is connected a railway, about a mile in length, from the collieries. Facility of communication is afforded by the road from Linlithgow to Queensferry, which passes through the south-eastern portion of the parish. On the lands of Capt. Hope, some stake-nets were laid down a few years since, and the quantity of salmon taken has occasionally been considerable. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Linlithgow and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the minister's stipend is £249. 17., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £25 per annum; patron, the Duke of Hamilton. The church, a neat plain structure, erected in 1766, about half a mile from the old church, of which the burial-ground is still used, contains 458 sittings. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of £34, with a house, and an allowance in lieu of garden, and the fees average about £8 per annum. There is a good parochial library. Colonel Gardiner, who was killed at the battle of Prestonpans, in 1745, was a native of this parish; Dr. Roebuck, of Sheffield, the original founder of the Carron iron-works, and associated with the celebrated Watt in some of his improvements on the steam-engine, is buried in the churchyard; and the late Rear-Admiral Sir George J. Hope was proprietor of Carriden House.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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