Comrie


Comrie
   COMRIE, a parish, in the county of Perth; including the villages of Dalginross, St. Fillan's, and Ross, and containing 2471 inhabitants, of whom 803 are in the village of Comrie, 6½ miles (W.) from Crieff. The name is derived from a Gaelic term signifying "Confluence," used in this instance in reference to the junction of the rivers Earn, Ruchill, and Lednock near the site of the church of Comrie. The present parish contains the ancient parishes of Dundurn and Tullichetal, with parts of Monivaird, Strowan, and Muthill. Several traces of camps and fortifications, some of which have been recently obliterated by the operations of husbandry, connect it with the military enterprises of the ancient Romans. One of these was visible in the last century at Dalginross; and from another which still remains, and the well-known Roman roads which formerly existed in this locality, it is supposed that the battle described by Tacitus as fought between Agricola and Galgacus, took place on the plain of Dalginross. The parish is about thirteen miles long, and ten broad, and contains 67,122 acres. It is bounded on three sides by lofty mountains, the principal range of which is the Grampians: the east opens on the valley of Strathearn. The land is throughout diversified with mountains and valleys, with here and there a fine spreading plain; the mountain Benhonzie is 2900 feet above the level of the sea, and Ben-Vorlich, which is seen from Perth, Edinburgh, and Ayrshire, rises to the height of 3300 feet. The chief valleys, Glenartney and Glen-Lednock, rise from 200 to 300 feet, and open on the village of Comrie. The dryness of the soil, and the protection afforded from the winds by the high range of surrounding mountains, render the climate mild and salubrious; and the scenery is little, if at all, inferior to those parts most distinguished for the union of the picturesque and romantic with the majestic and sublime. The loch and river of Earn, the banks of which are dressed in luxuriant verdure, and crowned with wood, afford some of the beautiful views in the district. In the rivers, salmon, trout, and perch are found.
   The soil is for the most part somewhat gravelly, but well cultivated and fertile; clay is sometimes found mixed with sand, and in several of the glens the soil is loamy. There are 7097 acres cultivated or occasionally in tillage; 55,571 pasture or waste; in wood, 3139; and common or disputed, 1315. No wheat is grown; but oats, barley, and potatoes are produced in very heavy crops, especially if the land has been well manured. The improvements in husbandry are considerable, and a whole farm has lately been reclaimed by the proprietor of Dalginross, and yields a profitable return. The chief breed of sheep is the black-faced, which has been greatly improved by crossing it with that of Crawford-Muir, in Dumfries-shire; the Cheviots and Leicesters are also common. The cattle are partly of the Highland breed, and Ayrshire cows have been generally introduced. There are extensive natural woods of oak, ash, birch, alder, and hazel, for the two first of which the soil is especially adapted; fir and larch have been planted to a considerable extent, and thrive well. The rateable annual value of the parish is £11,700. The predominating rock is mica-slate; in Glen-Lednock granite is found, and in Glenartney a considerable quantity of clay-slate. In the lower grounds, as well as in Glenartney, there is old red sandstone; at Ardvorlich marble has been discovered, and in some places lead has been seen in small veins. Iron-ore is plentiful, and from the numerous remains of furnaces for smelting, it appears to have been wrought to some extent. There are three slate quarries, and several of whinstone; also a limestone quarry, from which large supplies are obtained for agricultural purposes. The chief mansions are those of Dunira, Ardvorlich, Dalhonzie, Aberuchill, and Comrie House.
   The village of Comrie is a burgh of barony, under a bailie, and there are several constables, one of whom has the charge of a small lock-up house. The inhabitants are employed to a very considerable extent in manufactures; there is a woollen-mill, and many persons are engaged in the weaving of cotton for firms in Glasgow and Perth. A distillery for whisky has also been established. Five fairs are held annually, in March, May, July, November, and December; there is a post-office in the village, and the turnpike-road from Perth to Lochearnhead passes through the parish. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Auchterarder and synod of Perth and Stirling; the patronage is exercised by the Crown, and the minister's stipend is £250, with a manse, and two glebes, valued together at £22 per annum. The church, erected in 1804, principally at the instance of Viscount Melville, is conveniently situated in the village; it is a handsome and commodious edifice, with a spire, and contains 1250 sittings. At Dundurn is an ancient chapel, in which the parish minister occasionally, and his assistant regularly, officiates; it was nearly rebuilt in 1834, by subscription, and will contain 400 persons. The members of the Free Church and United Associate Synod have places of worship; and there is also a parocial school, the master of which receives the maximum salary, with about £45 fees, a house and garden, and teaches Greek, French, mathematics, and the usual branches of education. The village contains a parochial library of about 500 volumes; there is also a small circulating library, and two friendly societies have been founded by the inhabitants. Among the remains of antiquity in the parish are the ruins of several Druidical temples; and a highly venerated relic, also supposed to be Druidical, is still preserved, which is said by antiquaries to be one of those stones which were used as the official badge of the Arch-Druids. On the hill by the village, is a handsome monument to the memory of the first Lord Melville, who erected the beautiful mansion-house at Dunira, and made it his favourite residence in the parliamentary recess. The late Mr. Drummond, under-secretary, was born in the parish, and was heir to the estate of Comrie, which was sold to Lord Melville during his minority.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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