Cupar-Angus


Cupar-Angus
   CUPAR-ANGUS, or Coupar-Angus, a market-town and parish, partly in the county of Forfar, but chiefly in that of Perth; including the villages of Balbrogie, Longleys, and Washington, and containing 2745 inhabitants, of whom 1868 are in the town, 12 miles (N. N. E.) from Perth, and 55½ (N.) from Edinburgh. This place derives the affix distinguishing its name from that of Cupar in Fifeshire, from the more ancient part of the town, which is within the county of Forfar or Angus. An abbey of Cistercian monks was founded here in 1164, by Malcolm IV., who amply endowed it with lands in this parish, and various other estates in different parts of the country. Among its possessions here were, Cupar grange, the home-farm of the monastery, where the abbot had a country residence, and the lands of Keithick, Arthur-stone, Denhead, Balgersho, and Cronan. The endowment was augmented by the Hayes, of Errol, and other benefactors; and the establishment continued to flourish till the dissolution, when its revenue was valued at £1239 in money, and large payments in wheat, oats, barley, and other produce. The last abbot was Donald Campbell, of the Argyll family, who, with the commendator, was buried in Bendochy church. The buildings had begun to fall into a state of dilapidation some few years before the Reformation, and their ruin was completed by a body of reformers from Perth. The only vestiges now remaining of this once magnificent structure are in the north-west angle of the present churchyard, on the side of the road to Dundee. A portion of the building with a beautiful arch was taken down in 1780, to furnish materials for the erection of the parish church, of which the north wall rests upon part of the foundation of the ancient edifice. The lands belonging to the monastery were erected, after its dissolution, into a temporal lordship by James VI., and granted to the Hon. James Elphinston, second son of Lord Balmerino, who was created Lord Coupar in 1609. On his decease without issue the title and estates merged in the Balmerino family, and, on the attainder of Arthur, Lord Balmerino, in 1745, became forfeited to the crown.
   The town, which was an ancient burgh of regality, is pleasantly situated on the banks of a stream that flows into the river Isla, about three miles to the west of it; and consists principally of four streets, formed by the lines of the Perth and Dundee high roads, which intersect each other in the market-place. The houses are generally neat and well built, and some, of more recent erection, are of elegant appearance; the streets are payed, and lighted with gas by a company established within the last few years, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water. A public news and reading room, well furnished with the London and provincial journals, is supported by subscription; and an agricultural society formed about twenty years since, for awarding premiums to the best breeders and feeders of cattle, hold their meetings here twice every year. The post-office has a good delivery, and facility of communication with Perth and Dundee, and other towns in the vicinity, is afforded by excellent roads, and by the Cupar-Angus and Newtyle branch of the Dundee railway. The principal manufacture pursued is the hand-loom weaving of the coarser kinds of linen for the wholesale houses in the neighbourhood; there is also a tannery in operation. A salmonfishery is carried on in the river Isla, which likewise abounds with trout. The market is on Thursday, and fairs are held on the third Thursday in March, for horses and cattle; on the 26th of May, if on Thursday, otherwise on the first Thursday after, for cattle and sheep, and for hiring servants; on the third Wednesday in July, and the first Tuesday in October, for horses, sheep, and cattle; and on the 22nd of November, if on Thursday, or on the first Thursday after, for cattle and for hiring servants. Cattle-markets are also held on the first Thursday in December, and every succeeding Thursday till May. The Steeple was erected by subscription in 1767, on the site of the ancient prison of the burgh of regality, and the lower part of it is used as a place of temporary confinement.
   The parish is bounded on the north by the river Isla, and is intersected by the great north road through the vale of Strathmore; it is about five miles in length, and from one mile and a half to two miles and a half in breadth, comprising 2800 acres. The surface is varied; and from a high ridge which intersects the parish, is obtained a splendid view of the Sidlaw mountains on the south, the lower range of the Grampians on the north, with the distant summits of Ben-More, Schihallion, and Ben-Voirlich. The soil is various; in some parts a rich alluvial loam; in others a stiff retentive clay, alternated with sand and gravel, and with peat-moss. The system of agriculture is improved, and the rotation plan of husbandry is in general use; the chief crops are, wheat, oats, barley, and turnips. The lands have been well drained, and much of inferior quality has been brought into profitable cultivation; the buildings on the larger farms are substantial and commodious, but on the smaller of a very inferior description. The cattle, generally of a mixed breed, have been much improved under the encouragement afforded by the agricultural society. The rateable annual value of the Perthshire portion of the parish is £9324, and of the Angus portion £591, making a total of £9915. Keithick and Arthurstone are handsome residences. There were formerly populous villages at Keithick and Caddam, but both have disappeared. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Meigle and synod of Angus and Mearns. The minister's stipend is £239, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £25 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, a plain structure, was built in the year 1780, and enlarged in 1832, and contains 800 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church and United Associate Synod, Original Seceders, the Relief Church, and Episcopalians. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees average above £70. A savings' bank was opened in 1839, and has deposits to the amount of £2600; there are also two friendly societies, and a ladies' society for visiting and assisting indigent and aged women. To the east of the churchyard are the remains of a Roman camp, supposed to have been that of Lollius Urbicus, and within the area of which the abbey was founded.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

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