HOUNDWOOD, lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Coldingham, county of Berwick, 6 miles (W. N. W.) from Ayton; containing, with the villages of Auchincraw and Reston, 1334 inhabitants. This district, which is situated in the southern portion of Coldingham, comprises about 12,000 acres, of which 8500 are arable, 300 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow, pasture, and waste. The surface is diversified with hills, of which, however, the highest, Wardlaw Bank, has not an elevation of more than 640 feet above the level of the sea, though commanding from its summit a splendid view to the east, south, and west, embracing the German Ocean, the Merse, part of Roxburghshire, the heights of Lammermoor, and the Cheviot hills in the distance. The lands are watered by the small river Eye, which flows for nearly eight miles through the district, and falls into the sea at Eyemouth: common trout of excellent quality are found in abundance. The soil is tolerably fertile, and the arable grounds are in good cultivation, producing favourable crops; the system of husbandry is improved; the lands have been drained and inclosed, and the farm-houses and offices are substantial and commodious. The plantations are chiefly oak, elm, birch, and fir; they are under good management, and generally in a thriving state. Renton House, the seat of Sir Samuel Stirling, Bart., and Houndwood House, the property and residence of Mrs. Coulson, are the principal mansions. In the village of Reston is a small manufactory for woollen cloths of the coarser kind; but the population of the district is mostly agricultural. The cattle and sheep bred in the pastures are sent to Ayton, Dunse, and Morpeth; and other agricultural produce chiefly to Dunbar, Eyemouth, and Berwick. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Chirnside and synod of Merse and Teviotdale, and the patronage is vested in the male communicants: the stipend of the minister is £87, arising from seat-rents and collections. A chapel which was erected on the lands of Renton, in 1794, by the Renton family, and in which divine service was performed by a minister of their endowment, has been closed since the opening of the present church in 1836. The church is a handsome structure in the Grecian style of architecture, and contains 500 sittings, of which twenty are free; it was built by subscription, at a cost of £800, towards which £167. 10. were contributed from the General Assembly's funds. The chapel at Renton is, however, still in good repair. There are a parochial school, and a school supported by subscription. Formerly, numerous remains existed of strongholds, of which that of Houndwood was the seat of the prior of Coldingham.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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