- AUCHTERGAVEN, a parish, in the county of Perth, 8½ miles (N. by W.) from Perth; containing, with the villages of Bankfoot, Carnie-Hill, and Waterloo, and part of Stanley, 3366 inhabitants. This place was distinguished, in former times, as the scene of some fierce contentions between the Bishop of Dunkeld and Sir James Crichton, of Strathford, in this parish, who had forcibly taken possession of the lands of Little Dunkeld, belonging to that see. In the rebellion of 1745, Lord Nairne, who owned considerable estates here, embarked in the cause of the Pretender, whom he joined at Perth, and on his defeat accompanied him to the continent, where he continued till his death. The title, upon his attainder, became forfeited; and the splendid baronial mansion which he had nearly completed, to replace the former that had been destroyed by fire, was sold, with the estates, and afterwards taken down by the Duke of Atholl, who became the proprietor, by purchase. The parish, which derives its name from a Celtic term descriptive of its situation, is about ten miles in length, and of very irregular form, varying from less than two to six miles in breadth; it is bounded on the east by the river Tay, and on the west by a brook which separates it from Mullion, a detached portion of the parish of Redgorton. It comprehends, within its natural limits, an isolated tract four miles in length, but of very small breadth, called Tullybeagles, belonging to the parish of Methven.The Surface is agreeably diversified with hills and dales, rising gradually from the banks of the Tay, to a lofty range on the west and north-west, forming a portion of the Grampian heights, of which the highest within the parish is Birnam Hill, 1300 feet above the sea; the other hills are, Craig-Obney, Craig-Gibbon, Tullybelton, and Corrody hills, which are not greatly inferior in elevation. On one of these hills, still called "Court Hill," the sheriff is said to have held his court, for the trial of a lawless set of banditti who committed great depredation on the lands; and some trees on which the men were executed, are styled "Hanged Men's Trees." Numerous streams descend from the mountains, affording an abundant supply of water, and adding to the beauty of the scenery, which is richly embellished with woods and plantations. The principal of these streams is the Corral burn, which issues from a spring at the base of the Obney hills, flows through the village of Bankfoot, and falls into the Garry near the church, receiving, in its course, the waters of the Aldinny, which rises also in the Obney hills. The Garry, issuing from the head of Glen-Garr, flows between the hills above Strathban, and, after receiving the waters of the Corral, falls into the Ordie at Loak. The Ordie has its source in a lake in the hill of Tullybelton, and, after traversing the centre of the parish, and receiving the Wynnie, which rises in the district of Tully-beagles, flows into the Shochie in the parish of Redgorton; the Shochie, which has its source in Glen-Shee, after receiving the above-named tributary streams, falls into the Tay.The parish comprises 19,200 acres, of which about 6000 are arable, and in a high state of cultivation, 796 woodland, and 1200 pasture. Considerable additions have been recently made to the arable and pasture lands, by improvements in draining and fencing, and an advanced state of agriculture, and comparatively little of the moor and waste will remain long in an unproductive state. The soil is various in the different districts, but, in general, is a loam, intermixed with sand and pebbles, and, in some of the farms, with large boulders of stone; in the upper lands, it is very retentive of moisture, and in the lower grounds comparatively dry and light. The principal crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, and turnips; bone-dust has been introduced for manure, on the turnip lands, with very great success. Much attention is paid to the rearing of cattle, which are mostly the Ayrshire, with a cross of the short-horned breed, and some few of the Angusshire; the sheep are nearly all of the Scotch black-faced kind, which feed in the hills, and a few of the Leicestershire, which are pastured on the low lands. The rateable annual value of the parish is £9896. The woods mainly consist of oak, common and mountain ash, elm, and beech, and the plantations of larch, and spruce and Scotch firs; along the banks of the Tay, are some remarkably fine beech-trees. The substratum, in the lower lands, is chiefly gravel of very great depth, intersected by a seam of whinstone, which is quarried for mending the roads, and alternated with strata of red sandstone; the hills are principally of clay-slate and greywacke, in which masses of quartz are found. At Glen-Shee is a quarry of slate, of good quality for roofing; there are two varieties, blue and grey, the latter of which is the more durable: slate of a similar kind was formerly quarried at Obney and at Tullybeagles. The sandstone is quarried for building purposes, at Stanley, and in other parts of the parish; the finest quarry is at Speedy Hill; the stone found here, is of greenish hue, very compact, and susceptible of a fine polish, and was employed in the erection of the new castle of Dunkeld. Stanley House, an ancient mansion to which repeated additions have been made, and which is greatly modernised, is beautifully situated on the shore of the Tay, embosomed in a richly-wooded demesne, containing many stately trees: Airlywight House is a handsome residence of modern erection, on elevated ground commanding an extensive prospect, and forms an interesting and very prominent feature in the landscape.A considerable number of the inhabitants are employed in weaving, for the manufactures of Blairgowrie, Dundee, Arbroath, Cupar, and Newburgh; the principal fabrics are white linens and dowlas, and in the weaving of these, and in spinning and winding, about 300 persons are engaged, of whom a large portion are females. More than 1000 persons are employed in the Stanley cotton-works, which are separately described; there are five corn and two lint mills. The high road from Edinburgh to Inverness passes, for five miles, through the parish. A penny-post has been established at Bankfoot, which forwards letters to Perth daily; and a fair is held in the village of Auchtergaven, on the second Friday in November, for the sale of cattle, sheep, and horses, and for agricultural produce. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dunkeld and synod of Perth and Stirling; patron, the Crown. The parish comprises the small ancient parish of Logiebride, which was united to it, by act of parliament, in 1618, and subsequently severed from it, by the Bishop of Dunkeld, but again united at the period of the Revolution in the 17th century; the church of Logiebride stood on the bank of the Ordie, but has long since disappeared, though the ancient cemetery is still used as a place of sepulture. The stipend of the incumbent is £179. 6. 4.; the manse is a plain building, erected within the last twenty years, and the glebe lands are valued at £15 per annum. The church, situated on an eminence rising from the road between Dundee and Perth, is a plain substantial edifice, with a western tower, added by the Duke of Atholl, and is adapted for a congregation of 1200 persons. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church, and of the United Seceders' and Relief Synods. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4½., with a house and garden, and the fees average about £15 per annum. On the farm of Middle Blelock, and at Obney, are some large upright stones, concerning which nothing authentic is known. A vitrified fort has been discovered on Obney Hill; and near the ruins of an old chapel, at Tullybeagles, ancient coins have been discovered, which are in the cabinet of the Literary and Antiquarian Society of Perth. Human bones have been found near the site of another chapel, on the lands of Berryhill farm, in the same district, on the banks of the Ordie. Near Stanley, are the remains of a round tower called Inverbervie, or Inchbervis, which is said to have been originally a religious house, and a cell to the abbey of Dunfermline; and on the wester-town of Kinglands, is a cairn, which has not been yet explored.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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