Kildonan

   KILDONAN, a parish, in the county of Sutherland, 9 miles (N. W. by W.) from Helmsdale; containing 256 inhabitants. This parish takes its name from Kil, a "cell or chapel," and Donan, the name of the saint who promulgated Christianity in this part, and whose memory has been handed down by tradition with great veneration. It is chiefly remarkable as having been, for several ages, the residence of the celebrated clan Gun. They are supposed to have descended from the Norwegian kings of Man; and Lochlin, the Gaelic name for ancient Scandinavia, or at least for Denmark, is still spoken of by the Highlanders as the native country of the Guns, the Macleods, and the Gillanders. The immediate ancestor of the Guns is said to have been the son of Olave, fifth Norwegian king of Man, who had three sons by his third wife, Christina, daughter of Farquhar, Earl of Ross. These were, Gun, or Guin, the founder of the clan Gun; Leoid, Loyd, or Leod, from whom sprang the Macleods; and Leaundris, the first of the clan Landers, or Gillanders, of Ross-shire, many of whom afterwards assumed the name of Ross. These several heads of clans appear to have been dependent on their grandfather the Earl of Ross, who at that time possessed great power and influence in different parts of the country, and especially in Caithness. In that county, Gun was originally settled; and his first stronghold was the castle of Halbury, at Easter Clythe, usually called Crowner Gun's Castle, and which was situated on a precipitous rock nearly surrounded by, and overhanging, the sea. The clan of Gun continued to extend their possessions in Caithness till about the middle of the fifteenth century, when, in consequence of their rancorous feuds with the Keiths and others, they thought it expedient to establish their chief, and a strong detachment of the clan, in the adjoining county of Sutherland, where, by the protection of the earls of Sutherland, they obtained, among other places, lands in the parish of Kildonan, which they held for a considerable period.
   The parish is twenty-eight miles in extreme length, and varies in breadth from five to seventeen miles. It is bounded on the north by the parishes of Reay and Farr; on the south by Clyne and Loth; on the east by the county of Caithness; and on the west by Farr and Clyne. This is altogether an inland parish. Its northern division is lofty, and marked by several high and massive mountains. The southern part consists of two parallel ranges of mountains, separated by the beautiful valley of Helmsdale, through which runs the winding river of the same name, which, after passing many verdant holms and haughs, and some ornamental clumps of birch, falls into the German Ocean at the village of Helmsdale, in the parish of Loth. The mountain of Ben-Griam-more is nearly 2000 feet high, and, with the other lofty elevations, characterized by wide chasms, rent or worn by powerful torrents, gives to the scenery a wild and magnificent appearance. The upper district is remarkable for the number and size of its lakes, of which Loch-na-Cuen, one of the largest, is adorned with two or three small islands and several winding bays. The waters abound with char and trout, and some of them are famed for angling.
   The soil of the haughs near the river is formed of deposits of mossy earth, with sand and decomposed rock: much of the uplands consists of tracts of moss, lying contiguous to the pastures. The entire parish is the property of the Duke of Sutherland, and has been from time immemorial part of the ancient earldom of Sutherland. Almost the whole of it is occupied with sheep-farms, which are in the hands of six tenants; and the number of sheep grazed, all of the Cheviot breed, is estimated at 18,000. Previously to the year 1811, the land was let in small portions, and much attention was paid to the rearing of Highland cattle; but between that period and 1821 the cattle gradually yielded to the introduction of Cheviot sheep. In consequence of this change, and the consolidation of the small farms, the population was diminished in numbers from 1574 to 565; and it is now not half the latter number. There are two or three good roads in the parish, chiefly for local convenience. The principal communication of the people is with Helmsdale. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Dornoch and synod of Sutherland and Caithness; patron, the Duke of Sutherland. The stipend is £158, of which £70 are received from the exchequer; and there is a good manse, with a glebe of fourteen acres, in addition to which the minister has the privilege of grazing sixty sheep. The church is a plain building, erected about 1740, and rebuilt in 1786. There is a parochial school, the master of which has the maximum salary, and about £3 fees, with a school-house. The remains of several circular or Pictish towers may still be seen in the parish, as well as numerous barrows or tumuli; it also contains some mineral springs, supposed to have been anciently used for medicinal purposes.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kildonan — ist der Name von: Kildonan (Arran), einem Ort auf der schottischen Insel Arran Dun Kildonan ein Steinfort in Schottland Kildonan (Hochland), einem Ort im schottischen Hochland Kildonan (Manitoba), einer ehemaligen Gemeinde in Manitoba, Kanada,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kildonan — may refer to:*Kildonan, Highland, a village in the Scottish highlands *Kildonan, a village on the Isle of Arran, Scotland *Kildonan, Manitoba, a former Rural Municipality in Manitoba, Canada *Kildonan (Manitoba electoral district), a provincial… …   Wikipedia

  • Kildonan — ▪ historical district, Manitoba, Canada       historical district within the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Situated on both sides of the Red River, it comprises the former cities of East Kildonan and West Kildonan and the former… …   Universalium

  • Kildonan (Manitoba electoral district) — Kildonan is a provincial electoral division in the Canadian province of Manitoba. Historical ridingThe original Kildonan riding was created at the time of the province s establishment in 1870. It was dominated by Manitoba s old settler population …   Wikipedia

  • Kildonan, Arran — Kildonan (Gaelic: Cill Donnain ) is a village on the south coast of the Isle of Arran in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. The name Kildonan derives from Saint Donan who is reputedly buried in the village. Early life in the village revolved around… …   Wikipedia

  • Kildonan—Transcona — is an historical electoral division in the Canadian province of Manitoba. It was created for the 1949 provincial election, and eliminated with the 1958 provincial election.Kildonan Transcona was located to the immediate northwest of Winnipeg,… …   Wikipedia

  • Kildonan (circonscription électorale) — Kildonan Circonscription électorale provinciale Données clés Province  Manitoba (  Canada) Député …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kildonan Castle — stands in the small village of Kildonan on the southern coast of the Isle of Arran in Scotland. It was built in the 13th century by the MacDonalds, the Lords of the Isles. The castle stands on the cliffs, overlooking the island of Pladda and the… …   Wikipedia

  • Kildonan-St. Paul — est une circonscription électorale fédérale canadienne dans la province du Manitoba. Elle comprend la partie à la limite nord de la ville de Winnipeg, ainsi que les municipalités rurales d East St. Paul et West St. Paul. Sa population est de… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kildonan Park — is a park in north Winnipeg, Manitoba established in 1909 by a Polish Canadian. It features the Peguis Pavilion, Rainbow Stage, the Witches Hut a house that shows the story of Hansel and Gretel and a fun sized wading pool. In winter activities, a …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.