Killin

   KILLIN, a parish, in the county of Perth; containing, with part of the late quoad sacra district of Strathfillan, 1702 inhabitants, of whom 426 are in the village, 8 miles (N. by W.) from Lochearnhead. This parish, which is situated within the Highland district of Breadalbane, extends from Loch Tay, on the east, to Loch Lomond, on the west; and is about twenty-four miles in length, varying from five to nine miles in breadth, and comprising an area of 90,000 acres, of which 2500 are arable, 1000 woodland and plantations, and the remainder mountain pasture. The surface is strikingly diversified with ranges of lofty mountains interspersed with deep and richly-wooded glens and fertile valleys, and enlivened with numerous streams descending from the heights, and, after a devious course through the lower lands, forming tributaries to the rivers that intersect the parish. The highest of the mountains is Benmore, which has an elevation of 3900 feet above the level of the sea; it rises from the plains of Glendochart in a conical form, and the whole of the range which reaches to the head of Loch Lomond displays a character of romantic grandeur not surpassed in any part of the Highlands. The range of Craig Chailleach, ascending abruptly from the lands of Finlarig, near the western extremity of Loch Tay, and richly wooded from its base nearly half way to its summit, extends westward to the vale of Glenlochay, forming, from the intervals between its several points of elevation, an apparent succession of forts. The hills, also, though of very inferior elevation, still rise to a considerable height, and, clothed with verdure to their summits, afford excellent pasturage for sheep and cattle.
   Among the principal valleys is Glendochart, spreading to the westward for nearly ten miles, and watered by the river Dochart, which, issuing from a lake of that name within the glen, passes through a tract of romantic beauty into Loch Tay. The valley of Strathfillan extends for almost eight miles, in a similar direction, to the borders of the parish of Glenorchay, and is enlivened by the river here called the Fillan, which flows into the lake in Glendochart, and, issuing thence, is for the remainder of its course designated the Dochart. The valley of Glenfalloch, branching off to the south from that of Strathfillan, reaches to the confines of Dumbartonshire, and is watered by the river Falloch, which runs into Loch Lomond. The braes of Glenlochay, in which the river Lochay has its source, extend for about fourteen miles from the village of Killin, towards the west, in a direction nearly parallel with Glendochart, from which they are separated by a chain of hills called the Mid hills; they are partly in the parishes of Kenmore and Weem, and form a rich and fertile district, abounding with romantic beauty. The scenery of the parish, indeed, almost in every point, is marked with features of interesting character. The streams which issue from the heights make pleasing and picturesque cascades in their descent; and the rivers that flow through the lower lands, in various places obstructed in their course, fall from considerable heights with great effect. The cataracts on the Dochart near the village, and those of the Lochay about three miles distant from it, are strikingly romantic; and those of the latter, where the stream is obstructed by the rocks which intersect the glen, are considered equal in beauty to the falls of the Clyde.
   The soil, though generally light and dry, resting on a substratum of limestone, is in some places wet and marshy, particularly in the valleys of Glendochart and Strathfillan, rendered so by the occasional inundation of the rivers. The crops are, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips; but the principal resource of the farmers is the pastures, which in many parts are luxuriantly rich. The sheep, of which more than 30,000 are annually fed, are chiefly of the black-faced breed, with a few of the Leicestershire and South-Down, which are kept on the lands of the proprietors. The cattle, of which 1200 are pastured, are of the West Highland breed, with some of the Ayrshire on the dairy-farms. Considerable improvements are gradually taking place in the system of husbandry; draining has been extensively practised, under the assistance and encouragement of the proprietors; the farm houses and offices, though usually of inferior description, are giving way to others of more commodious construction; and it is in contemplation to deepen and embank the rivers. The plantations are for the greater part of recent formation, and are in a thriving state. They consist chiefly of Scotch, silver, and spruce fir, and larch; and the natural woods, which were formerly much more extensive, especially in the higher parts of Strathfillan, are oak, ash, mountain-ash, birch, elder, hazel, and hawthorn. At Finlarig are some yew-trees, and a plane supposed to be 300 years old; specimens of holly and laburnum are also frequent, and the district abounds in interesting botanic specimens. Limestone of a greyish colour, and of crystalline formation, is plentiful, and there are veins of trap and greenstone; lead-ore is also abundant, and some mines of it are at present in operation at Tyndrum, where a large crushing-mill has been recently erected. Cobalt, containing sixty ounces of silver in one ton of ore, is found; and in Craig-Chailleach is a rich vein of sulphuret of iron. The rateable annual value of the parish is £18,137.
   The principal seats are, Kinnell, for centuries the baronial residence of the Mc Nabs, and now the property of the Marquess of Breadalbane, finely situated on the river Dochart; Finlarig Castle, formerly the seat of the Breadalbane family, an ancient structure at the north-west extremity of Loch Tay, near which is the family mausoleum, embosomed in woods of venerable growth; Auchlyne House, occupied, during the shooting season, by the Duke of Buckingham; Glenure, the seat of T. H. Place, Esq., the only resident proprietor, beautifully seated on the banks of the Lochure, near Benmore; Auchmore, a handsome mansion belonging to the Breadalbane family; and Borland, romantically situated in the woods of Glenlochay. The village of Killin stands at the head of Loch Tay, near the confluence of the rivers Dochart and Lochay; and the environs abound with romantic scenery. It is irregularly built, and a few of the inhabitants are employed in the carding and spinning of wool, for which there is a mill; there are several shops for the sale of various kinds of merchandise and wares, and an excellent inn. A branch of the Central Bank of Scotland, and a savings' bank, have been established; there is a daily post to and from the south of Scotland, and a post three days in the week to Kenmore and Aberfeldy. Fairs are held on the third Tuesday in January, for general business; the first Tuesday in May, also for general business, and on the 12th for cattle; on the 27th of October, for cattle; and the first Tuesday in November, O. S., for general business. Facility of communication is maintained by good roads, and bridges over the several rivers, all kept in excellent order; one road communicates with Loch Lomond, where, during the summer, a steamer plies daily.
   The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Weem and synod of Perth and Stirling. The minister's stipend is £240. 19. 5., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £13 per annum; patron, the Marquess of Breadalbane. The church, erected in 1774, and repaired in 1832, is a neat structure conveniently situated, and containing 905 sittings, of which fifty are free. A church was erected towards the close of the last century, on the lands of Strathfillan; and at Ardeonaig is a mission under the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, for which a church was built by the late Marquess of Breadalbane, at an expense of £600. The latter church contains 650 sittings, and the minister has a stipend of £60, of which one-half is paid by the marquess, and the other by the society; he has also a manse, and a glebe of seventeen and a half acres, valued at £12 per annum. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship; and there are small congregations of Baptists and Independents, who assemble in a room, but have no regular minister. The parochial school is attended by about eighty children; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees average £10 per annum. Three schools are supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, the masters of which have salaries varying from £15 to £18, with a house, and land for a cow, in addition to the fees. Two schools, also, are endowed by the Marchioness of Breadalbane, in one of which, at Killin, ten boys and fifty girls are instructed gratuitously by the master, who has a salary of £20, with a house and garden; the girls are also taught sewing and knitting. In the village is likewise a school for young children, to the mistress of which the marchioness gives a house and garden rent-free.
   The parochial library contains a collection of about 300 volumes, principally on religious subjects; and the Breadalbane Philanthropic Association furnishes a supply of Bibles and school-books to the poor at a very reduced cost. The poor are supported partly by the liberality of the Breadalbane family, who allow, almost to each, a house and garden rent-free, with the liberty of cutting peat, and distribute annually among them meal to the amount of £40, and a supply of clothing at Christmas. In Loch Dochart are some remains of one of the seven towers built by Sir Duncan Campbell, and which was, during a frost, taken by the Mc Gregors, who, approaching on the ice, put the whole of its inhabitants to death; and in the possession of Mr. Sinclair, tenant of Inverchaggarnie, are the powder-horn, and a gold brooch, worn by the celebrated Rob Roy Mc Gregor. The same gentleman has also an old rifle which belonged to the Mc Nabs; it is four feet in length with an octagonal bore, and in the stock is a recess for holding a supply of bullets. A spot near the village of Killin, within what was once the site of the ancient churchyard, is pointed out as the grave of Fingal. The present translation of the Bible into the Gaelic language was commenced by the Rev. James Stewart, minister of this parish, who died in 1789, having at that time translated the New Testament; the remainder was performed by his son, Dr. Stewart, of Luss, who was born here. Dr. Dewar, principal of Aberdeen, and eminent in literature and theology, is also a native of the parish.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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