- KILMANY, a parish, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife; containing, with the village of Rathillet, 659 inhabitants, of whom 58 are in the village of Kilmany, 5 miles (N. by E.) from Cupar. This parish, of which the name is supposed by some writers to signify "the church of the monks," and by others "the church of the valley," is situated in the north of the county, and forms part of a rich and fertile vale, encompassed by the range of the Ochil heights, by one branch of which it is separated from the river Tay. It is about five miles in length, and one in average breadth, and comprises 4477 acres, of which 200 are woodland and plantations, and the remainder arable and in good cultivation. The surface is diversified with hills, of which the highest has an elevation of about 400 feet above the level of the sea; the scenery is generally pleasing, being partially enriched with plantations, and in some parts picturesque. An aperture in the hill of Kilmany forms a romantic glen, called Goales Den, which has been finely planted. Several of the hills, also, have been covered with thriving plantations; and on those that separate the parish from the Tay are some rich woods through which walks have been cut, affording beautiful views of the river, the Carse of Gowrie, and the hills of Angus. The plantations are of larch, fir, beech, and ash, interspersed with a few oaks; the most ancient timber is found in the grounds of Mountquhanie, Lochmalonie, and Rathillet, the proprietors of which estates have contributed greatly to the improvement of their lands. The valley is watered by the river Motray, which has its source in the height called Norman Law, from opposite sides of which descend two small streams: these unite their waters on the confines of the parish, to make the Motray, and, flowing near the base of the eminence whereon the church is built, run into the river Eden. The Motray, though but an inconsiderable stream, frequently in winter overflows its banks. A small rivulet called the Cluthie, which rises within the parish, after a course of about a mile falls into the Motray below the church; and there are also two small burns which, flowing through the pasture lands, add much to their fertility. The climate is temperate, and the air salubrious; and the inhabitants generally are of robust health.The soil is good, and the system of agriculture improved; draining has been practised with success; lime has been long used with advantage, and within the last few years bone-manure has been introduced. The crops are, wheat, barley, oats, peas, potatoes, and turnips. The sheep are principally of the Leicester, Cheviot, and Highland breeds, of which 1000 are annually fed; the cattle are of the Old Fife breed, with an occasional mixture of the Teeswater, and on an average about 200 head are reared and fed in the parish. No horses are reared, except for agricultural purposes. The lands are but very imperfectly inclosed; and there is still great room for improvement in the fences and plantations, which are comparatively on a limited scale. The substratum of the hills is mostly trap rock or whinstone; in some places of a dark blue colour, and extremely brittle; and in others of a reddish white, and not very easily worked. This stone is occasionally quarried for building, but generally for the roads, and for the construction of drains and dykes. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7937. Mountquhanie, Kilmany Cottage, Lochmalonie House, Hill-Cairnie, and Rathillet House are all handsome mansions, pleasantly situated. The village consists of a few cottages, the residence of such as are not employed in agriculture, and who carry on the pursuit of weaving, at their own homes, for the manufacturers of Dundee and Cupar: many of the females are also employed in weaving during the winter. There are three corn-mills, seventeen threshing-mills, and a saw-mill, the last employed in converting inferior timber into staves for barrels, of which great numbers are sent to Leith and other places connected with the herring-fishery. The roads are good; and there are tolerable facilities of intercourse with the neighbouring market-towns, of which Cupar is the nearest. The parish is in the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife, and in the patronage of the United college of St. Andrew's; the stipend is £225. 7. 11., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum. The church, situated on rising ground overlooking the river Motray, is a plain edifice erected in 1768, in good repair, and adapted for a congregation of about 350 persons. There is a place of worship for the United Associate Synod. The parochial school is at Rathillet, nearly in the centre of the parish; the master has a salary of £34, with £17 fees, and a house and garden. Two other schools, for younger children and for girls, are supported by Mrs. Gillespie, and Mrs. Thomson, of Charleton; the teachers have each an allowance of £10 per annum, with a house and garden, and the fees. The late Rev. Dr. John Cooke, professor of divinity in the university of St. Andrew's, and the Rev. Dr. Chalmers, were ministers of this parish.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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