- KILMARONOCK, a parish, in the county of Dumbarton, 1 mile (W. by S.) from Drymen; containing 931 inhabitants. The name of this place signifies "the cell, chapel, or burial-place of St.Marnoch." The parish is beautifully situated on the southern bank of the river Endrick, and on Loch Lomond, and is about five miles in length and three in mean breadth. The surface rises in some places to 500, and in others to 1000, feet above the level of the sea: the highest parts are, the range of hills on the west, commonly called Mount Misery; Duncruin, in the centre; and the elevation towards Dumbarton moor, on the south. The lands are, however, mostly in tillage, the quantity of hill or moorland being very inconsiderable. Numerous plantations, hedge-rows, and natural wood adorn the parish; and it is watered by several springs and rivulets, and by the river Endrick, along which commodities are conveyed in flat-bottomed craft, as far as from Drymen bridge to Loch Lomond, a distance of nearly eight miles. It contains pike, perch, eels, trout, and other fish. The best land in the parish lies along the banks of this river, the soil being deep and rich, and producing excellent crops, though exposed, in rainy seasons, to injury from sudden and violent floods. The soil in the higher parts is damp and tilly, and at length degenerates into a sterile moss. Several impediments depending upon the peculiar locality have retarded the advance of the improved system of husbandry, which has been for some time introduced. In spite, however, of every obstacle, a spirit of industry and enterprise prevails, which is leading to many considerable changes. Above 660 acres are under wood. On the moorland grounds, about 500 sheep are reared, which are all of the black-faced or Highland breed; and a few of the Cheviots and Leicesters are kept on the lower grounds. The cattle are of the Argyllshire and the Ayrshire breeds, to the improvement of which considerable attention is paid. The fences are in general thorn hedges or stone dykes, which are, in many parts, in very bad condition. The rocks in the parish principally consist of red or grey sandstone; and limestone of good quality is also found. The rateable annual value of Kilmaronock is £7444.The chief seat is Baturrich Castle, finished about twelve years ago, and which is built on part of the ruin of the ancient castle of the same name, upon rising ground about half a mile from Loch Lomond; it commands a very fine view of the lake, studded with its numerous wooded islands, and also of the whole vale of Leven to the river Clyde. Ross Priory, which is situated on the south-east bank of Loch Lomond, is about two miles from Baturrich; it is beautified with some very handsome trees. Catter House is an old mansion, seated on an eminence near Drymen bridge, on the river Endrick, and occupied by the factor of the Duke of Montrose, who is the principal heritor in the parish. There are two annual fairs, one for horses, at Craftammie, on the second Tuesday in February, and the other chiefly for milch-cows, at the farm of Ardoch, on the last Thursday in April. The road from Dumbarton to Drymen passes through the parish, as well as the Drymen and Glasgow road. There is a bridge across the Endrick, an old structure of four arches, situated at the boundary of the parish, on the road to Drymen. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Dumbarton and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; patron, the Duke of Montrose. The stipend of the minister is £200, with a manse, and a glebe of seven acres, valued at £11 per annum. The church was built in 1813, and is in good repair; it contains 400 sittings, but, on account of its situation near the northern extremity of the parish, it is found inconvenient for a great part of the population. There is also a Relief meeting-house. The parochial schoolmaster has £31 per annum as his salary, with a house, and about £26 fees. A parochial library was instituted in 1838, and is under the management of the Kirk Session.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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