Kiltearn

   KILTEARN, a parish, in the county of Ross and Cromarty, 5¾ miles (N. E. by N.) from Dingwall; containing, with the villages of Drummond and Evanton, 1436 inhabitants. This place derives its name from two Gaelic words, Kiell Tighearn, signifying "the buryingplace of the laird," though the particular circumstance which gave rise to the appellation is unknown. The family of Munro of Fowlis, which, even from ancient times, has been the most conspicuous in the parish, is said to have been founded by Donald Munro, who, among many others, received gifts of land from Malcolm II., for important services rendered in assisting the king in the expulsion of the Danes. When this desirable end was accomplished, Malcolm feued out the country to his friends; and that part between the burgh of Dingwall and the water of Alness was assigned to Donald Munro, from which circumstance it received the name of Ferindonuil, or "Donald's land." A portion of these lands was afterwards erected into a barony, called Fowlis; and the present Sir Hugh Monro, Bart., who is proprietor of about two-thirds of the parish, and lineally descended from the above-named Donald Munro, is the 29th baron.
   The parish is situated in about the middle of the county, and extends six miles along the north shore of the Frith of Cromarty, whence it stretches inward twentytwo miles; it is bounded on the north by Contin and Lochbroom parishes, on the east by Alness, and on the west by Dingwall and Fodderty. The whole, except a small tract on the shore, consists of one mass of hills, overspread with heath, or, in some places, planted with firs. The hill of Wyvis rises 3720 feet above the level of the sea, and is never without snow, even in the hottest summer: the forest of Wyvis is held of the king, on the singular condition of paying a snow-ball any day in the year, if required. The valleys between the hills are covered, to a great extent, with coarse grass: in some of them, small lakes have been formed by the mountain streams, diversifying the scenery, and affording good sport to the angler. The principal lake is Loch Glass, near the south end of which is a small island, where the lairds of Fowlis had at one time a summer-house: its waters are discharged into the sea by the Aultgraad, a stream which flows along a remarkably deep and narrow channel, formed in the solid rock by the action of the waters. The only river is the Skiack, which is supplied by mountain streams, and falls into the sea near the church. Several varieties of trout are found in the lochs and streams; and shell-fish, of the smaller kinds, are obtained on the shore.
   The soil on the high grounds is moss, and near the Frith chiefly alluvial; it varies in other parts, exhibiting many of the ordinary combinations. About 3000 acres are cultivated, or occasionally in tillage; 600 are undivided common, and the rest natural pasture. There are a considerable number of plantations, comprising all the trees suited to the climate: many tracts were planted about the middle of the last century. All the usual white and green crops are raised; and as the improved system of agriculture has been for some time followed, and much attention is paid to the cultivation of the soil, the produce is equal in quality to any in the country. The sheep are chiefly the native black-faced, but on the low grounds are a number of Cheviots: the cattle are of the Ross-shire and the Argyllshire breeds, the latter of which is much preferred. The principal rock in the parish is sandstone: coal has been discovered, but not in sufficient quantity to defray the expense of working; and a small amount of lead-ore has also been met with. The rateable annual value of Kiltearn is £5106.
   The village of Evanton, built within the present century, upon a piece of waste land, is remarkable for the regular and neat appearance of the houses: a fair is held here on the first Tuesday in June, and another on the first Tuesday in December. The hamlet of Drummond is seated on the Skiack. There are several extensive tracts of moss in the heights of the parish, where the inhabitants cut peat in summer to serve for winter fuel. The great parliamentary road runs along the shore, and communicates with the northern parts by means of excellent county roads; it passes over two good bridges, one at the east, and the other at the west, end of the village of Evanton. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Dingwall and synod of Ross; patron, the Crown. The stipend of the minister is £249, with a commodious manse, and a glebe of nine arable acres, valued at £12 per annum. The church, situated on the coast, was built in 1791, and is a neat edifice, accommodating nearly 700 persons. There is a place of worship in the village of Evanton connected with the United Secession. A parochial school is maintained, in which Latin and Greek, with the usual branches, are taught; the master has a salary of £30, with a house and garden, and about £20 fees. The family of Munro is distinguished for the eminent individuals who have belonged to it. Sir Robert Munro, grandfather of the present baronet, when a very young man, served for several years in Flanders under the Duke of Marlborough, and there formed an intimacy with the celebrated Col. Gardiner, whose history and character have become so well known through the memoir written by Dr. Doddridge.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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