KINNOULL, a parish, in the county of Perth, ½ a mile (E.) from Perth; containing, with the suburb of Bridgend, and the villages of Balbeggie and Inchyra, 2879 inhabitants, of whom 920 are in the rural districts. This place, which is supposed to have derived its name, of Gaelic origin, from the extent and beauty of the prospects obtained from the high grounds, was at an early period the property of the family of Hay. Sir George Hay, lord chancellor of Scotland, was created Earl of Kinnoull by Charles I. in 1633; and his descendant, the present earl, is still the chief proprietor in the parish. Of the ancient castle of Kinnoull, the baronial residence of the Hays, some slight vestiges were remaining till within the last fifty years; but the site is now occupied as a garden belonging to one of the villas on the banks of the river Tay. The parish, which is bounded on the west by the Tay, is about twelve miles in extreme length, and nearly four miles in breadth, comprising in the rural districts an area of 3700 acres, of which 580 are woodland and plantations, and the remainder, with the exception of about twenty acres of undivided common, arable, meadow, and pasture. The surface is diversified with wooded hills of pleasing aspect, of which the hill of Kinnoull, rising from the bank of the Tay to the height of 632 feet, is justly celebrated for the romantic beauty of its scenery. The ascent on the south is precipitously steep and rocky; but on the north, a spiral road of gradual ascent has been formed to the summit, which is crowned with thriving plantations, and commands a most varied prospect, embracing the city of Perth and the adjacent country. Not far from the top, which is divided into two points, is a hollow called the Windy Gowle, near which is a remarkable echo of nine distinct reverberations; and in a steep part of the acclivity is a cave, in which Sir William Wallace is said to have concealed himself from his pursuers. About two miles distant from the hill of Kinnoull, and forming part of the same range, is the hill of Murray's Hall, nearly of equal elevation, and commanding also an extensive prospect abounding with interesting features. The Tay divides, near the church, into two branches inclosing the island of Moncrieff, of which one-half is within this parish, and the other in the parish of Perth: the branch in this parish is navigable for vessels of sixty tons' burthen, and affords a more direct passage to the burgh of Bridgend. The river abounds with salmon of excellent quality, and the fisheries belonging to the parish produce a rental of £1200 per annum.
   The soil, comprehending every variety, is luxuriantly rich; and the lands are in the highest state of cultivation, under a system of husbandry combining all the most recent improvements. A very extensive nursery was formed on the east bank of the Tay, by Mr. Dickson, in 1767, and, since his decease in 1835, has been conducted by his nephew, affording employment to about eighty persons: from this establishment most of the plantations in the parish, which are in a highly flourishing condition, have been supplied. There is also a nursery at the extremity of Bridgend. The principal substrata are of the trap formation, with some veins of sandstone of a reddish-grey colour, and of good quality for building, for which purpose it is extensively quarried. Agates of great beauty are found in the hill of Kinnoull, and many specimens of them are preserved in different museums. The rateable annual value of the parish is £8667. The mansion-houses are, Balthayock, an ancient castle of the Blair family, of which the more modern portion was built in 1578; Inchyra, of recent date, in the Grecian style of architecture; Murray's Hall, a handsome building; Barnhill, or Woodend, pleasantly seated on the Kinnoull branch of the Tay; and Bellwood, beautifully situated on the hill of Kinnoull, fronting the city of Perth. The village of Inchyra is on the east bank of the Tay, in a detached portion of the parish; about six miles from the church; it has a convenient harbour, accessible to vessels of 100 tons, with a yard for building and repairing ships, from which two vessels of sixty tons have been launched within the last few years. There is also a ferry across the Tay established here. Facility of communication is afforded by the river, and by good roads, of which the turnpike-road from Perth to Dundee passes through the parish. The suburb of Bridgend, and the village of Balbeggie, are noticed under their respective heads.
   The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Perth and synod of Perth and Stirling. The minister's stipend is £269. 16. 9., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £20 per annum; patron, the Earl of Kinnoull. The present church, erected in 1826, after a design by Mr. Burn, at an expense of £4000, is a handsome structure in the later English style of architecture, containing more than 1000 sittings. In the aisle of the old church, which is still remaining as the burialplace of the Hay family, is preserved a monument to George, first earl of Kinnoull, who died in 1634, and whose statue has the left hand resting on a table, on which are placed the great seal of Scotland and a human skull, but without any inscription. There is a place of worship at Balbeggie for members of the United Secession. The parochial school is attended by about 140 children; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees average £40 per annum. Murray's royal asylum for lunatics was founded by Mr. James Murray, a few years since, with funds which he inherited from his mother, to whom they had been bequeathed by Mr. Hope, her son by a previous marriage. Mr. Hope, with his whole family, was lost in the wreck of the Duchess of Gordon East Indiaman, on their return from Madras in 1809. The buildings were erected on the acclivity of Kinnoull Hill, after a design by Mr. Burn, at a cost of £40,000; and the institution was incorporated by royal charter, and opened for the reception of patients, in 1827, and placed under the superintendence of twenty-five directors, of whom nine are ex officio, four chosen for life, and twelve elected annually. The house is situated in the centre of a park, of twelve acres, laid out in gardens, shrubberies, and walks, affording ample opportunities of recreation and amusement; and, under an excellent system of management, affords reception and relief to 140 patients. At Balthayock are the remains of an ancient castle, supposed to have belonged to the Knights Templars: the walls, which are about fifty feet in height, and inclose an area fifty-two feet in length and thirty-seven feet wide, are of massive thickness, and still entire. It is situated on the brink of a deep ravine of very romantic appearance.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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