Kirkpatrick-Juxta

   KIRKPATRICK-JUXTA, a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 3¼ miles (S.) from Moffat; containing, with the village of Craigielands, 934 inhabitants. The ancient name of this parish was Kil-patrick, the prefix of which is of the same signification as that of Kirk patrick. The suffix juxta has been added to distinguish the place from several other places of the same name which are more remote from the capital of Scotland. All the Kirkpatricks appear to have received their distinguishing epithets from the celebrated saint, Patrick. This locality was formerly the residence of Randolph, Earl of Murray, regent of Scotland during the minority of David Bruce, and who possessed the old castle of Achincass, in the parish. The well-known family of the Johnstones, of Corehead, also, occupied the tower of Lochhouse.
   The parish is irregular in form, but may be considered as of the mean length of six miles, and of about the same breadth. It contains 21,000 acres, and is bounded on the north and east by Wamphray and Moffat parishes, on the north-west and west by Crawford and Closeburn, and on the south by Johnstone parish. The lands of White-holm, in the parish, belong to the shire of Lanark. The general appearance of the district is bleak and hilly: the land on the west consists of the mountain range of Queensberry; and two or three miles to the east of this, is a parallel range, between which and Queensberry lies the pastoral valley of Kinnel Water. Between the second range of hills and the river Annan, washing the eastern boundary of the parish, is a tract of land nearly two miles broad and eight miles long, consisting of hill and valley, and which is chiefly arable, and constitutes the best part of the parish. A small portion of this land, however, is rocky, and some of it peat-moss; another portion has been reclaimed from waste moor. The highest part of the parish is the mountain of Queensberry, the summit of which is 2140 feet above the level of the sea. The Kinnel, Evan, Annan, and Garpel are the streams connected with the parish: the Annan enters from Moffat, and, after a course of about thirty miles, in which it receives several tributary waters, falls into the Solway Frith near the royal burgh of Annan.
   The soil in general is dry, and tolerably fertile; the richest and best cultivated lies in the eastern quarter of the parish. About 7000 acres are in tillage; 230 are in woods or plantations, of Scotch fir, oak, beech, elm, ash, and spruce; and 14,000 are uncultivated, 2000 of which, however, are supposed capable of tillage, or fit for plantations. The cattle are chiefly the black Galloways, without horns; and the sheep consist of the native black-faced, with some Cheviots. The improvements in agriculture in the parish, during the present century, have been considerable. Formerly it was almost entirely destitute of inclosures; but this deficiency has been, to some extent, remedied. Draining, manuring, and the raising of green crops, have each received much attention; and the use of bone-dust manure for turnip land, and the practice of letting sheep eat off the turnip crops, may be stated as two of the most approved usages of modern husbandry adopted here. The farm houses and offices are in a way of progressive improvement throughout the parish, and much attention is paid to the neatness of these buildings, most of which are constructed of stone and lime, and roofed with slate. The improvement also of cattle, and of the breeds of sheep, has received great attention. The rocks in the parish consist of freestone, trap, and greywacke or bluestone, which last is much used for common buildings. The rateable annual value of Kirkpatrick-Juxta is £5557.
   The only village is Craigielands, which is of small extent, but consists of neat buildings on a regular plan, raised some few years ago by one of the proprietors, for the accommodation of persons residing on his lands. In its vicinity is Craigielands, a handsome mansion surrounded by a park. The lines of turnpike-road running through the parish are, part of the road from Glasgow to Carlisle, and another, intersecting it at Beattock Inn, from Dumfries to Edinburgh: on both are mail-coaches daily. The roads and bridges are kept in good condition. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Lochmaben and synod of Dumfries; patron, J. J. Hope Johnstone, Esq. The stipend of the minister is £195, exclusive of the vicarage tithes, which consist of twenty-four lambs, and forty-eight pounds' weight of wool; with a manse, and a glebe of four arable and five meadow acres, worth, with garden, about £10 a year. The church, built in 1799, and thoroughly repaired in 1824, is a plain building, accommodating between 500 and 600 persons. There are two parochial schools, the master of the first of which receives £34 a year as salary; the master of the second school, who labours only during pleasure, receives about £17. Each has also fees, amounting to £15 or £20 a year. Two other schools, upon a smaller scale, are supported entirely by fees; and a library has lately been established. A bequest of £130 was recently vested in the purchase of a house and land, now yielding £6 per annum, appropriated to teaching poor children; and a school, erected from the accumulations of an ancient fund, is chiefly maintained by Mr. Hope Johnstone. The chief antiquity is the ruin of the castle of Achincass, the walls of which are about 150 feet square, twenty feet high, and fifteen feet thick. Traces are still visible of the Roman road leading from the great camp at Burnswark, in the parish of Middlebie, to a small rectangular encampment in this parish called Tatius-Holm. There are also numerous cairns and circular inclosures upon the hills. The parish contains several strong chalybeate springs.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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