Lethnott and Navar

   LETHNOTT and NAVAR, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 7 miles (N. W.) from Brechin; containing, with the hamlet of Balfield, 400 inhabitants. These two ancient parishes, united in 1723, measure in length, from north-west to south-east, fifteen miles, and are about five miles in average breadth. The whole comprehends only 2324 acres under cultivation, the remainder being extensive hills and moorland in a state of undivided common, and used as sheep-walks. The parish is surrounded by the Grampians on all sides except the east; and among the many lofty hills the most elevated is that of Wirren, or "the Hill of springs." The cultivated portion chiefly forms an irregular glen watered by the West water, a tributary of the North Esk; the lands rise gradually from the stream, and stretch into the hills and mountains. The scenery is improved by about fifteen or twenty acres of wood, disposed in clumps; and in the southern quarter is some level ground, adjacent to rivulets, of which there are several in this and other parts of the parish. The soil in general is clay and loam on a tilly bottom, producing barley and oats, and the usual green crops; but no wheat is ever sown. The higher grounds are not so much loaded with the debris of the hills as the lower, whither it is brought down by the rains and streams; but the soil there is more gravelly, and much thinner, and the value of the farms in the hilly part consequently depends chiefly upon the right to hill pasture. The rotation system of husbandry is followed; and the average rent of arable land is 12s. per acre, the leases running for nineteen years. The inclosures are of stone, and are mostly in good condition; the chief deficiency is in the farm-buildings, which are very indifferent. Vast improvements have taken place within the last twenty-five years, in reclaiming, draining, and liming the lands; and in some districts the extent of ground under tillage has been nearly doubled. The greatest discouragements to the farmers are, the rugged and uneven state of the roads, and the distance of a markettown, the nearest being Brechin, to which, moreover, the road lies across a steep hill. Lord Panmure, the principal proprietor, in order to encourage his tenants in this parish and those of Edzell and Lochlee, several years since instituted an annual show of sheep and cattle, at which premiums are awarded for the best specimens.
   The hills consist of clay-slate and mica-schist, upon a bed of gneiss. A vein of blue slate intersects the parish from east to west, extending, as is supposed, from the German Ocean to the Western Isles: this is thought to be a continuation of that found at Dunkeld and Easdale, and it was wrought a few years since for a short time, but the working was discontinued. A little limestone also exists; and in the lower parts of the valley are gravel, sand, clay, marl, and peat. The last partly supplies the inhabitants with fuel; but they also burn a good deal of turf, and coal brought from Montrose, the nearest sea-port town, sixteen miles distant. The rateable annual value of the parish is £1399. It is in the presbytery of Brechin and synod of Angus and Mearns, and in the patronage of the Crown: the minister's stipend is £158, of which nearly a third is received from the exchequer, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £20 per annum. The church is a plain edifice, built in 1827, and accommodates 250 persons with sittings. The parochial school affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and £7 fees. A school, five miles distant from the other, is supported partly by a small endowment, and partly by subscription. Lord Panmure takes one of his titles from Navar.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Navar —    NAVAR, county of Forfar.    See Lethnott and Navar …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

  • Balfield —    BALFIELD, a hamlet, in the parish of Lethnott and Navar, county of Forfar; containing 41 inhabitants. It lies in the south eastern portion of the parish, a little to the north of the West water …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

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