- LUCE, NEW, a parish, in the county of Wigton; containing 652 inhabitants, of whom 278 are in the village, 9 miles (E. N. E.) from Stranraer. This place, the name whereof is of uncertain derivation, once formed part of the ancient parish of Glenluce, from which it was separated in the year 1646, since which time the original parish has in contradistinction been generally designated as Old Luce. New Luce, the northern portion, is bounded on the east by the river Tarf, which divides it from the parish of Kirkowan, and on the west by the river Luce, which separates it from the parish of Inch. It is about ten miles in length, and varies from five to six miles in breadth; but, from the great irregularity of the ground, the number of acres cannot be ascertained with any degree of accuracy. The surface, for some breadth along the banks of the Luce, is tolerably level, but rises abruptly towards the east into highlands, interspersed with rocks, or covered with heath and moss. The principal rivers are, the Luce, the Tarf, and the Crosswater; the Luce has its source in the hills on the confines of Ayrshire, and, running southward along the borders of the parish, and through Glen-Luce, falls into the bay of Luce. The Tarf rises in the hills at the northern extremity of the parish, and, after flowing in a winding manner along the boundary of the parish, bends its course to the east, and joins the river Bladenoch. The Crosswater has its source on the confines of Ayrshire, and passing southward with a very devious current through the northern portion of the parish, diverts its course to the west, and flows into the Luce near the church. Salmon, par, and fresh-water trout are found in the Luce and Crosswater in tolerable plenty; the fishery on the former river produces a considerable rental to the proprietor, but that on the latter is not appropriated.The soil along the banks of the rivers is pretty fertile, and the arable lands are chiefly found there. These however bear a very small proportion to the other lands in the parish, scarcely producing grain in sufficient quantity for the supply of the inhabitants; and the farmers place their chief dependence on the rearing of black-cattle and sheep, for which the hills afford pasture. The system of husbandry has, nevertheless, been much improved within the last few years; many of the farms have been inclosed; and buildings of more substantial character, and better adapted for the use and comfort of the tenants, have been recently erected. The blackcattle, though generally small, are of good quality, and, when removed to richer pastures, are soon fattened; considerable numbers are sent for sale to the Glenluce and Stranraer cattle-markets. The sheep are chiefly purchased by dealers for Glasgow and Liverpool. There are but a few small patches of land under plantation; though the soil is well adapted for the purpose, and such trees as have been planted are all in a highly-thriving condition. The rocks in the parish are of the transition class: lead-ore has been found, and was many years since wrought; and it is in contemplation to renew the search under the auspices of the Earl of Stair, the principal landed proprietor. The rateable annual value of New Luce is £3050. The village is pleasantly situated near the influx of the Crosswater into the Luce; it is neatly built, and contains three good inns, and several shops well stored with various kinds of wares for the supply of the neighbourhood. The inhabitants of it are chiefly employed in handicraft trades; and facility of communication is afforded by the road from Glenluce to Curloch, in the parish of Ballantrae, by other good roads which intersect the parish, and by bridges over the streams. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Stranraer and synod of Galloway. The minister's stipend is £158. 6. 8., including an allowance for communion elements, of which sum £88 are paid from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe valued at £12 per annum: patron, the Crown. The church, which is situated in the village, is a neat plain structure erected in 1816, and containing 400 sittings, without galleries. The parochial school is attended by about fifty children: the master has a salary of £25. 13. 4., with a small dwelling-house, and the fees average £5 per annum; he also receives the interest of a bequest of £50 for the gratuitous instruction of poor children. A late earl of Stair bequeathed £300, of which the interest is annually divided among the poor. There are several cairns in the parish, in the removal of some of which, sepulchral urns were found; and on a small eminence near its north-eastern extremity are two upright stones, upon one of which is the figure of a cross, rudely sculptured.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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