Lyne and Megget

   LYNE and MEGGET, a parish, in the county of Peebles, 5 miles (W.) from Peebles; containing 175 inhabitants. The district of Lyne, though consisting only of two farms, is, from being the site of the parochial church and manse, regarded as the head of this extensive parish, which comprehends also the suppressed parish of Megget, nearly fifteen miles distant from Lyne, and locally separated by the intervening lands of Manor and the river Tweed, but notwithstanding annexed to it under an act of the presbytery, both for ecclesiastical and for civil purposes. Lyne is about three miles and a half in length and almost three in breadth; while that portion of the parish which was formerly the parish of Megget, situated at the southern extremity of the county, is about six miles in length, and more than five in breadth. The whole comprises 17,850 acres, of which 910 are arable, about thirty in woodland and plantation, and the remainder chiefly affording pasturage for sheep and cattle. The surface of the lands of Lyne is for the most part gently acclivous, but in some places diversified with a range of hills of considerable elevation, extending in a direction nearly parallel to the river Lyne, from which they recede towards the north, leaving on the east a wide tract, extremely fertile, between them and the stream. The river has its source near the confines of Tweeddale, and, after washing the district, and dividing it from Stobo, falls into the Tweed a little below its limits; there is also a small rivulet, which for some distance forms a boundary between Lyne and Peebles parish. The scenery is generally pleasing, the hills being covered with verdure; but there is a deficiency of timber, and few plantations have been made. The soil in Lyne is gravelly, but produces fair crops, and the lower grounds are exceedingly fertile. The surface of the lands in the Megget district is almost all hill, with very little intervening level. The hills extend in two parallel ranges from east to west, having between them a vale about a quarter of a mile in breadth, watered by the Megget, which rises near the western extremity of the district, and, after receiving numerous streams from the hills in its progress, flows into a beautiful sheet of water at the eastern extremity of the district, called St. Mary's Loch, which abounds with fish, and is much frequented by anglers. The soil even in the vale is but ill adapted for agriculture; and though in some parts of the hills it is light and dry, yet it is in general wet and mossy, and incapable of profitable cultivation. The hills, however, afford excellent pasturage for sheep.
   The crops raised in the parish are, oats, barley, wheat, peas, potatoes, and turnips; the system of agriculture is much improved, and most of the tenants are connected with local associations formed for the purpose of distributing rewards for the promotion of husbandry among the successful competitors. Draining has been generally practised where requisite; much waste land has been reclaimed and brought into cultivation, and embankments have been constructed to preserve the lower lands from inundation. The chief farm houses and offices are substantially built and commodiously arranged; the lands are inclosed chiefly with stone dykes, but there are some few fences of thorn: six good cottages of stone, roofed with slate, have been built in the Megget district for the use of the shepherds. Great attention is paid to the rearing of sheep and young cattle. About 9000 sheep are annually pastured, and about 150 head of cattle; the former are of the Cheviot and black-faced breeds in nearly equal numbers, and the latter are usually a mixture of the Ayrshire and short-horned breed. The sheep are in very high repute, and the pastures are considered superior to any in this part of the country. The substrata of the parish are chiefly whinstone, of which the rocks are composed, and slate; but little of either is quarried, except for the supply of the lands on which they are found. Facility of intercourse with Glasgow, Hawick, and other places is maintained by roads kept in excellent order, and by good bridges, two of which cross the stream that separates the district of Lyne from the parish of Stobo. The rateable annual value of Lyne and Megget is £3021.
   The parish is in the presbytery of Peebles and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and in the patronage of the Earl of Wemyss and March: the minister's stipend is £153. 9. 1., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £25 per annum. The church is an ancient and venerable edifice of the later English style of architecture, and a portion of the original building has been parted off, and adapted for a congregation of 100 persons; it was thoroughly repaired in 1830, without any deviation from its original character. A chapel of ease has been erected in the Megget district of the parish, to which is attached a good schoolroom; but the distance of the chapel from the manse, which is at least fourteen miles, and, when the Tweed is flooded, and a circuitous route through Peebles becomes necessary, twenty miles, is a serious inconvenience to the incumbent. The parochial school, situated at Lyne, is well conducted, and is amply sufficient for the children of that district; the master has a salary of £25. 13, with £12 fees, and a house and garden. There is also a school at Megget, which, however, on account of the difficulty of access to it, is kept open only during the summer half-year; the master receives a salary of £7, paid by the heritors, with a small bequest, and is supplied with board and lodging by the parents of the scholars in succession. There are few poor permanently on the parish list; but assistance is occasionally given to families in distress by collections at the church. At Megget are the remains of two ancient towers, probably places of security in case of sudden incursions of the English, to which this place, situated so near the border, was peculiarly exposed; or they might be watch-towers, from which signals of approaching hostilities were displayed for the purpose of raising the country. At Henderland are the remains of a chapel and burying-ground; and about a quarter of a mile to the west of the church at Lyne are distinct traces of a Roman camp, of which the form is clearly marked out; and also of a road that led to it. The area has been frequently cultivated, and various Roman coins are said to have been discovered by the plough. The Rev. Mr. Mitchelson, who was minister of Lyne and Megget about a century since, bequeathed £50, the interest of which is at present received by the master of the school at Megget.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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