- MOONZIE, a parish, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife, 2 miles (N. W.) from Cupar; containing 174 inhabitants. This place, of which the name, in the Gaelic language, signifies "the Hill of the deer," was anciently the seat of the Crawfurd family, of whom Alexander, the third earl, is said to have built the castle of Lordscairnie, here, in which he occasionally resided, and of which there are still considerable remains. Sir William Ramsay, also, who lived in the reign of David II., and was taken prisoner at the battle of Durham in 1346, when the Scottish army was completely defeated, resided at Colluthie, in the parish. The parish, which is one of the smallest in Scotland, is situated on the south side of the Grampian hills, and is less than two miles in length, and not a mile and a half in breadth; comprising an area of about 1260 acres, of which, with the exception of a few acres of plantations, the whole is arable. The surface is diversified with hills and dales: towards the west are several rising grounds of considerable elevation, which, sloping gradually towards the east, terminate in a valley of considerable extent. The highest grounds are about 300 feet above the level of the sea; the lower grounds are intersected by the Moonzie burn, which has its source in Lordscairnie Myre, and falls into the river Eden.The soil is generally a black loam of great fertility, resting on a substratum of trap-rock, but in some parts is a strong coarse clay, with a few acres of moss. The crops are, wheat, oats, barley, peas, beans, and potatoes; the lands are in excellent cultivation under a highly-improved system of husbandry, and have been well drained and inclosed. The farm-buildings are substantial and commodious; and on several of the farms are threshing-mills, of which two are driven by steam. Sheep are reared upon one farm, of a breed between the Cheviot and the Leicestershire; the cattle are principally of the Fifeshire black kind, which has superseded the Teeswater, for some time the favourite breed. Great attention is paid to the improvement of the livestock; and several of the farmers breed a considerable number of horses for agricultural purposes. The plantations, chiefly on the summits of the hills, are mostly Scotch firs. There are some small clusters of houses in several parts, inhabited by agricultural labourers; but none can properly be called a village. Facility of communication is afforded by the turnpike-road from Cupar to Newburgh, which passes along the boundary of the parish, and by a statute road in good repair. The rateable annual value of Moonzie is £2215. Its ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife. The minister's stipend is £187. 17. 10., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum; patron, the Earl of Glasgow. The church, situated on rising ground in the south-west portion of the parish, is an ancient plain structure without either tower or spire; it has recently been repaired, and contains 171 sittings, all of which are free. The parochial school is attended by about sixty children; the master has a salary of £30, with a house and garden, and the fees average £18 per annum. The remains of Lordscairnie Castle stand on some gently-rising ground nearly in the centre of what is called the Myre, previously to the draining of which, the castle must have been surrounded with water. They consist chiefly of the walls, which are about six feet in thickness and forty feet in height, and comprise four stories: of the wall that inclosed the court, little is left except one of the several towers by which it was defended. There are also some remains of Colluthie House, now repaired, and converted into a private residence; and stone coffins have been found at various times in the parish.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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