- NEWLANDS, a parish, in the county of Peebles, 4 miles (S. by E.) from Linton; containing 1063 inhabitants. This parish, which is unconnected with any historical event of importance, is about eleven miles in length and two miles in average breadth, and comprises 11,337 acres, of which 3341 are arable, 7659 meadow and pasture, and 337 woodland and plantations. The surface is strikingly diversified with hills and valleys; the principal vale is inclosed on the one side by a range of hills called the Kellyheads, and on the other by a ridge of lower elevation, of which the most conspicuous heights are the Dodhead and the Broomyleas. Towards the bottom of this vale is Hallmyre bog, a tract of mossy land about sixty acres in extent, and formerly incapable of cultivation, but which, having been drained by the late Mr. Gordon, has been converted into firm arable ground. The Lyne water crosses the vale nearly at right angles a little below Hallmyre, from which point the vale extends between smaller ridges to the Terth, a stream separating this parish from the parishes of Stobo and Kirkurd. The valley of the Lyne is bounded on one side by the Kellyheads, and on the other by gentle acclivities, and, in addition to the Lyne water, which flows through it, is enlivened by the small streams of Flemington-Mill, Stevenson, and Hagenhope: all these streams abound with trout. The soil in the lower lands is rich and fertile, and in the higher parts light, and sometimes a gravelly loam; the crops are, oats, barley, wheat, peas, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is in a very advanced state; much progress has been made in draining the lands; and on the farm of Boreland, in particular, such beneficial changes have been made by an enterprising and judicious plan of husbandry, as to stimulate to great exertions for the general improvement of the lands. Considerable attention is paid to the management of the dairy-farms and to the live-stock, for which the hills afford excellent pasture; the number of milch-cows kept is 350, chiefly of the Ayrshire breed. About 4000 sheep are annually pastured; they are of the Cheviot and black-faced breeds, with a cross of both, and a small number of the Leicestershire. Large quantities of butter are sent to the market of Edinburgh, with which place there is great facility of intercourse. The woods and plantations are well managed, and in a thriving condition. The substrata are mainly limestone, slate, white sandstone, and coal; the Kellyheads range is chiefly of whinstone. None of these, except the coal and limestone, are wrought; and the only lime-works are at Magbiehill and Lamancha, the coal for which was till lately brought from Linton. At Broomyleas a quarry of excellent red sandstone, of compact texture, has been opened, and is extensively worked for the supply of the adjacent districts. Whim, Lamancha, Magbiehill, Hallmyre, Romanno, Boreland, and Callends, are the mansions. There is a post-office at Noblehouse, on the road from Edinburgh to Dumfries, nearly in the centre of the parish. The rateable annual value of Newlands is £8251. It is in the presbytery of Peebles and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and gift of the Earl of Wemyss and March: the minister's stipend is £243. 14. 2., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £26 per annum. The late church, an ancient edifice containing details of the Norman and of the early and later English styles of architecture, having become dilapidated, a new church has been erected, which was opened for divine service in December, 1838; it is a handsome structure in the later English style. There is a place of worship at Mountains-Cross for members of the Relief. The parochial school affords a good education, and is well attended; the master has a salary of £34, with £15 fees, and a house and garden. In the eastern portion of the parish is another school, of which the master receives a salary of £8 from the heritors, in addition to the fees; and a savings' bank has been established. On several of the hills are remains of circular entrenchments, and near the junction of the Terth and Lyne waters are the ruins of Drochil Castle, supposed to have been erected by the Regent Morton; it is in good preservation, and over one of the windows are the arms of the Douglas family, sculptured in relief. Sir Robert Murray Keith, of Hallmyre, ambassador to the court of Copenhagen, and who saved the life of the queen in the affair of Count Struensee; his brother, Sir Basil, governor of Jamaica, who died in that island; and Lord Chief Baron Montgomery, one of the first sheriffs of royal nomination, and the first, also, of his countrymen that attained the office of chief baron, were natives of this parish.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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