Rescobie

   RESCOBIE, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 3½ miles (E. N. E.) from Forfar; containing, with the hamlet of Bole and part of Marestone, 788 inhabitants. The etymology of the name of this place is altogether uncertain, it having been written at different times Rescolpyne, Rescolbyne, and Roscolpin. The parish is about nine miles long, and from one and a half to two and a half broad; and comprises 5888 acres, of which 4735 are cultivated, 617 permanent pasture, and 536 under wood. The ground rises in several parts into striking elevations, some reaching the height of more than 800 feet above the level of the sea; and among the most conspicuous of the hills are those named Dunnichen or Burnside, on the southern boundary; the Green-hill of Burnside; the hill of Carse, in the north-western quarter; and the Double hill, called, on the east part, the hill of Turin, and on the west, the hill of Pitscandly. All these command views of both land and sea, of the finest description. The loch of Rescobie stretches for more than a mile between the hills of Dunnichen and Turin; and through this sheet of water runs from west to east the Lunan stream, which rises in the north-west part of Restennet moss, and, passing also through the lake of Balgavies, falls, after a course of ten miles further, into the sea at Lunan bay. The circuitous Lemna burn, rising in the parish of Aberlemno, forms part of the boundary line on the south between Rescobie and Forfar, and, turning northward, separates this parish and Kirriemuir: after a course of four or five miles more in a north-eastern direction, it falls into the Esk near Finhaven Castle, almost opposite to its source. The principal fishing is in the loch of Rescobie, which varies in depth from two to twenty feet, and produces eels, perch, and pike; the last are sometimes very large, but the supply is much diminished by the numerous fishing-parties from Forfar, who keep the stock comparatively low.
   The soil sometimes exhibits, in a very small tract, almost every variety, and runs through the different kinds of a thin moorish earth, sharp gravel, clay, and loam; that on the estates of Carse and Pitscandly is the most fertile, and above the average quality. The arable land differs much in value; it lets in some parts at 16s. per acre, from which it rises to £2. 10., and the permanent pasture fetches from 5s. to £1. 10. per acre. A few sheep are kept, and the cattle are generally of the Angus breed, with a mixture of the Durham. The parish belongs to a district highly interesting in a geological point of view, and, according to Mr. Lyell, forms part of a great line of lakes and marshes which extends through Strathmore to the loch of Forfar, and thence to Lunan bay. The same eminent geologist adds that, like most of these lakes, it is surrounded by hillocks, and ridges of sand and gravel, containing boulders of many Grampian rocks, mixed with fragments of pavingstone and other formations, such as occur in the immediate neighbourhood. The hills of Pitscandly and Turin consist of grey paving-stone, interstratified with conglomerate or pudding-stone, the whole forming one of the oldest members of the old red sandstone formation; and freestone is obtained from a quarry in Turin hill, valuable for its colour and for its taking a fine polish. Grey-slate quarries, also, have long been in operation; and in the conglomerate rock, white quartz, chloriteslate, trap, and various other minerals are obtained. Boulders of many different kinds and shapes abound, some of which have been transported from great distances; and about fifty feet below the summit of the hill of Pitscandly is a block of mica-slate, thirteen feet in length and seven in breadth, supposed by some to have been conveyed from the Grampians by the agency of ice, in some manner not clearly understood, across the valley of Strathmore. The plantations, though of no great extent, are in a thriving condition, and consist of larch and spruce fir, interspersed with ash, oak, birch, and elm. The rateable annual value of the parish amounts to £6670. The mansions are, Burnside; the house formerly called Balmadies, now Ochterlony, built in 1821; Pitscandly, an old residence, situated pleasantly on the west side of the hill of the same name; and the residences named Carse, Drimmie, and Reswallie, the last on the south-west side of the lake of Rescobie.
   The population, which has been gradually decreasing for the last thirty years, on account chiefly of the consolidation of some of the smaller farms, is entirely agricultural, with the exception of about sixty persons, partly women, employed in the manufacture of coarse white linen. A turnpike-road runs from west to east, on the south side of the loch, from Forfar to Arbroath, and another on the north side of the loch from the same place to Montrose: the turnpike-road, also, from Forfar to Brechin runs through the west and north-west quarters of the parish; and the Auldbar turnpike-road, from Brechin southwards, skirts a small part of the eastern district. About four and a half miles of the railroad from Forfar to Arbroath, opened in 1838, cross the parish. The produce is usually disposed of at Forfar or Arbroath, and the coal used here is chiefly obtained from the latter place. A fair was held in ancient times, but subsequently transferred to Forfar, called St. Triduane's, vulgarly St. Trodlin's, fair; and a stone is still standing near the kirk-style, where, according to tradition, Lord Strathmore, the superior, or his deputy, held his court on fair days. The parish is within the presbytery of Forfar and synod of Angus and Mearns, and in the patronage of the Earl of Strathmore: the minister's stipend is £219, with a manse, and a glebe of eleven acres, valued at £16 or £17 per annum. The church was built in 1820, and accommodates 560 persons with sittings. The parochial school affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £31, with a house, and £10. 12. fees. There is a parochial library under the superintendence of a committee. King Donald VII., brother of Malcolm Canmore, is supposed to have died in confinement here in 1097. The castle of Rescobie has long since entirely disappeared, like the kirktown; and the site of it is not now known. On the estate of Balmadies is a cemetery called the chapelyard, containing numerous tombstones belonging to the Pearsons, who possessed that property; and there are ruins of several strongholds, concerning which no historical records or authentic traditions remain.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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