RUTHVEN, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 3 miles (N.) from Meigle; containing, with the hamlets of Balbirnie, Barberswells, Bridgend, and Whins, 471 inhabitants. This place was for many generations the seat of the Crichton family, of whose ancient baronial castle, however, there are but few remains: the family becoming extinct in 1742, the lands were purchased by Thomas Ogilvy, Esq., whose descendant, Peter Wedderburn Ogilvy, Esq., was the late proprietor. The parish, which is pleasantly situated on the north side of the vale of Strathmore, near the base of the Grampian hills, is about two miles in length and nearly of equal breadth; and comprises an area of 2034 acres, of which 1336 are arable, 452 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow and pasture land. The surface, which has a gentle declivity towards the south, is diversified with some inconsiderable eminences, whereof one is called Gallow hill; and is watered by the river Isla, which, after forming for some distance its northern boundary, intersects the remainder of the parish, and, passing under an ancient and picturesque bridge of two arches on the road from Blairgowrie to Kirriemuir, and falling from some ledges of broken rock, descends into a wide pool which towards the south divides into two streams, inclosing an island of about six acres in extent. This river abounds with small trout and par, and occasionally with salmon. The soil is generally a light loam resting on a substratum of gravel; the crops are, oats, barley, for which the soil is especially adapted, turnips, and potatoes. The system of agriculture is improved; bone-dust and guano are extensively used as manure, and the rotation system of husbandry is prevalent: the lands have been drained and inclosed; the farm-buildings, which are chiefly of modern erection, are substantial and well arranged; and considerable attention is paid to the rearing of cattle, and the feeding of sheep on turnips. The woodlands consist chiefly of oak, of which extensive copses are found on the banks of the Isla; and the plantations are of larch and Scotch fir. The prevailing scenery is of pleasing character, and in some parts beautifully picturesque: the upper lands command fine views of the surrounding country. The substratum is of the old red sandstone formation, with a few pebbles of quartz, and some very slight traces of organic remains; freestone of excellent quality is found, and quarried to a moderate extent. The rateable annual value of the parish is £1457. Ruthven House, the seat of Mrs. Ogilvy, is a handsome modern mansion pleasantly situated on the Isla, near the site of the ancient castle, which, having become ruinous, was taken down many years since.
   There is no village properly so called. The spinning of flax was introduced soon after the commencement of the present century, and two extensive mills have been built for that purpose on the banks of the Isla, in which together about 180 persons are employed, in connexion with the linen manufacturers of Dundee: on the same river are mills for meal and corn, two threshing-mills, and a saw-mill. Facility of communication is afforded by convenient roads, of which that from Blairgowrie to Kirriemuir passes through the parish; and by the Dundee and Newtyle railway, on which there is a station within five miles, whence coal and other requisite articles are brought for the supply of the parish, and to which corn and other agricultural produce are conveyed, to be forwarded to Dundee and shipped for the London market. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Meigle and synod of Angus and Mearns. The minister's stipend is £150, of which nearly three-fourths are paid from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe valued at £25 per annum: patron, the Crown. The church, an ancient structure, is, according to some accounts, supposed to have been erected by an earl of Crawfurd as a chapel for his tenants of the barony of Inverquiech, and subsequently obtained by the proprietors of Ruthven, and appropriated as a parish church for their barony. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of £30, with a house and garden, and the fees average about £15. On the south-west side of the parish were lately the remains of an intrenchment called Castle-Dykes, probably once a safe retreat in times of danger; the ramparts were of earth, and had been apparently very strong; and part of the fosse by which they were surrounded was traceable. During the wars in the reign of Edward of England, a battle is said to have taken place in the vicinity of the parish; and on the south side of the vale of Strathmore are some remains of a camp occupied by the English, and thence called Ingleston, or English town. Stone coffins containing fragments of human bones have been dug up; and there are several cairns.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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