ABERLEMNO, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 6 miles (N. E.) from Forfar; containing, with the chapelry of Auldbar, 1023 inhabitants. This place is named from the small river Lemno, the word Aberlemno signifying "the mouth of the Lemno," which stream, after flowing a few miles towards the south-west, and winding northerly around the western extremity of the hill of Oathlaw, strikes off to the east, and falls into the Esk, about a mile from its source. The parish is separated on the north, by the Esk, from those of Tannadice and Careston, and measures about 6 miles in length, and 5 in breadth, in some places. It forms part of a hilly district situated towards the south of Strathmore, the higher portions, which are bleak, being principally covered with broom and heath, while the lower grounds are generally fertile, though in one direction subject to inundations from the Esk. The hill of Turin is the highest, the others attaining only a moderate elevation; it rises about 800 feet above the level of the sea, commanding extensive prospects, and contributing greatly, by the plantations of fir on its slope, to the improvement of the scenery. The lake of Balgavies, on the southern boundary, affords good pike and perch angling, and yielded formerly a large supply of marl for manuring the lands. The inhabitants, with the exception of a few engaged in weaving and in quarrying, follow agricultural pursuits, and the farmers pay much attention to the rearing of cattle, considerable numbers of which, with large quantities of potatoes, are sent to the London market. There are four meal and barley mills, driven by water, and all the large farms have threshing-mills. Several quarries of fine slate stone, of a greyish colour, are in operation, supplying a good material for building.
   The neighbourhood abounds with old castles, and the remains of strong places, some of which are still inhabited, and are beautified with trees of the finest wood in the parish, especially the houses of Auldbar, Turin, and Balgavies; the first of these consists of an ancient and a modern portion, and is inhabited; that of Balgavies is comparatively modern, a single vault only of the ancient structure remaining. The house of Carsegownie has been lately partially stripped of its antiquated and feudal appearance; but the castle of Flemmington, a little to the east of the church, retains all the distinguishing features of the predatory era in which it was erected. The Auldbar turnpike-road, joining the railway station of the same name to Brechin, passes through the place, as well as a portion of the turnpikeroad from Forfar to Montrose; and there is a parish road from Forfar to Brechin, running in a north-easterly direction, through the whole length of the district. The parish is in the presbytery of Forfar and synod of Angus and Mearns, and in the patronage of the Crown and the family of Smythe; the minister's stipend is £228. 6. 6., with a manse, and glebe valued at £15 per annum. The church was built upon the old foundation, from about 3 feet above the ground, in the year 1722, and accommodates 450 persons with sittings. The parochial school affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with fees producing between £12 and £14. There is a library of miscellaneous works. The most interesting relic of antiquity is the ruin of the castle of Melgund, said to have been built by Cardinal Beaton, and still indicating, by its extent and strength, its former magnificence: on the summit of Turin hill, are the remains of an ancient fort called Camp Castle, commanding most extensive views, and supposed to have been raised as a watch-tower. There are numerous tumuli and cairns, and several obelisks or monumental stones, ornamented with various devices, one of the chief of which is in the churchyard, exhibiting on one side a cross in bold relief covered with flowers, and on the other numerous martial figures, thought to be memorials of important military achievments in days of old. The title of Viscount Melgund is borne by the Earl of Minto, proprietor of nearly half of the parish.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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