Skirling

   SKIRLING, a parish, in the county of Peebles, 2 miles (E. N. E.) from Biggar; containing 345 inhabitants, of whom 75 are in the village, and the remainder in the rural districts. This place, of which the name, in some ancient documents written Scrawline, is of uncertain derivation, is undistinguished by any historical event prior to the reign of Robert the Bruce, by whom the barony, together with the advowson of the church, was granted to John Monfode, to whose successors the gift was confirmed by charter of David II. From this family the barony passed to the Cockburns, and subsequently to various other families till the time of the Revolution, when it was in the possession of General Douglas, a member of the Queensberry family, after whose death at the battle of the Boyne it was purchased by John, first Earl of Hyndford, and given to his second son, the honourable William Carmichael, whose descendant Sir Thomas Gibson Carmichael, Bart., is the present proprietor. The parish is two miles and a half in length and nearly the same in breadth, and comprises about 3330 acres, of which 2610 are arable, 40 woodland plantations, and the remainder rough pasture and waste. The surface is pleasingly undulated, in some parts rising into hills of inconsiderable height. The Biggar water, which skirts the parish for some distance on the south, and is the principal stream, has been recently deepened, so as to receive the numerous drains that have been laid down for the improvement of the lands, by which means, and by embankments, a considerable portion of unproductive ground has been reclaimed and brought into profitable cultivation. The scenery is varied; but the want of wood and plantations renders it destitute of beauty, and the imperfect state of the inclosures gives it rather a bleak appearance. The soil, however, is generally fertile, and the pastures rich, with the exception of a few patches: the crops are, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is advanced, and the rotation plan of husbandry usually practised; the lands are well drained, and the more recent improvements in implements have been introduced. Lime, brought from a great distance, is plentifully used as manure; and the farm-buildings, though inferior to some others in the adjoining districts, are substantial and commodious. The dairy forms a principal object of attention; the cows are mostly of the Ayrshire breed, and so much care has been bestowed on their improvement that many of the premiums awarded at the annual exhibition of Biggar have been adjudged to the farmers of this place. Few sheep are reared, and these are all of the black-faced breed. The woods are chiefly ash, elm, beech, and plane; and plantations, Scotch and spruce firs, intermixed with various kinds of forest-trees. The rateable annual value of the parish is £2258.
   The village is pleasantly situated, and has facility of communication with Biggar, the nearest market-town, and with other places in the district, by good statute roads kept in excellent repair, and by turnpike-roads which pass for three miles within the parish. Fairs are held here on the third Tuesday after the 11th of May, the first Wednesday after the 11th of June, and the 15th of September, for cattle and horses, and are well attended. There is a small prison in the village for the temporary confinement of offenders, under the jurisdiction of a baron-bailie appointed by the lord of the barony. The parish is in the presbytery of Biggar and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and patronage of Sir Thomas G. Carmichael: the minister's stipend is £216. 4. 10., with a manse, and the glebe is valued at £60 per annum. The church, which is conveniently situated, is an ancient edifice; it was thoroughly repaired in 1720, is still in good condition, and adapted for a congregation of 200 persons. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school is well conducted, and affords a liberal education to the children of the parish; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4½ with £25 fees, and a house and garden. Attached to the school is a library supported by subscription, which has a collection of about 300 volumes of well-selected works. A friendly society, also, has been established for more than forty years, which has tended greatly to diminish the number of applications for parochial aid. There are no vestiges of the ancient castle of Skirling, the very site of which has been obliterated by the plough. It was long the residence of the Cockburn family, of whom Sir James Cockburn in the 16th century held the castle of Edinburgh for Mary, Queen of Scots, and was appointed one of her commissioners at the conference held at York. From the fidelity with which he adhered to the fortunes of that queen, he became obnoxious to the regent Murray, by whose order his castle of Skirling was utterly demolished in 1568. Several coins of Adrian and Antoninus have been found at Greatlaws, in the parish, within the last thirty years; and near the same place were discovered some very ancient sepulchres, formed of upright flags of whinstone covered with a slab of the same material. At Kirklaw Hill are slight remains of some religious establishment of which the history is altogether unknown. Howe, the celebrated painter of cattle, was a native of Skirling.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Skirling — Skirl ing, n. A shrill cry or sound; a crying shrilly; a skirl. [Prov. Eng. & Scot.] Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster] When the skirling of the pipes cleft the air his cold eyes softened. Mrs. J. H. Ewing. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Skirling — Skirl ing, n. (Zo[ o]l.) A small trout or salmon; a name used loosely. [Prov. Eng.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Skirling — This interesting surname is of medieval Scottish origin, and is a locational name from Skirling, a village near the west border of Peeblesshire, Scotland. The placename was recorded as Scravelyn in 1275 and as Scravillyn in 1299, and is composed… …   Surnames reference

  • skirling — noun a) A small trout or salmon. ,When the skirling of the pipes cleft the air his cold eyes softened. Mrs. J. H. Ewing. b) A shrill cry or sound; a crying shrilly; a skirl …   Wiktionary

  • skirling — /skerr ling/, n. Scot. and North Eng. the act of shrieking. [1775 85; SKIRL + ING1] * * * …   Universalium

  • skirling — skÉœrl /skɜːl n. sound of a bagpipe; shrill sound, high pitched noise v. play the bagpipe; produce a shrill sound, produce a high pitched noise …   English contemporary dictionary

  • skirling — /skerr ling/, n. Scot. and North Eng. the act of shrieking. [1775 85; SKIRL + ING1] …   Useful english dictionary

  • Scarlan — This interesting surname is of medieval Scottish origin, and is a locational name from Skirling, a village near the west border of Peeblesshire, Scotland. The placename was recorded as Scravelyn in 1275 and as Scravillyn in 1299, and is composed… …   Surnames reference

  • Scarlin — This interesting surname is of medieval Scottish origin, and is a locational name from Skirling, a village near the west border of Peeblesshire, Scotland. The placename was recorded as Scravelyn in 1275 and as Scravillyn in 1299, and is composed… …   Surnames reference

  • Scarlon — This interesting surname is of medieval Scottish origin, and is a locational name from Skirling, a village near the west border of Peeblesshire, Scotland. The placename was recorded as Scravelyn in 1275 and as Scravillyn in 1299, and is composed… …   Surnames reference

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