- STRATHMIGLO, an ancient burgh of barony and a parish, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife, 2 miles (W. by S.) from Auchtermuchty; containing, with the hamlets of Westercash and Edenhead, 2187 inhabitants, of whom 1304 are in the town or village of Strathmiglo. This place derives its name from the river Miglo, which, flowing through the parish, divides it into two nearly equal portions, and afterwards assumes the name of the Eden. The lands anciently formed part of the demesnes of the crown, and were granted by Malcolm IV., in marriage with his niece, to Duncan, Earl of Fife, whose descendants, in 1251, gave them to the family of the Scotts of Balwearie, in whose possession they remained for many years. The estate was erected into a burgh of barony in 1600, and its privileges as such were confirmed by charter of James VI., in 1605. The superiority in 1730 became the property of the Balfours, of Burleigh, whose armorial bearings are placed on the front of the town-house, which was built with the materials of the old castle of Cairney-flappet, granted for that purpose to the burgesses by Margaret Balfour, who was then superior of the barony. After the rebellion in 1745, and the consequent abolition of heritable jurisdictions, the burgh lost its privileges; and the lands are now divided among various proprietors, of whom P. G. Skene, Esq., of Pitlour House, is the principal.The parish, which is bounded on the south by the Lomond hill, and on the north by a branch of the Ochils, is about six miles in length, and varies from two to four miles in breadth; comprising an area of 5000 acres, of which 350 are woodland and plantations, 600 meadow and pasture, and the remainder arable. The surface is partly level and partly hilly, rising on both sides of the river by gentle acclivities; on the south to the Lomond range, which has an elevation of 1700 feet above the sea; and on the north to a ridge of inconsiderable eminence, forming a continuation of the Ochil range. The Miglo has its source in two small streams, the one at the north-west, and the other at the south-west, angle of the parish: these, uniting in the valley of Strathmiglo, form the river Eden. The soil, on the south side of the river, is light and thin, but on the north side deeper, and of richer quality, chiefly a fertile loam; the crops are, grain of all kinds, turnips, potatoes, and the various grasses. The system of agriculture is improved, and according to the nature of the land, the four or six rotation plan is adopted: the farm-buildings are substantial and commodiously arranged, and on most of the farms are threshing-mills, several of which are driven by water. The substrata are mainly sandstone and whinstone; and on the side of Lomond hill is found white freestone, of very durable texture, and susceptible of a high polish. Pitlour House is a handsome mansion, situated on an eminence overlooking the town in grounds tastefully laid out.The town is pleasantly seated in a fine plain on the north side of the Miglo, and consists chiefly of one irregularly built street, from which several smaller streets and lanes diverge at right angles: in the centre of the principal street is the town-house, a good building, with a square tower surmounted by a spire. On the opposite side of the river stands the small village of Westercash, and between it and the town is a level meadow called the Town green. The chief business carried on by the inhabitants is the weaving of linen; there is a bleachfield; and the river in its course gives motion to several corn and flour mills, a lint-mill, and a mill for spinning flax. Among the articles made are, diaper, damask, dowlas, checks, and table-linens, in making which from 500 to 600 persons are employed at handlooms, mostly for the manufacturers of Dunfermline, Dundee, and Kirkcaldy; many of the weavers, however, manufacture these articles on their own account. There is a post-office in the town, subordinate to that of Kinross; and facility of communication is afforded by roads kept in excellent repair. Fairs, chiefly for pleasure and general traffic, are held on the last Friday in June and the first Friday in November. The rateable annual value of the parish is £9330. Its ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife. The minister's stipend is £217. 11. 10., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £12 per annum: patron, the Earl of Mansfield. The old church, which was collegiate, belonged to the abbey of Dunkeld; the present church, situated at the east end of the village, is a plain edifice erected about the year 1785, and contains 750 sittings. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church, Reformed Presbyterians, and the United Associate Synod. The parochial school affords instruction to about eighty children, the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average £22 per annum. The schoolroom has recently been enlarged by the heritors, and will now accommodate 150 children; a play-ground also, has been purchased by subscription. A female school has been built by Mr. Skene, who pays the teacher a small salary; and three other schools are supported by subscriptions and donations. The poor have the interest of a bequest of money, yielding £10, and the rent of land, £19 per annum. There are some remains of what are supposed to have been Druidical monuments; also numerous barrows and tumuli in the parish; and human bones, ashes, and various military weapons, have been found at different times.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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