Torryburn

   TORRYBURN, a parish, in the district of Dunfermline, county of Fife; containing, with the villages of Torryburn, Torry, and Crombie-Point, 1435 inhabitants, of whom 602 are in the village of Torryburn, 4 miles (W. by S.) from Dunfermline. This place takes its name from the situation of the church and principal village on the burn of Torry, and comprises the ancient parish of Crombie, which, after its church had fallen into decay, was annexed to Torryburn about the year 1620. The parish is bounded on the south by the Frith of Forth; it is situated at the south-western extremity of the county, and is about five miles in length and from one to two miles in breadth, comprising an area of 3520 acres. The surface is beautifully varied; and the higher grounds command fine views of the Frith and the opposite coasts, with the castle, and part of the city, of Edinburgh. The lower grounds are watered by the Torry, which flows into the Frith; and two small streams form part of the boundaries of the parish on the east and west. The lands off the shore are dry at low-water, and a considerable portion of rich soil might be recovered from the sea, by embankment, at a very moderate expense. The soil of the parish is various, but generally fertile, producing crops of wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, and turnips. The system of agriculture is in an improved state; the farm-buildings are substantial and well arranged; the land has been well drained and inclosed, and all the more recent improvements in implements of husbandry have been adopted. The substratum is chiefly coal, of which many mines were formerly in operation; at present, one only is wrought, affording employment to sixty men. There is a seam of fine parrot coal, of excellent quality for gas, and of which 2500 tons are annually raised; and from another seam, of rough splint coal, about 6000 tons are produced. The rateable annual value of the parish amounts to £5978. Torrie House, the seat of Capt. James Erskine Wemyss, is a handsome mansion finely situated, and once contained a valuable collection of paintings, which were bequeathed by the late Sir John Erskine to the university of Edinburgh. There are also the houses of Craigflower, Inzievar, and Oakley, all pleasant residences.
   The village of Torryburn is on the road from Dunfermline to Alloa, and was formerly a town of considerable trade; but since the discontinuance of the saltworks here, which were very extensive, and the abandonment of many of the collieries, it has greatly declined. About 6000 tons of coal, however, are still shipped annually from the pier (which is in a very indifferent state of repair); and at present there are seven vessels, of 320 tons' aggregate burthen, used in what remains of its extensive trade in coal. The inhabitants of the parish are now chiefly employed in agriculture, and in the weaving of damask, and of cotton goods for the houses of Glasgow, in which branches of manufacture about sixty persons are engaged; and many of the females are occupied in tambour work and the flowering of muslin. A fair, chiefly for pleasure and toys, and which generally terminates in a horse-race, is held annually on the village green, on the second Wednesday in July. Facilities of communication are afforded by the turnpike-road from Dunfermline, which passes for four miles through the parish; and by means of a boat from Crombie-Point, access is obtained to the steamers in the Frith of Forth, that ply between Stirling and Edinburgh. The hamlet of Crombie-Point contains 54 inhabitants, who are partly employed in agriculture, and partly in the collieries. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dunfermline and synod of Fife. The minister's stipend is £179. 4. 4., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £10. 13. 4.; patrons, the representatives of the late Rev. Dr. Erskine, of Carnock. The church, which is situated at the east end of the village, was rebuilt in 1800, and is a neat plain structure in good repair, containing 502 sittings, nearly the whole free. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship. The parochial school is attended by about eighty children; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average £36 per annum. There are other schools, two of which are chiefly for teaching girls to read and sew. Some remains exist of the ancient church of Crombie, situated on an eminence overlooking the Frith of Forth; and there are some upright stones in the parish, supposed to have been erected in commemoration of a battle which had taken place near the spot, but of which there is no distinct record.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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