- TYNRON, a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 4½ miles (W. S. W.) from Thornhill, containing 474 inhabitants, of whom nearly 80 are in the village. The name, of Gaelic origin, is in different records written Tyndron, Tintroyn, and Tindroyn, and is supposed to have been derived from the peculiar form of a hill near the lower extremity of the parish, called the Dun, or Doon, of Tynron. On the summit of the hill, which is of pyramidal shape, with a singular projection from one of its sides, might till lately be traced the foundations of an ancient fortress, said to have been the retreat of King Robert Bruce after the death of Comyn at Dumfries. During his concealment here, the king frequently visited the cottage of a poor man named Brownrig, situated in a neighbouring croft surrounded with thick woods, and where in perfect security he partook of such fare as the humble dwelling afforded. In acknowledgment of the hospitality he had experienced, the monarch conferred upon his host a grant of the croft in which the cottage stood, with a portion of the surrounding lands for the pasture of a few cattle; and though the lands have been alienated by the Brownrigs, they are still the property of the poor of Tynron. The parish is situated in the district of Nithsdale, and bounded on the north-east by the river Scar, which separates it from the parish of Penpont; it is fourteen miles in length and two and a half in breadth, comprising nearly 15,000 acres, of which 3100 are arable, 500 woodland and plantations, and the remainder hill pasture, moor, and waste. The surface is boldly diversified. Two ranges of hills intersect the parish in a direction from north-west to south-east; the one terminates in the Dun of Tynron, and the other in that of Maxwelltown, in the adjoining parish of Glencairn. The hills are uniformly covered with verdure, affording excellent pasture for sheep and cattle; and those of Lamgarroch and Cormilligan, the highest in the parish, have an elevation of 1800 feet above the level of the sea. Between the ranges of hills, which command from their summits extensive and richly varied prospects over the surrounding country, are some large tracts of fine level land, forming portions of Strath-Nithsdale, and chiefly arable and in good cultivation. The prevailing scenery, being enriched with wood, is pleasing. The river Shinnel, which has its source in the Black Hill, situated to the north-west, flows in a south-eastern direction through the parish, dividing it into two nearly equal parts, and falls into the Scar at Capenoch, in the adjoining parish of Keir, having made in its course a romantic cascade called Aird-Linn, near the manse, where its banks are richly wooded. There are numerous smaller streams flowing through the level lands in various directions, all of which abound with trout of small size, affording good sport to the angler; also several fine springs of excellent water.The soil is generally light and sandy, but of tolerable fertility, producing more grain than is requisite for the consumption of the inhabitants; the parish is, however, rather of a pastoral than of an agricultural character. The crops are grain of all kinds, with potatoes, turnips, and the usual grasses. The system of husbandry is good, and a due regard is paid to a regular rotation; the lands have been drained and inclosed; and from the facility of obtaining lime from the neighbouring quarries of Closeburn, and the introduction of guano for manure on the turnip lands, much improvement has taken place. The farm houses and offices, most of which are of recent erection, are substantial and commodiously arranged; the fences are kept in good repair, and much waste and unprofitable land has been reclaimed and brought into cultivation under the auspices of both the resident and non-resident proprietors. Great attention is paid to live-stock. The sheep are of the Cheviot and black-faced breeds, with a few of a cross between the Cheviot and the Leicestershire; the cattle are chiefly the Ayrshire and Galloway, with a few of the Highland, which were formerly preferred, but have now decreased in number. There are considerable remains of natural wood, consisting of oak, common and mountain ash, birch, plane, alder, and willow; and the plantations are larch, Scotch, spruce, and silver firs, and balm of Gilead, interspersed with various kinds of forest-trees, all of which are well managed and in a thriving condition. The principal substrata are, greywacke, of which the rocks are mainly composed, clayslate, and a flinty kind of slate called Lydian stone: an attempt was at one time made on the lands of Stenhouse to discover lead-ore, of which there were some slight indications; but none was found, and the works were soon abandoned. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3816.The village, or kirktown, of Tynron, is pleasantly situated on the road from Thornhill, under which it has a daily post: the nearest market-town is Dumfries, to which are chiefly sent both the agricultural and the pastoral produce. Facility of communication is afforded by the turnpike-road from Portpatrick to Edinburgh, which passes through the eastern portion of the parish; by good roads kept in repair by statute labour, of which fifteen miles intersect it in various directions; and by bridges over the river Shinnel and the Scar. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Penpont and synod of Dumfries. The minister's stipend is £234. 18. 3., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum; patron, the Duke of Buccleuch. The church, which is well situated, was erected in 1837, at a cost of £1000; it is a handsome structure in the later English style of architecture, after a design by Mr. Burn, of Edinburgh, and contains 314 sittings. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £25. 13. 4., with a house and garden, and the fees average about £5 annually. A school, of which the master has a salary of £22 from the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, under the will of Mr. John Gibson, and for which a schoolroom, and dwelling-house for the master, were built in 1765 by the Duke of Queensberry, is likewise well supported. Mr. Gibson also bequeathed £13 per annum to twelve industrious poor persons of the parish. There are some vestiges of a Roman road leading from the Dun of Tynron to Drumloff, and crossing the Shinnel near Stenhouse: along the line have been found Roman urns containing calcined bones. Three cairns were formerly existing in the parish, in one of which, at M' Question, and in another, on the farm of Land, were found stone coffins, with fragments of human bones and a hammer of stone; and in a third, at Pingarie, were nine stone coffins containing human bones, the whole of which, with the surrounding stones to some distance, had been fused into one solid mass.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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