- ABERNYTE, a parish, in the county of Perth, 10 miles (W.) from Dundee; containing 280 inhabitants. The name of this place is of Gaelic origin, referring to the situation of the principal village, near the confluence of two rivulets, one of which is supposed to have obtained the appellation of Nyte. Very little is known concerning the transactions that anciently occurred here; but a battle is said to have been fought in the parish, between two powerful families, the Grays of Fowlis, and the Boyds of Pitkindie, in which the latter were victorious; and upon the top of a hill called Glenny-law, are two cairns, thought to have been raised in consequence of this engagement. The parish, including Glenbran, annexed to it quoad sacra, is about three miles in extreme length, and two in breadth, and contains about 1703 acres under cultivation, 172 in good pasture, and about 341 in plantations, consisting chiefly of larch and Scotch fir; it is bounded on the north by the Sidlaw hills. The district lies among those hills that rise gradually from the Carse of Gowrie to the top of the ridge of Dunsinnan, the highest point of which in this parish, called King's Seat, is 1050 feet above the sea. The most cultivated part of the parish is situated 300 feet above the level of the Tay, and about three miles in a direct line from that river. The numerous hills and vales in the locality, impart to the scenery a picturesque character, and fine prospects may be had from several of the heights; there are many rivulets among the valleys, and at the head of a romantic dell is a beautiful cascade, the waters of which are thrown from a perpendicular height of almost forty feet.In the lower parts, the arable land is, in general, of a light fertile soil, lying frequently on gravel, and sometimes on clay, or on a mixture of both; in some parts, the earth runs to a considerable depth. The portions of the higher grounds which are not planted, are covered with coarse grass or heath. All the usual white and green crops are produced, of good quality; the best system of agriculture is followed, and great advantages are said to have resulted from the consolidation of small farms. The use of bone-dust for turnip husbandry, and the practice of turning the sheep to eat off the turnips, have proved of much benefit; the implements of husbandry are good, and the farm-houses and buildings have mostly been placed upon an excellent footing; but the fences, which form an exception to the generally improved appearance of the parish, are deficient in extent, and sometimes in very bad order. The rocks are sandstone, with amygdaloid containing agates or pebbles. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Dundee, in the synod of Angus and Mearns; patron, the Crown; there is a commodious manse, with a glebe of nearly 7 arable acres, and 3 of pasture, and a large garden; and the stipend is nominally £150, but has lately fallen short of this sum. The church, built in 1736, and recently repaired, is situated at the lowest extremity of the parish. A tabernacle was built about forty-five years since, by Mr. Haldane, for missionaries, and is now occupied by a congregation of Burghers; and there is a parochial school, in which instruction is given in every branch of education, and of which the master has the maximum salary, with about £27 fees. Several Druidical circles yet remain; and in the parish is also the "Long Man's Grave," a noted spot at the road-side, north-east of Dunsinnan Hill, of which the traditionary account states that one, guilty either of suicide or murder, was buried there.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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