Blackford

   BLACKFORD, a parish, in the county of Perth, 4 miles (S. W.) from Auchterarder; containing, with part of the quoad sacra parish of Ardoch, 1782 inhabitants, of whom 547 are in the village. This place probably derives its name from the ancient word fiord, a way; being equidistant from the towns of Perth and Stirling, between which it formed the principal line of communication. The parish is bounded on the north by the river Earn, and on the south by the river Devon, and is about 10 miles in length, and 5 in breadth. The surface is considerably varied with level and elevated grounds; the Ochil hills, of which the sloping acclivities afford excellent pasturage for sheep, intersect the parish towards the south, and the low lands are fertilized by several small rivers, which add much to the beauty of the landscape. Of these, the river Machany, which rises in the high lands of the parish of Muthil, after flowing through this parish, falls into the Earn at Kinkell. The Ruthven, which has its source at Gleneagles, in the parish, is but a small stream, having its course through the glen of Kincardine for nearly three miles, when, taking an easterly direction, it flows through the parish of Auchterarder, into the river Earn; and the river Allen, which also rises at Gleneagles, takes a westerly course through the parish of Dunblane, and falls into the river Forth. The soil, especially in the northern part of the parish, is rich, and in good cultivation; the system of agriculture is improved, and considerable portions of waste land have been reclaimed, and are at present under tillage. Much attention has also been paid to the growth of plantations, which have been extensively formed on the wide moor of Tullibardine, and in other parts; the principal trees of older growth are, oak and birch. At Tullibardine, are still remaining a few trees of a plantation of thorn, raised by a ship-wright, in commemoration of the building of a large ship for James IV., in which he had been employed. The rateable annual value of the parish amounts to £10,700.
   The village is inhabited principally by persons engaged in weaving, and the manufacture of a coarse kind of woollen-cloth affords employment to a considerable number; a factory has been erected, in which machinery has been introduced, and from seventy to eighty persons are regularly employed, exclusively of many who work at their own homes. Two fairs are held annually; but from the proximity of Auchterarder and other market-towns, they are not much attended. The parish is in the presbytery of Auchterarder and synod of Perth and Stirling; the minister's stipend is £206. 11., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £18 per annum. The church, built in 1738, and recently repaired, is adapted for a congregation of 500 persons. The parochial school affords a liberal course of instruction; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with the customary fees, and a good dwelling-house and garden. There are several remains of ancient military works, connected probably with the Roman camp at Ardoch, to which station they are supposed to have been out-works; also numerous cairns and tumuli in different parts of the parish. Some remains likewise exist of the castles of Kincardine and Ogilvy, the walls of which are of great thickness; and at Gleneagles and Tullibardine, are the remains of chapels. The lands of Tullibardine give the title of Marquess to the Duke of Atholl.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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