CALLANDER, a parish, in the county of Perth; containing, with the village of Kilmahog, 1665 inhabitants, of whom 1107 are in the village of Callander, 6 miles (N. N. E.) from Port of Monteith. This place derives its name, of Gaelic origin, from an ancient ferry across the river Teath, the principal road to which lay within its limits. The parish is about eighteen miles in length, and varies greatly in breadth, being in some parts scarcely a mile, and in others nearly ten miles. It is bounded on the north and north-west by a branch of the Grampians; and the scenery is boldly varied by hills and mountains, of which the most prominent is Ben-Ledi, which has an elevation of 2863 feet above the sea, and forms a boundary of the valley that contains the village. A hill near the village forms also a very interesting feature in the landscape, being richly clothed with flourishing plantations, formed some years since, by Lady Willoughby de Eresby; the hill called the Crag of Callander bounds the vale on the north, and in the vicinity flows the Teath, adding, with its lofty wooded banks, materially to the beauty of the scenery. This river is formed by the union of two streams which issue, respectively, from the north and south sides of Ben-Ledi, and over it is a bridge, at the village, from which the view in every direction is strikingly picturesque. Another river, named the Keltie, forms a boundary to the parish, on the eastern side, and, after a devious course, falls into the Teath; across it, is a bridge at Brackland, which is an object of great interest, and much admired. There are also various lakes, some of which are caused by the natural obstructions that the rivers find in their course; Loch Venachoir, on the south of Ben-Ledi, is about four miles in length, and connected with it are the lakes of Auchray and Katrine, both rich in picturesque beauty, and described in the article on Aberfoyle, an adjoining parish.
   The lakes, as also the rivers, abound with trout and other fish, among which are, eels, pike, perch, char, and salmon; and the former are frequented by different kinds of aquatic fowl. The parish is well wooded, and extensive plantations have been formed; the timber is principally oak, ash, alder, birch, larch, hazel, and willow; the oak is much cultivated, and a considerable quantity of bark is sold to the tanners. The soil varies greatly; little more, even of the low lands, is cultivated than is sufficient for the supply of the inhabitants, who are chiefly attentive to the rearing of cattle and sheep, for which the hills and vales afford excellent pasturage. The system of agriculture, as far as it is practised upon the few arable farms in the parish, is improved; and the crops are, oats of various kinds, barley, potatoes, and turnips. The breed of black-cattle is much attended to; the Cheviot and Leicestershire breeds of sheep are pastured on the low lands, and the black-faced on the hills. The rateable annual value of the parish is £7200. The substrata are, limestone, slate, freestone, and pudding-stone; the limestone is of good quality, and is worked, not only for the supply of this parish, but for many others, and considerable quantities of lime are sent to distant parts. The slate is of a brownish colour, and was formerly quarried on several lands; the freestone, which is grey, is very excellent, and extensively quarried for building. The proprietor of Gart has erected a spacious and handsome residence on the north bank of the Teath; the grounds are tastefully embellished, and command some highly interesting views.
   The village, which is on the great road from Stirling to the Western Highlands, consists chiefly of one spacious street; the houses are well built of stone, and roofed with slate, and the inhabitants are amply supplied with water, which is conveyed by leaden pipes. There is a subscription library. A considerable trade is carried on, and great quantities of wool are sent to Bannockburn, Glasgow, and Liverpool, for the use of carpet manufacturers. A daily post has been established under Stirling. A market is still held; and fairs occur in March and May, for black cattle, sheep, and horses, and some smaller fairs for lambs, hiring of farm servants, and other business. There is also a spacious inn, for the accommodation of the numerous parties who frequent this place, to view the many interesting spots in the neighbourhood. The parish is in the presbytery of Dunblane and synod of Perth and Stirling; the minister's stipend is £197. 14. 11., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £38 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, a neat edifice, with a tower and spire, was erected in 1773, and is adapted for a congregation of 800 persons. A place of worship has been erected in connexion with the Free Church. The parochial school affords a liberal education; the master has a salary of £34, with £36 fees, and a house and garden. About a mile from the village is a hill rising perpendicularly 300 feet, and having, on the summit, the remains of an ancient fortification, from which the height takes the name of "Dun-bo-chaistil;" the gateway, and several traces of ditches and mounds, are distinctly visible, and within the inclosure is a well, which has been filled in, to prevent accidents to the cattle that feed there. In the plain immediately around it, is a mound of earth, strengthened with stones, which may probably have been an outpost; but the history of this relic of ancient times is not known. Near the manse, are the remains of Callander Castle, once a building of great strength; and on the lands of Auchinlaich, are those of an ancient fort, in good preservation, and nearly entire. There is a circular mount of considerable height, near the churchyard, called the Hill of St. Kessaig; and a fair is held there annually in March, called the festival of St. Kessaig. About half a mile to the west of it, is a similar tumulus, called Little Leney, where was anciently a chapel.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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