AIRTH, a parish, in the county of Stirling, 6½ miles (N.) from Falkirk; containing, with the village of Dunmore, 1498 inhabitants, of whom 583 are in the village of Airth. The Gaelic term ard, or ardhé, signifying a hill, is supposed to have given the name to this place, in which the eminence called the Hill of Airth is a conspicuous feature, and forms a striking contrast to the level district by which it is surrounded. The parish is situated on the shore of the Forth, which is its boundary on the north and east, for about 8½ miles, and contains the three small landing-places or harbours of Newmiln, Airth, and Dunmore; its length, from north to south, is 6½ miles, and its breadth 3½, comprising 16,400 acres, mostly in tillage. The small river Pow is the only water besides the Forth; it rises in the parish of St. Ninian's, and, after being crossed by several stone bridges, falls into the latter river near Kincardine ferry. The prevailing soil consists of alluvial deposits from the Forth; and the layers of shells, at a small distance from the surface, on the lower grounds, have led to the opinion that this portion of the parish formed originally a part of the bed of the river. Most kinds of grain and green crops are raised, averaging, in annual value, £100,000; and the general husbandry, which has been for some time on the advance, is now considered equal to that of the best cultivated districts. The rocks comprise distinct varieties of sandstone, differing in colour, texture, and extent, and there are several quarries. Argillaceous rock also exists, of the fireproof species, on which rest beds of coal, belonging, with their appropriate strata, to the great coalfield of Scotland, though they are not at present worked, the pits formerly in operation, near the village of Dunmore, having been closed since 1811, on account of their exhausted state. The plantations are chiefly in the vicinity of the beautiful hill of Airth and Dunmore Park, the most prominent and striking portions of the parish, on the former of which is situated Airth Castle, a very ancient building, with a handsome new front, surmounted in the centre by a tower, the whole forming a picturesque object from every part of the surrounding country. In Dunmore Park is the mansion of the Earl of Dunmore, built in the Elizabethan style, about twenty years since, upon an extensive lawn richly studded with all kinds of trees, and encompassed with grounds thickly planted, like those of the Castle, with larch, Scotch fir, birch, oak, and beech. About 185 acres of land, recovered from the sea, have been added to the Airth estate, and 150 to that of Dunmore, within the last fifty years, and are secured by embankments of mud and turf, defended by substantial stone facings; and considerable tracts of moss are annually recovered by the employment of what are called "moss lairds," who, by hard labour, are gradually reducing the large extent, amounting to between 300 and 400 acres, receiving for their work £24 per acre.
   The parish is traversed by the Glasgow turnpike-road, on which the Alloa and Kirkcaldy coaches travel daily; there is also constant communication with Edinburgh, by means of steam-boats plying on the Forth, throughout the whole year. Over the small river Pow, up which the tide flows, for above a mile, is the Abbeytown bridge, situated on the road from Airth and Dunmore to Carron and Falkirk, having received this name from a town, as is supposed, to which it led, in a direct line, and near which was an ancient abbey. There are two old ferries, called Kersie and Higgin's Neuck, the latter about a mile across, and the former half that distance, at which, on each side of the river, is a pier for the accommodation of passengers at all states of the tide. The harbours of Airth, Dunmore, and Newmiln are within the jurisdiction of the custom-house of Alloa, and there are four registered vessels belonging to the parish. An annual fair is held on the last Tuesday in July, chiefly for the hiring of servants as shearers. The parish is in the presbytery of Stirling and synod of Perth and Stirling, and in the patronage of the family of Graham; the minister's stipend is £281. 12., with a manse, and a glebe of 10 acres, including the site of the manse and garden, valued at £27 per annum. The church, which is conveniently situated, was built in 1820, and is capable of accommodating 800 persons. There is a place of worship for the Burgher denomination. The parochial school affords instruction in Latin, arithmetic, book-keeping, and the usual elementary branches; the master has a salary of £34, and £40 fees. The poor enjoy the benefit of several considerable bequests; a savings' bank was instituted in 1821, and there are two friendly societies, one of which is connected with the weavers of the parish, who carry on a manufacture to a very limited extent. The family of Murray derive the title of Earl from their ancient seat of Dunmore, in the parish.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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