- CARMICHAEL, a parish, in the Upper ward of the county of Lanark, 5 miles (S. E.) from Lanark, containing 874 inhabitants. This place derives its name from St. Michael, to whom its first church was dedicated. The remains of antiquity of which historical use can be made, are very few; in the south-west corner of the parish are vestiges of a camp and military station, and a few years ago, a large coffin constructed of sandstone was found, but destitute of any mark to guide opinion as to its probable origin. On the summit of the lofty mountain of Tinto, is a cairn or heap of stones; and in some parts, are stone crosses, all of which point out the places of military occupation and engagement, concerning the particular facts of which nothing determinate is on record. The ancient and illustrious family of Carmichael occupy the most prominent place in the civil history of the parish: one of its members, John, second Lord Carmichael, born in 1672, was created Earl of Hyndford in 1701, and filled a succession of honourable and important offices to the time of his death, which took place on his estate here.The length of the Parish, from south-west to north-east, is six miles, and its extreme breadth nearly five miles; it contains about 11,630 imperial acres, and is bounded on the north by the Clyde river, from its confluence with Douglas water to Mill-hill, and intersected by the roads from Carlisle to Stirling, and Edinburgh to Ayr. The surface presents numerous irregularities, consisting of hill and valley, breaks, and sweeping undulations, crowned, in the south-eastern part, by the lofty and celebrated mountain of Tinto, which rises to an elevation of about 2400 feet. This majestic hill, the name of which is said to signify "the hill of fire," from the fires formerly kindled upon it, commands an interesting and extensive view of the lower elevations of Carmichael, Drumalbin, Whitecastle, Crossridge, and Stonehill hills, all in the parish, the ground gradually sinking to the northern extremity. The climate is cold; and the surface is covered, in many parts, with poor pasture, and only in the highly cultivated grounds has an agreeable aspect. The Soil, in the vicinity of the Clyde, is thin and sandy; in other parts, a good deep loam, but in the arable districts, generally damp and clayey, resting upon an impervious till or ferruginous clay, with a considerable mixture of marine stones. The number of acres (Scotch) under cultivation is, 4702 arable, and 3815 pasture; 735 acres are plantations, which consist of oak, ash, elm, plane, beech, alder, poplar, birch, and horse-chesnut. The crops generally raised are, oats, barley, bear, peas, potatoes, turnips, rye-grass, and meadow hay, the first of which greatly predominates; the cattle are of the Ayrshire breed, and the sheep are the black-faced, with a few Cheviots. The system of agriculture is excellent, and numerous improvements have been introduced of late years; the rateable annual value of the parish is £5280.The prevailing rock is the old red sandstone, which is good for building houses or fences, and is abundant in the hills of Carmichael, Whitecastle, and Drumalbin; felspar porphyry, in some places, lies near the sandstone, and in the Crossridge hill is a stratum of clayslate, passing into greywacke slate. Blocks of quartz are sometimes seen, exposed by the action of the streams; and blocks of gneiss have been found, deposited in alluvial soil, whither it is supposed they had been carried by the violence of the rivers. There are quarries of limestone and sandstone. Carmichael House, an ancient and magnificent baronial residence, for many generations the seat of the family of the same name, is encompassed by aged and lofty trees, and extensive grounds and plantations, which were greatly improved by John, Earl of Hyndford. The mansion of Eastend, comparatively a modern structure, is elegant and commodious. There is a tan-work in the parish, in a prosperous state; also an establishment for the carrying of leather, which is carried on with considerable profit. At Carmichael Mill, is a foundry, which supplies most of the iron-work for threshing-mills and other machinery used in the parish; and there are thirty hands employed as weavers. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the direction of the presbytery of Lanark and synod of Glasgow and Ayr; the patronage is exercised by Sir W. Carmichael Anstruther, Bart., and the minister's stipend is £225. The church, a cruciform building, erected in 1750, is in good repair, and accommodates between 400 and 500 persons; the manse was built at the same time, and considerably enlarged some years ago, and is supplied with a glebe valued at £20 per annum. There is a parochial school, in which are taught the classics, French, and mathematics, with all the usual branches of education; the salary is £32, with more than the legal accommodations, and fees of about £26. 8. Another school, at Ponfeigh, is supported partly by the heritors; and there is a savings'-bank, established in 1814.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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