- CARMYLIE, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 6 miles (W. by N.) from Arbroath; containing, with the hamlet of Graystone, 1107 inhabitants. The name is supposed to be derived from a Celtic word, signifying " the top of a high rocky place," which description answers to a castle formerly standing here. At Carbuddo, not far from the parish, are the remains of a camp, indicating the occupation of the ground, in ancient times, by the Romans, who are said to have reduced the forts of Carmylie and Carnegie in the year 139. At a very early period, the lands belonged to the abbey of Aberbrothock, whence the monks came to perform divine service at a chapel here, more ancient than the abbey, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and called in old writings, "Our Lady's chapel of Carmylie;" its site is occupied by the present church. The parish is about six miles long, and its mean breadth three miles; it is bounded by portions of eight parishes, and forms a part of the range of the Sidlaw hills, exhibiting a series of acclivities, which are cultivated throughout, and rise 200 feet above the lowest ground in the parish. These hills are nearly all of equal height, and are about 580 feet above the sea, commanding, on one side, a beautiful and extensive prospect of the Grampian mountains, and, on the other, of the German Ocean and the coast of Fife, and, sometimes, the Lammermoor hills. The only stream of any note is the Elliot or Elot, which rises in a moss called Diltymoss, and, after a course of about eight miles, falls into the sea at Arbirlot.The soil most prevalent is a dark rich-looking mould, which receives its hue, partly from a mixture of moss, and partly from moisture; a light dry soil is found on some of the higher slopes, and in the valleys near the streams is a rich fertile mould, with alluvial deposits. There are about 200 acres of moss, much moor, and 355 acres of plantation, consisting of Scotch and spruce fir, larch, and the ordinary kinds of hard-wood; the crops are, wheat, barley, oats, turnips, potatoes, hay, and peas. Great improvements have been made in husbandry within the last half century, by the conversion of pasture into arable land, by draining marshes and mosses, and reclaiming wastes; also by inclosures, raising good farm-buildings, and introducing the best system of cultivation. The rateable annual value of the parish is £8928. The subsoil is chiefly a stiff retentive clay, requiring frequent and deep draining, and the rock most common, especially in the higher lands, is the red or grey sandstone, covered with the whinstone called scurdy. At Conansythe, a large quantity of steatite has been found, of red hue, variegated with white veins, and suited to the manufacture of superior porcelain. There are also several good quarries in the parish, regularly worked, the stone and slate of which are suited for pavement, and for columns, balusters, and various other ornaments in buildings, and are sent to all the large towns in Scotland, and to London; the slate is of every size, colour, and texture, and many pieces of it, beautifully variegated with spots, when polished, imitate a fine marble.The parish contains two convenient and elegant mansions, built of the native sandstone. That of Guynd is situated on the north bank of the Elot river, and ornamented with several beautiful plantations; the other, which stands on high ground, commands an interesting view of the vales of the Lunan and the Brothock. The population has greatly increased within the present century, owing to the manufacture of coarse linen, such as sheetings, dowlas, Osnaburghs, &c., and to the large number of hands employed in the quarries. A yearly cattle-market is held about the end of April, or beginning of May. The ecclesiastical affairs of the parish are directed by the presbytery of Arbroath and synod of Angus and Mearns. There is a good manse, built in 1820, with a glebe valued at £30 per annum, and the minister's stipend is £158. 8., of which a portion is received from the exchequer; the patronage is in the Crown. The church, which is ancient, is conveniently situated, and is a substantial building, accommodating 500 persons. A congregation has been formed here in connexion with the Free Church; and there is a parochial school, in which are taught Latin, and all the branches of an ordinary education, and the master of which has the maximum salary, with about £18 fees, and a house and garden. A library was instituted in 1828, and is partly under the direction of the Kirk Session. At the Den of Guynd, are the remains of a fort called Dunhead, supposed to be of Caledonian origin, and afterwards to have been occupied by the Danes; it is of triangular form, and appears to have been encompassed by a ditch and wall. Urns, and human bones, have been found in the neighbourhood, the latter supposed to be of the Danes who fell in the battle of Barrie, when they were defeated under Malcolm II. There are several chalybeate springs, the strongest of which is one in the Den of Guynd.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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