- CARNBEE, a parish, in the district of St. Andrew's, county of Fife, 2 miles (N. N. W.) from Pittenweem; containing 1043 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated in the south-eastern part of the county, is above four miles in length, and nearly of equal breadth, comprising about 5600 acres, of which more than 3000 are arable, and the remainder, with the exception of a moderate proportion of woodland and plantations, meadow and pasture. The surface is diversified with hills of conical form, of which the most conspicuous is Kellie Law, rising to the height of 810 feet, and commanding from the summit, a fine view of the Frith of Forth, the German Sea, and the coasts of Haddington and Mid Lothian, with the city of Edinburgh in the distance. Nearly one-half of this hill is arable, and the remainder is covered with verdure to the summit; the hills of Carnbee Law, Cumner, and Gelland are of similar form, rising to a considerable height, and affording excellent pasturage. The lands are watered by several small burns, which flow in various directions. The soil is mostly fertile; in some parts, a clayey loam, in others, a rich black mould of great depth; and the pastures generally are luxuriant. The chief crops are, wheat, barley, oats, peas, beans, potatoes, and turnips; the system of husbandry is greatly improved; around the mansions of the principal proprietors may be seen the remnants of ancient timber, and the plantations of more recent date are in a thriving state. The rateable annual value of the parish is £11,390. The substrata are chiefly coal, which is generally prevalent throughout the parish, and of which two mines are in operation; and limestone and freestone of excellent quality, which are both extensively quarried.Kellie Castle, for many generations the baronial seat of the earls of Kellie, and now the property of the Earl of Mar and Kellie, was once a noble mansion, containing many stately apartments, and situated near the base of Kellie Law, in a richly-wooded demesne. Balcaskie House, near the southern boundary of the parish, is surrounded with grounds tastefully laid out; and Pitcorthie House and Gibliston are also handsome residences. The village, which is small, is chiefly inhabited by persons employed in the coal-works. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of St. Andrew's and synod of Fife; the minister's stipend is £238. 17., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £30 per annum; patron, Sir Ralph Anstruther, Bart. The ancient church has been replaced by a neat structure, erected in 1794. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees average £25. Among persons connected with the parish, have been, Hugo Arnott, author of State Trials, and Archibald Constable, the eminent publisher, of whom, the latter was a native of Carnbee.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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