CARNOCK, a parish, in the district of Dunfermline, county of Fife, 3 miles (W. N. W.) from Dunfermline; containing, with the village of Cairney-hill, and the hamlet of Gowkhall, 1270 inhabitants, of whom 184 are in the village of Carnock. This place originally included only the barony of Carnock, and the lands of Blair, and Easter and Wester Camps; but in 1650, the Pitdennies, the lands of Luscar, and those of Clune, which formed part of the parish of Dunfermline, were, by act of the presbytery, annexed to this parish. The barony formerly belonged to Lieut.-Col. John Erskine, whose eldest son, a distinguished member of the bar, and professor of Scottish law in the university of Edinburgh, built the old mansion of Newbigging, now a farm-house. Mr. Erskine, after residing at this place during the intervals of his professional avocations, and having here composed his Institutes of Law, removed to Cardross, where he died in 1767. The parish, which is situated at the western extremity of the county, is about three miles in length, and measures nearly the same in average breadth, comprising about 2260 acres, of which 1060 are arable, 450 woodland and plantations, and the remainder meadow and pasture. The surface is pleasingly undulated, in some parts having a considerable elevation; Camps Hill and Carniel Hill form a continuous range of rising ground, commanding a view of the Frith of Forth, with the adjacent country, from Stirling on the west, to Edinburgh on the east. The Luscar Know and the Clun of Newbigging are also elevated, and command views of the Ochils, Ben-Lomond, and the Pentland hills. The streams are small; the Ink Craig, near the village of Carnock, is remarkable for the black colour of its water, which, for ordinary purposes, is sometimes used as ink.
   The soil is extremely various, but generally productive, and, in some parts, richly fertile; the system of agriculture is in an improved state; the crops are, oats, barley, wheat, and beans, with potatoes and turnips. A considerable number of sheep are pastured; the cattle are chiefly of the Fifeshire and Teeswater breeds, but few are reared, though great numbers are fattened for the markets. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3126. Coal is diffused throughout, and formerly there were five mines in operation; the only one at present wrought, is on the lands of Blair, consisting of four separate seams, of which the uppermost is a blind coal, three feet in thickness, and is used chiefly by brewers and maltsters. The other seams are household coal, of different qualities, of which the lowest is found at a depth of twenty-three fathoms. Sandstone, limestone, and varieties of trap, constitute the rocks, and freestone is quarried in several places; in some, susceptible of a high polish. The plantations are in a thriving state, and are chiefly larch, spruce and Scotch firs, oak, beech, elm, chesnut, and ash; of these, the firs, oak, and beech, of which there are many stately trees on the plantations formed by Mr. Erskine, seem best adapted to the soil.
   The principal seats are, Carnock House, a small but handsome mansion; Blair House, a neat substantial building, erected about the year 1815; and Luscar House, a handsome mansion in the Elizabethan style, recently erected. The village of Carnock is pleasantly situated on a rivulet of that name, over which is a bridge, supposed, from an inscription on one of the stones, to have been first erected about 1638; a post-office, subordinate to that of Dunfermline, was established in 1838. The manufacture of table-linen, and table-covers of cotton and worsted, affords employment to more than 200 of the inhabitants, in hand-loom weaving for the wholesale houses at Dunfermline. A fair for cattle, and for general business, is held on the 26th of May, or, when that day falls on Sunday, on the preceding Saturday. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Dunfermline and synod of Fife; the minister's stipend is £155, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £24 per annum; patron, John A. Stuart, Esq. The church, erected in 1841, is a handsome cruciform structure in the Norman style, with a graceful spire, and contains 400 sittings, with arrangements for the erection of galleries, if requisite, for 200 more; in the churchyard, are considerable remains of the ancient church. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church; also a meeting-house in connexion with the United Secession Synod. The parochial school is attended by about sixty children; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees average about £16. In the village, is a parochial library, containing 250 volumes. Some Roman coins, and fragments of urns, were discovered by the plough, at Cairney Hill, about the year 1820; and it is supposed, from the name of a farm in the parish, called Camps, that there may have been a military station.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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  • David Nicolson, 4th Baron Carnock — David Henry Arthur Nicolson, 4th Baron Carnock (10 July 1920 – 26 December 2008) was a British peer and solicitor. The son of the 3rd Baron Carnock and Hon. Katharine Frederica Albertha Lopes, he was educated at Winchester College and Balliol… …   Wikipedia

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