CLEISH, a parish, in the county of Kinross, 3 miles (S. S. W.) from Kinross; containing, with the villages of Kelty and Maryburgh, 681 inhabitants. This place, of which the name is of uncertain derivation, is distinguished by its having formed part of the route taken by Mary, Queen of Scots, on her flight from the castle of Lochleven, which circumstance is commemorated by the insertion of a stone in a bridge at the eastern extremity of the parish, recording that event, and marking out the road. The parish is about six miles and a half in length, and one and a half in average breadth. The surface is diversified with hills, which form a continuous range between this parish and Dunfermline, and of which the highest is Dumglow, rising 1215 feet above the sea; the summit is flat, commanding an extensive view over the surrounding country, from almost every part of which it is a conspicuous object. The next in height are the hills called the Ingans, which are all more than 1000 feet in elevation. The chief stream is the Gairney, which, after forming the boundary of the parish for nearly five miles, falls into Loch Leven; it abounds with trout of a small size, and there are some smaller streams issuing from the lakes, and numerous springs of excellent water, affording an abundant supply. Of the several lakes, Loch Glow is two miles and a half in circumference, and the others of very inferior extent; the fish found in them are, pike, perch, eels, and a few trout. The scenery has been much improved by recent plantations, and there are some fine specimens of stately timber, some of which are of extraordinary growth; the slopes of several of the hills, and the summits of others, are finely planted. Blair-Adam, the seat of Sir Charles Adam, is a handsome residence, pleasantly situated.
   The soil is much varied; in the lower grounds, clayey, intermixed with a little gravel; in other parts, of a lighter quality; with some portions of deep moss, which, when brought into cultivation, is extremely rich. The chief crops are, oats, barley, wheat, potatoes, and turnips, with various grasses, which grow luxuriantly in many parts; and the hills afford good pasture for sheep and cattle. Very important improvements have been made, by which a large extent of unprofitable land has been brought into cultivation; draining has been carried on with great spirit, and the system of husbandry is in a very forward state. Considerable attention is paid to the rearing of stock; the sheep pastured on the hills are generally of the black-faced breed, and those on the lower lands, of the Leicestershire breed; the cattle are the Kinross-shire, Angus, and Fifeshire. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5535. The principal substrata are, whinstone, greywacke, and sandstone, of which the hills are mostly composed; limestone is quarried, and coal is found here in seams of upwards of thirty feet in thickness. Whinstone is wrought for mending the roads, and there are extensive quarries of freestone; from one of the quarries, about 14,000 cubic feet are raised annually. At Blair-Adam, is a post-office, a branch of that of Kinross; and facility of communication with the neighbouring towns is maintained by good roads, of which the turnpike-roads from Queensferry and from Dunfermline to Kinross pass through the parish. Cleish is in the presbytery of Dunfermline and synod of Fife, and patronage of Harry Young, Esq.; the minister's stipend is £156. 15. 4., of which about a half is paid from the exchequer, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £14 per annum. The old church, erected in 1744, was accidentally destroyed by fire in 1832, and the present church, erected in its place, is a handsome edifice, adapted for a congregation of 500 persons. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £34, with £26 fees, and a house and garden.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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