- ALVES, a parish, in the county of Elgin, 5 miles (W.) from Elgin, on the road to Inverness; containing, with the hamlets of Coltfield and Crook, 913 inhabitants. This parish, which is about 5 miles long, and of nearly the same breadth, and contains about 12,000 acres, is bounded on the north by the parish of Duffus, the Moray Frith, and part of Kinloss; by the hill of Pluscarden on the south; by New Spynie on the east; and by Kinloss and Rafford on the west. The surface is slightly diversified with hill and dale, and consists of pasture and arable land, with a considerable quantity of wood, though but little water. The soil, in general, is a deep rich loam, upon a clay bottom, though, in some places, it is of a lighter quality; the land is portioned into 25 large farms, which are cultivated in the best manner, but about 100 acres consist of Scotch fir, and one-sixth part of the parish of new plantation. All kinds of produce are raised, and a great part of the grain is shipped at Burgh-Head, or Findhorn, and sold in the London market. The cattle are usually of a mixed breed between the Aberdeenshire and the Highland, with a few of the polled from Buchan; great improvements have been carried on, for some years past, in draining, making of extensive inclosures, recovering of mosses, and the erection of good farm-houses and offices. The rocks consist of freestone, of which quarries are regularly worked; there is a quarry supplying millstones, and in several places a considerable depth of peat-moss occurs. There are two mansion-houses; Milton-Brodie, an ancient edifice, at the west end of the parish, to which a handsome front has been recently added, greatly improving its appearance; and the house of Newton, a plain building, at the east end, with a pleasing lawn before it. The population are agricultural, and live, for the most part, in groups of houses; the fuel formerly in use was peat, but the cutting of it has been recently prohibited, and at present great efforts are made by the poor to obtain English coal, cargoes of which are imported from Sunderland, and landed at Burgh-Head and Findhorn. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Elgin and synod of Moray; the Earl of Moray is patron, and the minister's stipend is £ 215. 1. 8., with a good manse, recently built, and having convenient offices and garden, and a glebe of four acres of land, worth £9 a year. The church, built in 1769, is a long narrow edifice, containing sittings for 590 persons. There is a place of worship in connexion with the Free Church; also a parochial school, of which the master teaches Latin, Greek, and the mathematics, in addition to the ordinary branches of education, and has a salary of £34. 4. Another school is maintained by subscription; and a parochial library is supported, which contains about 200 volumes.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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