- CREICH, a parish, in the district of Cupar, county of Fife, 5 miles (N. W. by N.) from Cupar; containing, with the villages of Brunton and Luthrie, 430 inhabitants. This place is supposed to have derived its name, signifying in the Gaelic language, rocky or rugged ground, from the general appearance of its surface. It was at an early period the property of the Bethune family, who had a baronial castle here, of which there are still some inconsiderable remains. The parish is about three miles in length, from north to south, varying from one mile to nearly two miles in breadth; and comprises about 2324 acres, of which 1803 are arable, 204 woodland and plantations, and the remainder pasture and waste. The surface is greatly broken by numerous hills, forming part of the Ochill range, but of which few within the parish have an elevation of more than 550 feet above the sea. The acclivities of some of these hills are cultivated from the base to the summit; others are covered with heath, and partly with thriving plantations. Several small streams rise in various parts, and unite near the village of Luthrie, and form the river Motray, which, after flowing through the parish, falls into the Eden. The surrounding scenery is beautifully varied, and from the hills are fine views of the river Tay, the carse of Gowrie, with the Sidlaw and Grampian mountains, the town of Dundee, and the distant heights of Ben-Ledi and Ben-Lawers.The soil, which has been much improved by draining, is mostly fertile; the best system of husbandry has been long in use, and the lands are generally under excellent cultivation. The crops are, wheat, barley, oats, peas, potatoes, and turnips. The cattle are chiefly of the old Fifeshire breed, with a few of the Teeswater upon one of the farms, and are usually fattened when three years old, and sent to the market. The sheep, which are of various breeds, are bought in when young, in August, and sold when fat, in the June following. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3323. The rocks are mainly of the trap formation, and the substrata principally amygdaloid, resting on claystone, felspar, and greenstone; basaltic clinkstone is found in the northern extremity of the parish, and extensively quarried for building purposes, and for the roads. There is also a quarry of sandstone in operation. The plantations are chiefly larch, Scotch and spruce firs, interspersed with various hard-woods; and on the demesne of Luthrie are some fine elms, planes, and horse-chesnuts of stately growth. Luthrie House is a handsome mansion, finely situated in a well-planted demesne.A considerable number of the inhabitants are employed in the hand-loom weaving of Osnaburghs, sheetings, and dowlas, for the manufacturers of Cupar, who have two agents here. Facility of communication is afforded by the road from Cupar to Perth. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Cupar and synod of Fife. The minister's stipend is £227. 14., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £8 per annum; patrons, the family of Grant. The church, erected in 1832, is a handsome structure, containing 252 sittings; it has a marble monument to Mrs. Baillie, widow of the late Col. Baillie, of Luthrie. The communion-plate was purchased with the proceeds of a bequest of Mr. George Davidson, parochial schoolmaster, who died in 1745. The parochial school is attended by about seventy children; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees average about £18. Some Druidical remains, consisting of portions of concentric circles, have been discovered on one of the hills in the parish; and on the hill called the Greencraig, were found the remains of what is supposed to have been a Danish camp. Two sepulchral urns and two stone coffins were found to the west of Parbroath, containing human bones; and near the remains of the ancient house was formerly a chapel, not far from the site of which several graves were discovered, while digging for the foundation of a wall, a few years since.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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