Crossmichael

   CROSSMICHAEL, a parish, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright; containing, with the village of Clarebrand, 1321 inhabitants, of whom 222 are in the village of Crossmichael, 3½ miles (N.) from Castle-Douglas. This place, which is of remote antiquity, derives its name, in old documents Corse-Michael, from the dedication of its church, which was granted to the abbey of Sweetheart, in the year 1275, by Dervorgille, wife of Allan, Lord of Galloway, and mother of John Baliol, King of Scotland. The parish is situated nearly in the centre of the stewartry, and is bounded on the east by the river Urr, and on the west by the Dee. It is about four miles and a half in length, and nearly three and a half in breadth, comprising 9700 acres, which, with the exception of a few acres of woodland and plantations, and a small proportion of pasture, are all arable.
   The Surface is beautifully diversified. The lands along the banks of the Dee form part of an extensive valley in rich cultivation; but, both from the Dee on the west, and the Urr on the east, the ground rises gradually, towards the centre, into a ridge of which the acclivities are marked with gentle undulations, all arable. Towards the north-east, are several hills affording only pasture for sheep and cattle, and of which some have been planted with larch, adding greatly to the beauty of the scenery. There are three lakes in the parish, of which Loch Roan, situated in the highest district, is about fifty acres in extent, and of very considerable depth; there are two outlets from it. Loch Encrogo, in which are two small islands, where sea-gulls formerly built their nests, is smaller than Loch Roan; and if the water were not necessary for driving a corn-mill, it might easily be drained. Loch Smaddy is still smaller in extent. All these lakes abound with trout, perch, pike, and eels.
   The soil is partly a fertile loam alternated with gravel and sand, producing favourable crops of grain of all kinds, with potatoes and turnips; and the pastures are luxuriantly rich. The system of agriculture is improved, and some of the lands have been drained, though much still remains to be done in that respect. The cattle are generally of the Galloway breed; the cows upon the dairy-farms are the Ayrshire: large numbers of sheep are fed. The rateable annual value of the parish is £8827. The plantations, which are well managed, and in a thriving condition, are chiefly larch. The substrata are mostly greywacke and slate. The seats are, Greenlaw, Mollance, Danevale, Hillowton, Cullgruff, and Ernespie. The village of Crossmichael has a branch post-office under that of Castle-Douglas; and facility of communication is afforded by good roads, of which those from Kirkcudbright to Ayr, and from Dumfries to Portpatrick, pass through the parish. There is a bridge over the Dee at Glenlochar; also a ferry, nearly opposite the manse.
   The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Kirkcudbright and synod of Galloway. The minister's stipend is £269. 15., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £28 per annum; patron, Mrs. Gauld. The church, situated in the western portion of the parish, is a plain structure erected in 1751; it has been frequently repaired, and contains 650 sittings. There is a place of worship for members of the Relief Synod. Two parochial schools are supported; the master of one has a salary of £31, with a house and garden, and the fees average £30. The other school was built, and endowed with £11 per annum, by William Gordon, Esq., in addition to which the master has a salary of £20, with a house and garden, but no fees. There is also a parochial library. The parish formerly contained numerous tumuli, in which were found human bones of large size; and there are still several remains of ancient forts. Roman urns and weapons have been discovered by the plough; also, the head of a war-horse in bronze, and other Roman relies. On a steep crag overhanging Loch Roan, are some remains of a hill fortress still called the Kirk of Loch Roan.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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