ARBIRLOT, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 2½ miles (W.) from Arbroath; containing, with the village of Bonnington, 1045 inhabitants, of whom 77 are in the village of Arbirlot. This place appears to have derived its name, a contraction of Aber-Elliot, from the river Elliot, which runs into the sea a little below its eastern boundary. The earliest account connected with its history, states, that a member of the ancient family of Ochterlony originally owned the castle of Kelly, in the parish; and this family was succeeded by the Irvines, who also held the castle, which afterwards came into the possession of the Maule family, now sole proprietors of Arbirlot. The parish is about 4 miles long, and 3 broad, and contains 5050 acres, of which 4200 are cultivated, or occasionally under tillage, 800 waste, and 50 wood; it is intersected by the Arbroath and Dundee railway, and is bounded on the south by the sea. It has an extent of coast nearly three miles long, where the land is level and sandy, and much frequented in the summer for the purpose of bathing; in the interior, also, much of the surface is low and flat, and the rest gradually rises to a gentle acclivity. There is no part deserving of particular notice, except the immediate vicinity of the ancient castle of Kelly, which is situated on the bank of the Elliot, and is in good preservation, and surrounded by scenery that is highly picturesque. The Elliot, a stream of inconsiderable magnitude, but of great beauty, rises in Ditty Moss, in the parish of Carmylie, and, pursuing a south-easterly course for a few miles, through a deep and romantic glen, falls into the sea in the east part of the parish; it has numerous mills erected upon it, and formerly abounded in salmon, but since the construction of some dam-dykes near it, these fish have forsaken it, although it is still frequented by good trout.
   The soil in the lower parts, consists chiefly of a light productive loam, but, on the higher portions, is damp and mossy, and in some places mixed with clay; the subsoil is a gravelly clay: on the northern boundary is an extensive muir. The average annual produce yields £15,000, chiefly derived from crops of oats, barley, hay, and potatoes; the rateable annual value of the parish is £6395. The only mansion-house is the seat of Kelly, situated in the vicinity of the old castle. A small fair is held once a year. Near the mouth of the river, at Wormy-hills, is an establishment for bleaching yarns, and on the same stream are three meal-mills, and a flax-mill. There is also a meal-mill on a small river which forms the boundary line between this parish and Panbride. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery of Arbroath and synod of Angus and Mearns; the patronage is vested in the Crown, and the minister's stipend is £184.4. 5., in addition to which he has a manse, and a glebe of the annual value of £6. The church, rebuilt in 1832, is an elegant structure, situated on the bank of the Elliot, and containing about 640 sittings. A place of worship has been erected by members of the Free Church. There is a parochial school, the master of which has a salary of £34. 4., and £20 fees, &c., with a house and garden; and a savings' bank, managed by the minister, and a parochial library, consisting of above 500 volumes, kept in the manse, are also supported.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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