Ewes

   EWES, a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 4 miles (N.) from Langholm; containing 328 inhabitants. Ewesdale, the former appellation of this place, has been long contracted into Ewes, the name of its chief river, so called from the Celtic Uisge, signifying water. The parish is eight miles in length, and about five and a half in breadth, and contains 31,000 acres; it is bounded on the north and east by Roxburghshire, on the south by Langholm parish, and on the west by that of Westerkirk. It is pastoral and mountainous, and the country on both sides of the river Ewes, which runs through the parish for eight miles, is marked by numerous hills, nearly all green, with the exception of a few parts overspread with heath, and affording cover and food for various kinds of game. The rivers abound in fish. In the low lands by the Ewes the soil is light and gravelly, and produces, in favourable seasons, good crops of oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips; on the higher grounds it approximates to a deep loam. The number of arable acres is 1100, of natural pasture 23,169, and in wood and plantations 200. The cattle are of the Galloway breed, and the sheep are the Cheviots, and in general amount to about 18,000; the parish consumes the produce of the ground at home, the chief profit consisting in the sale of wool, sheep, and cattle. All the necessary improvements have been carried into effect, and the farm-buildings are in the best order. The principal rocks are greywacke and greywacke slate. The means of communication are good; the great road from Edinburgh, by Carlisle, to London runs for eight miles within the parish, and there are two other public roads, one of which leads to the east, and the other to Dumfries and Moffat. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4951. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Langholm and synod of Dumfries; patron, the Duke of Buccleuch. The stipend is £221, with a good manse and offices, and a glebe of thirty arable acres. The church, an ancient structure, was repaired in 1831, and contains 200 sittings. There is a parochial school, in which the usual branches are taught, with French, Latin, Greek, and mathematics; the master has the maximum salary, with about £5 fees, and the legal accommodations. Some almshouses were founded in 1761, by the Rev. Mr. Malcolm, minister of the parish, for the support of four of the poorest families, to whom the Duke of Buccleuch gives about half an acre of ground for a garden. On the farm of Unthank, in the parish, are remains of a chapel connected with Melrose Abbey; the burialground is still in use. There are also vestiges of two encampments, either Saxon or Pictish.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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