Fearn

   1) FEARN, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 8 miles (W.) from Brechin; containing 404 inhabitants. The word Fearn, signifying in the Gaelic language "an alder tree," appears to have been used in the present instance on account of the numbers of that tree growing in the parish or neighbourhood. The place is not remarkable for any striking historical events; but the existence of some of those curious stone circles of large dimensions which are also found in other parts, proves the very ancient occupation of the soil by inhabitants concerning the origin or character of whom we are left in doubt. Upon the banks of the river Noran are the ruins of the castle of Vane, formerly the residence of the celebrated Cardinal Beaton, who is said to have appropriated it to a Lady Vane, a name originally Bane, or Bain, denoting "fair." The lands formerly belonged to the Earl of Crawford; and tradition states that John Collessie, knight of Balnamoon, with a party of horsemen, before the commencement of the battle of Brechin in 1452, asked of him, as a reward for his services, the possession of the barony of Fearn; and that, upon refusal, the earl and his followers were defeated through Collessie's defection from his cause.
   The parish is nearly seven miles long, and is three broad; about 3100 acres are under culture, 330 are plantations, and the remainder is heath and sheepwalks. It is bounded on the north by the parish of Lethnot and Navar, on the south and west by that of Tannadice, and on the east by Menmuir and Careston. The surface consists of two parallel ridges, rising one above the other, between the valley of Strathmore and the Grampian hills, and inclosing two sweeps of low ground, the southern range of which is suited to tillage, and the northern to pasturage. The rivers are, the Cruik, having its source at the foot of the Grampians, and the Noran, watering the lower valley, and marking in its course the south-west boundary of the parish. The soil of the cultivated grounds is a fine rich loam, and the land is distributed into sixteen farms, varying in size from fifty to 300 acres, and each comprising certain portions of moor or pasture; a large part of the district called the barony of Fearn is waste, covered with whins and broom. Wheat, barley, and oats are the grain usually sown. The recent introduction of bone-dust manure has been of great service to husbandry, and much benefit has resulted from the many improvements made within the last forty years in the farm-houses. The live stock reared for the market consists of black-cattle and sheep, to which much attention is paid, the open pastures and the plentiful herbage provided by the extensive cultivation of turnips affording great facilities. The rocky strata differ considerably in different parts. The southern declivity of the lower ridge is sandstone; and upwards, towards the north, to the middle of the slope of the other ridge, is a large sweep of argillaceous rock, of an iron cast, called kalm by the natives of the district. Above this, the sandstone again appears; and not far distant, the ordinary greywacke is to be seen. The estates of Auchnacree, Deuchar, and Noranside have convenient and substantial mansions, surrounded by good gardens and plantations; and the house of the last of them, encompassed with beautiful scenery, commands a view over the vale of Strathmore to the distance of 100 miles. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4270. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Brechin and synod of Angus and Mearns. The minister has a salary of £155, with a manse, and a glebe of 10 acres, valued at £19 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, built in 1806, stands on the summit of a natural mound, in the middle of a dene, and is conveniently situated for the population. There is a parochial school, the master of which has a salary of £28. 12. 6., with a house and garden, and £13. 10. fees.
   2) FEARN, a parish, in the county of Ross and Cromarty, 5 miles (S. E.) from Tain; containing, with the villages of Balintore and Hiltown, 1914 inhabitants. The Gaelic name of this parish, Fearnn, signifies "the alder-tree," and was applied in consequence of the great number of alders growing at Mid-Fearn, in the parish of Edderton, in the neighbourhood. An abbey was founded there in the reign of Alexander II., by Farquhar, first earl of Ross; but a bull was afterwards obtained from the pope for removing the establishment to a fertile plain in this parish, on account of the comparative sterility of the lands in Edderton. The abbey was not only a place of worship before the Reformation, but was used as such until October, 1742, when suddenly, during the performance of service, the roof fell in, and thirty-six persons were instantly killed, eight others dying soon afterwards. The parish, which is about two miles wide, and several miles in length, stretches along the western shore of the Moray Frith, and is bounded on the north by the parish of Tain, on the south by that of Nigg, and on the west by Logie Easter. The surface is nearly level, with the exception of a few eminences; about three-fourths are arable, and the rest partly green, and partly covered with heath. The coast for about a mile is flat and sandy, especially where the fishing village of Balintore lies; but Hiltown, another fishing station, half a mile from the former, is skirted by a coast altogether bold and rocky. The loch of Eye, the only water of consequence, is about two miles long, and half a mile broad.
   The soil is a deep loam in the centre of the parish; the loans of Fearn to the south, and the lands of Allan to the west, are a deep clay; and in the other parts the soil is gravelly or sandy. The greater portion is cultivated, or occasionally in tillage; 158 acres are under wood, and the remainder is waste or pasture. Many improvements have taken place in agriculture within the last thirty years, by trenching, draining, and levelling; green crops are extensively raised, and some of the best wheat in Scotland is grown here. The produce is sent to the Leith and London markets; and a monthly market for swine is held on the Hill of Fearn. Fisheries of grey fish and herring are carried on to a considerable extent by the villagers residing on the seashore. The rateable annual value of the parish is £5229. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Tain and synod of Ross; patron, the Crown. The stipend of the minister is £206, with a good manse, and a glebe of five acres, worth about £12. 10. per annum. The church is of early English architecture. There is a parochial school, the master of which has a salary of £36, including £2 for garden, with a house, and about £10 fees. At Balintore is also a school, in which Gaelic is taught, and of which the teachers are supported by the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge. There are several Druidical temples in the parish, but the chief antiquities are the ruins of the old abbey, the castle of Lochlin, situated on the eastern head of the lake of the same name, and the vestiges of the very ancient castle of Cadboll. Here is buried Sir John Lockhart Ross, of Balnagown, vice-admiral of the Blue, a distinguished naval hero, who died in 1790.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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  • Fearn — (spr. Fern), John, geb. 1767; war früher Seemann, stand dann im Dienste der Ostindischen Compagnie u. lebte zuletzt in London, wo er 1837 starb; origineller u. scharfsinniger Metaphysiker; er schr.: An essay on human conscioussuess, Lond. 1812; A …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • fearn — fearn(e obs. and dial. form of fern …   Useful english dictionary

  • Fearn — This interesting surname is of topographical origin for someone who lived in a place where there was an abundance of ferns. The derivation is from the Olde English pre 7th Century fearn meaning fern (a collective noun); hence dweller among the… …   Surnames reference

  • fearn — n ( es/ ) fern …   Old to modern English dictionary

  • Fearn (letter) — Fearn is the Irish name of the third letter of the Ogham alphabet, Unicode|ᚃ, meaning alder tree . In Old Irish, the letter name was Fern, which is related to Welsh gwern(en) . Its Primitive Irish root was * Unicode|wernā and its phonetic value… …   Wikipedia

  • Fearn Abbey — Abbey of New Fearn Monastery information Order Premonstratensian Established 1238 …   Wikipedia

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  • Abbot of Fearn — The Abbot of Fearn was the head of the Premonstratensian monastic community of Fearn Abbey, Easter Ross. The Abbey was founded by canons from Whithorn Priory in Galloway, with the patronage of Fearchar mac an t Sagairt, mormaer/earl of Ross. The… …   Wikipedia

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