Forteviot

   FORTEVIOT. a parish, in the county of Perth, 5 miles (W. by S.) from Bridge of Earn; containing 638 inhabitants, of whom 69 are in the village. This was the seat of many of the Pictish kings, who had a palace at Haly Hill, near the site of the present church; and this palace, after the extinction of the Pictish monarchy, and the union of the two kingdoms by Kenneth Mc Alpine, became the favourite summer residence of several of the Scottish sovereigns. Kenneth resided for many years at the place, where he ended his days; it was afterwards the summer residence of Malcolm Canmore, and several of his successors' charters were dated hence. Previously to the battle of Dupplin, which occurred on the 31st of July, 1332, Edward Baliol encamped his forces in a field in this parish, called the Miller's acre; and the ancient mill from which it took its name, and the ford of Coblehaugh, where his army crossed the river, are yet remaining. The eminence of Haly Hill has been considerably undermined by the river May, and many portions of the buildings of the palace have been destroyed; but there are still some vestiges, and in several houses in the parish that were built with the ruins, may be traced numerous stones curiously sculptured with antique figures, which once formed part of the royal residence.
   The parish, which is about eight miles in length and two in breadth, is divided into three detached and unequal portions by the intervening parishes of Aberdalgie and Forgandenny. Of these portions the central division, in which is the village, is the largest, and is situated on the south of the river Earn; another extends into the Ochils, comprising some of the most conspicuous hills of the range; and the third, lying to the east of Aberdalgie, and the smallest, is bounded on the south by the Earn. The surface is beautifully diversified with hill and dale; and the scenery, enriched with wood, and enlivened by the windings of the rivers, is in many places strikingly picturesque. The Earn crosses the whole breadth of the parish from east to west, and, frequently overflowing its banks, does considerable damage to the lower lands. The May, which rises in the Ochils, after a course of eight miles joins the Earn. In its progress, it forces for itself a passage through a deep fissure in a rock, which, from the rumbling noise of the waters, has obtained the appellation of the "Humble Bumble;" and a little above this is the linn of Muckarsie, where the river is precipitated from a height of thirty feet, and, after heavy rains, forms a picturesque cascade. The lands, of which the soil is various, are under excellent cultivation, producing favourable crops; the farms are generally of large extent, and the occupiers men of capital. The farmbuildings are consequently of superior order; and all the recent improvements in husbandry, and in the construction of agricultural implements, have been adopted to their full extent. The rateable annual value of the parish is £6301.
   Invermay House, the seat of Alexander H. M. Belshes, Esq., and for many generations the seat of that ancient family, is now a handsome modern mansion, beautifully situated on an eminence overhanging the river May, and commanding an extensive view of the vale of Strathearn, with the windings of its river, and the romantically-diversified scenery of the adjacent country. All that remains of the old structure is apparently a ruin, though containing several apartments still entire, and in good preservation, and forming a pleasing contrast with the modern mansion. The grounds are tastefully laid out, and embellished with plantations, and with the graceful course of the river May, which flows through the demesne. About a mile from the house is the sepulchral chapel of Muckarsie, the church of that parish before it was united to Forteviot, and now the burial-place of the family; the approach is by a beautiful avenue of limetrees. The whole of the grounds are kept in the finest order, and are open to the public for one day in the week, affording a favourite excursion to invalids frequenting the neighbouring wells of Pitcaithly. The village of Forteviot is pleasantly situated on the right bank of the May, a short distance from its influx into the Earn, and is neat and well built; the inhabitants are chiefly employed in agriculture. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Perth and synod of Perth and Stirling; the minister's stipend is £244, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £6. 15. per annum. The church, before the Reformation, was attached to the abbey of Cambuskenneth, and subsequently to the college of St. Andrew's, in whom, and in the family of Belshes, of Invermay, the patronage of the living is jointly vested: the present edifice was built about seventy years since, and is a plain structure, in good repair. There is a place of worship for members of the Secession Church in the Ochil district of the parish. The parochial school is attended by about fifty children; the master has a salary of £34, with a house, and an allowance of £2. 2. 9. in lieu of garden, the fees averaging £16 per annum.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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