Fossoway

   FOSSOWAY, a parish, in the counties of Kinross and Perth, 6 miles (W.) from Kinross, and 8 (N. E. by E.) from Alloa; containing, with the villages of Blairingone, Crook of Devon, and Easter and Wester Gartwhinean, 1724 inhabitants. This parish includes the ancient parish of Tulliebole, united with it in 1614, and which, forming part of the county of Kinross, divides Fossoway into two separate portions. Of these, the one lying to the north of the lands of Tulliebole, comprises the barony of Fossoway, with a considerable part of the Ochil hills; and that on the south, the barony of Aldie on the east, and the lands of Blairingone on the west, with the valley between the Ochils, on the north, and the Cleish and Saline hills on the south. The whole of the united parish is eleven miles in extreme length, and about ten miles in extreme breadth, comprising an area of 18,682 acres, of which nearly 11,000 are arable and pasture, 1125 woodland and plantations, and the remainder waste. The surface is diversified with hills of various elevation, of which the principal are from 1000 to 1500 feet in height above the level of the sea. One of these, called Easter Downhill, is of conical form, skirted round its base with natural wood, and covered with verdure to the summit; and the hill of Inmerdownie, which is the highest in the parish, commands an extensive prospect, embracing at one view the rivers Forth and Tay. Most of the hills afford excellent pasturage for sheep and cattle, and the intervening valleys are richly cultivated; the lower grounds are also intersected with ridges, rising more or less precipitously to considerable degrees of eminence. The river Devon, which bounds the parish for nearly nine miles, has its source in the Ochils, and, after a long and winding course, falls into the river Forth at Cambus. The lands are also watered by the rivulets of North and South Queich and the East Gairney, which flow into Loch Leven, and the West Gairney, which joins the Devon near the Linn Caldron. In the Devon and in the other streams trout of good quality are taken.
   The scenery is boldly varied, and in some parts strikingly romantic: the river Devon forms several cascades, of which one of the principal is the Rumbling Bridge, so called from a bridge twenty-two feet in span, below which the river, impeded in its progress by projecting rocks, falls successively from various heights with tumultuous noise. Lower down is the Linn Caldron, where, within a distance of twenty-eight yards, the stream has two falls, one of thirty-four and the other of forty-four feet, of nearly perpendicular descent; and in the interval the rocks are worn into three spacious cavities, in two of which the water, from its violent agitation, has the appearance of boiling. Near the old Rumbling Bridge, which is still entire, a bridge has been recently erected on the line of the turnpike-road. The soil in some parts of the parish is mossy, in others a gravel, and in some places clay alternated with loam; the system of agriculture is in an advanced state; much waste land has been brought into profitable cultivation, and the inclosures, partly of stone dykes and partly fences of thorn, are well kept. On the lands of Fossoway, a fence of wire-work attached to posts of wood has recently been introduced. The farm-houses and offices, with very few exceptions, are substantial and commodious; and most of the later improvements in husbandry have been adopted. The rateable annual value of the Perthshire portion of the parish now amounts to £3900, and that of the Kinross-shire portion to £4618. The plantations are extensive, and properly managed; they consist principally of spruce and Scotch fir, ash, elm, plane, and beech, all of which grow well in the soil. Larch, which formerly produced considerable profit, has within the last few years appeared to degenerate: oak, which has only recently been planted, seems to thrive. There are quarries of whinstone and freestone in several parts, and in the western districts are found limestone, coal, and ironstone: at Blairingone are three collieries in operation, two of which were but lately opened. The ironstone for many years was extensively wrought, but the working of it has recently been almost discontinued. In a rock near the Rumbling Bridge is found copper-ore; but the quantity bears so small a proportion to the material in which it is contained, that it cannot be wrought to advantage.
   The castle of Tulliebole, the seat of Sir James W. Moncrieff, Bart., one of the judges of the Court of Session, is an ancient mansion, having been erected in 1608; Devonshaw House and Arndean are both handsome modern mansions, pleasantly situated on the banks of the Devon. The castle of Aldie, once the baronial seat of the Mercers, and now the property of their representative, the Baroness Keith, though uninhabited remains entire. The principal villages are Blairingone and Crook of Devon, both burghs of barony: the latter is situated on the river Devon, which here makes a sudden turn in its course, whence the village takes its name; and there is a good inn for the accommodation of the numerous visiters who frequent the place in order to view the interesting scenery in its vicinity. The parish also contains several hamlets, of which the most considerable are Gartwhinean and Carnbo. Fairs are held in May and in October, when cattle and wares are exposed for sale. The turnpike-road from Dunfermline to Crieff passes through the parish, from north to south, and that from Kinross to Alloa intersects it from east to west: parallel with the latter, and about two miles to the north of it, is the turnpike-road from Stirling to the east of Fife; and the Dunning road also crosses a portion of the parish. There are six bridges over the Devon, which tend to facilitate the communication between this place and the neighbouring towns. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Auchterarder and synod of Perth and Stirling. The minister's stipend is £164, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £8. 13. 4.; patron, Sir Graham Montgomerie, of Kinross. The church, built in 1806, is a plain edifice in good repair, containing 525 sittings. A church, to which a quoad sacra parish was for a short time assigned, has been erected on a site a little to the east of the village of Blairingone, given for that purpose by Mark Watt, Esq., who also subscribed liberally towards its erection; it was opened for divine service in 1838, and is a neat structure containing 250 sittings. The parochial school is attended by about seventy children; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, some land worth £12 per annum, and the fees averaging £27. Another school is partly supported by private subscription. There is a petrifying spring on the lands of Devonshaw; and on the estate of Blairingone, a mineral spring was discovered about fifteen years since, the water of which, according to an analysis made by Dr. Thomson, professor of chemistry in the university of Glasgow, contains in an imperial gallon, 5.87 grs. common salt, 170.99 grs. sulphate of soda, 953.18 grs. sulphate of alumine, 1753.10 grs. dipersulphate of iron, 141.55 grs. persulphate of iron, and 58.70 grs. of silica. The water is too strong for internal use, without dilution; but, externally applied, is powerful in healing wounds.
   See Blairingone, &c.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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