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Forfarshire
Chapter 26. - The Chief Towns and Villages of Forfarshire


(The figures in brackets after each name give the population in 1911, and those at the end of each section are references to the pages in the text.)

Aberlemno, a parish (728) and village about six miles north-east of Forfar. Balgavies Loch was at one time dredged for marl. A greyish sandstone is plentiful in the district. Interesting ruins are Melgund and Flemington Castles, while Aldbar Castle, Balgavies, and Carsegowrie are ancient but still inhabited houses. Two sculptured stones, one in the churchyard, are objects of interest, (pp. 49, 83.)

Arbirlot, a coast-parish (840) and village i\ miles west by south of Arbroath, a picturesque and secluded spot. Kelly Castle, an ancient pile, stands in a wooded glen. (pp. 49, 99, 145.)

Arbroath (20,648). The royal burgh of Arbroath is the second town of Forfarshire in population and industrial importance. Its chief industries are the manufacture of jute and linen goods and fishing. It has also a shipbuilding yard, bleachfields, tanneries, engineering and chemical works. The chief attractions of the place are its high antiquity, its fine situation and bracing air, the grand scenery of its cliffs, and its noble abbey now in picturesque decay. There is a fine golf course at Elliot, the railway junction if miles to the south-west for the Carmyllie stone quarries, celebrated for “Arbroath paving-stones.” (pp. 18, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 41, 42, 46, 49, 54, 61, 64, 66, 69, 71, 75, 80, 84, 85, 95, 100, 106, 116, 123, 125, 128, 132, 133, 135, 136, 138, 139-)

Auchmithie, a picturesque fishing village in the parish of St Vigeans, 3! miles north-north-east of Arbroath, (pp. 38, 71.)

Auchterhouse, a parish (629) and village of south-west Forfarshire. The parish church is a good specimen of early church architecture in Scotland. The ground rises in the north and north-west to the Sidlaw Hills. High up in an excellent situation is the Sidlaw Sanatorium for the treatment of consumption. “Weems” have been discovered in the hills, (pp. 87, 91, 114.)

Baldovan, a village in the parish of Mains and Strath-martin, three miles north-west of Dundee, has an asylum for imbecile children, erected in 1854 by the late Sir John Ogilvy, the first and for long the only institution of its kind in Scotland.

Barnhill, a residential suburb of Dundee one mile north of Broughty Ferry.

Barry, a parish (4933) and village on the south-east coast. The south-eastern point of the parish is Buddon Ness. The links immediately to the north of this are utilised by the War Department for military camps and big gun practice, (pp. 13, 34, 4°, 43, 5°, 6°-)

Brechin (8439). The city of Brechin is one of the most ancient towns of Forfarshire, having been “dedicated to the Lord” in the tenth century. Even earlier it was probably an ecclesiastical centre, and it certainly has been so since. Indeed it is entitled to the designation of “city,” because of its cathedral. Its situation on the left bank of the South Esk, 8˝ miles west-north-west of Montrose, is exceedingly picturesque, especially when viewed from the south. The modern town is an important manufacturing centre. Its chief products are osnaburgs, brown linen, and sailcloth; while bleaching, brewing, distilling and the making of machinery are extensively carried on.

Broughty Ferry (11,059). Andrew, third Lord Gray, built the castle of Burgh-Tay, now Broughty, on the small rocky peninsula 3˝ miles east of Dundee. The village consisted of little more than a few fishermen’s huts for two or three centuries. Even in 1792 its population was only 230. To-day it is the third town of Forfarshire. This remarkable increase is due to its proximity to Dundee, of which it is the most important residential suburb. Its terry, which connects Forfarshire and Fifeshire, was a vital link between north and south before the building of the Tay Bridge, (pp. 34, 40, 46, 53, 54, 71, 72, 85, 86, 108, 117, 118, 135, 146.)

Carmyllie, a parish (847) and village, with very fine quarries, about seven miles north-west of Arbroath, (pp. 70, 147.)

Carnoustie (5358), a coast town about 11 miles east-northeast of Dundee, of which it is largely a residential suburb, has important linen mills, vitriol works, and a brick and tile yard. Its sea-bathing facilities and its fine golf links have made it a popular summer resort, (pp. 13, 34, 53, 54, 83, 122.)

Clova, a highland hamlet in Glen Clova. The Kirkton is 15 miles north-west of Kirriemuir, near the entrances to passes leading through the Grampians to Aberdeenshire, (pp. 67, 87, in.)

Craig, a parish (1883) and village directly south-west of Montrose, i|- mile distant. The parish contains Kirkton of Craig, and the fishing villages of Ferryden and Usan or Ulysses Haven. The most important mansions are Rossie Castle, Dunninald House, and Usan House. Rossie Reformatory was established in 1857. (p. 99.)

Dundee (165,006). The name of Dundee, the third town in Scotland, was in older times spelt in various ways—Donde, Dondie, and Dondei. The early history of the city is very obscure. Malcolm Canmore and some of his descendants appear to have done it honour. In the early thirteenth century it seems to have been the most wealthy and influential town in Scotland. Again and again, from Edward I to General Monk, it suffered siege and pillage. About 1650 it was second only to Edinburgh, but so disastrous was its treatment by Monk that it fell irretrievably behind. Prosperity returned in the eighteenth century with the linen industry, and during the succeeding century its growth was phenomenal, (pp. 2, 14, 20, 33, 34, 39. 4>» 43. 44, 46, 47. 49, 53, 54, 61, 62, 63, 64, 66, 67, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 74, 75, 79, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87, 89, 95, 105, 108, 117, 129, 132, 133, 135, 136, 138, 139, 140, 142, 145. *46, I47-)

Dunnichen. This Forfarshire parish (1098) contains the villages of Dunnichen and Letham. The Mire of Dunnichen, 50 acres, has been drained and cultivated. Vestiges of a Pictish fort have been all but obliterated, and another ancient fortification is still pointed out on Dunbarrow Hill. Numerous stone-covered graves and a round sepulchral knoll have disclosed urns and human bones, believed to be memorials of those who fell in the great battle of Nechtan’s Mere. (pp. 49, 50, 60, 82, 98, 142.)

Edzell, a pretty village about six miles north by west of Brechin, is a favourite summer resort. The parish (878) stretches north and south for nearly 12 miles, and east and west for nearly six. (pp. 17, 67, 68, 113, 115, 135, 138.)

Forfar (10,849), *he county town, is a royal and parliamentary burgh, 14 miles north-north-east of Dundee, and a place of great antiquity. It was a favourite residence of Malcolm Can-more and Queen Margaret; and later monarchs William the Lion, Alexander II, and Robert II are said to have held parliaments within its walls. Its modern importance is a mere shadow of its ancient standing. It manufactures jute and linen goods. The “sutors” of Forfar were in times now long gone by famous for the making of wooden brogues or shoes, (pp. 54, 61, 62, 81, 90, 95. 97, 103, 106, 115, 129, 132, 133, 135, 136, 138, 139.)

Friockheim, a village in Kirkden parish (1337), began to be important in 1839 as a station on the main line between Forfar and Arbroath.

Glamis, a village and parish about six miles south-west of Forfar, contains the historic Glamis Castle (pp. 114, 115, 121, 122).

Inverarity, a village and parish (861) in the Eastern Sidlaws, has interesting antiquarian remains, (p. 49.)

Inverkeillor is a village and parish (1376) on the coast six miles north by east of Arbroath, (pp. 49, 83.)

Kettins. The village stands in a parish (689) of the same name about two miles east-south-east of Coupar Angus. Picts’ houses, i.e. weems, have been discovered in the neighbourhood. Hallyburton, Lintrose, Baldowrie, and Bandirran are the chief mansion houses, (pp. 43, 99.)

Kirriemuir (3776) is a police burgh situated on rising ground five miles west-north-west of Forfar. It commands a magnificent view of Strathmore, and backed by the long line of the Forfarshire Grampians is itself a notable object in the landscape. Its handloom -weavers gave the town an early reputation in the manufacture of brown linen, which it has by no means lost since the introduction of the power-loom. Hence the name of “Thrums” by which one of its most gifted sons, Mr J. M. Barrie, has designated his native-place in his novels. Until 1875 Kirriemuir was a burgh of barony under the Earl of Home. (pp. 54, 61, 62, 67, 91, 99, 106, 120, 131, 133, 135, 136, 138.)

Lochee (14,845) forms part of the parliamentary burgh of Dundee. It is situated to the north-west of the ridge connecting the Law Hill and Balgay Park, a finely wooded and picturesque eminence. Hand-loom weaving of coarse linen fabrics was its initial industry, to which was soon added bleaching, and then spinning, dyeing, printing, and calendering. The chief factory of the town is that of Messrs Cox Brothers, one of the largest in the world. Its conspicuous chimney-stalk is 282 feet high. As many as 5000 hands have been employed in this gigantic work; while 24,000,000 yards of sacking, and 14,000,000 yards of other fabrics have been turned out in one year. (pp. 135, 146.)

Logie-Pert, a parish (1002) and village about 4-4 miles north-west of Montrose. The parish contains the village of Craigo. (pp. 60, 147.)

Monifieth (3098), a village with fine golf-links, 5? miles east-north-east of Dundee, has many villas but is not entirely residential, there being a jute mill and a foundry and machine works, (pp. 13, 40, 53, 60, 95, 99, 135.)

Monikie. The parish (1184) contains the villages of Monikie, Craigton, Guildy, and Newbigging. There are excellent building stone and pavement quarries at Pitairlie. Affleck

Castle is one of the finest buildings of its kind in the county ; and the Panmure Monument is a conspicuous object, (pp. 49, 118.)

Montrose (10,973). A fine beach and extensive links border the ocean between the two rivers and render Montrose an attractive seaside resort. Bricks and tiles are manufactured at Dryleys and Puggieston. Two miles north-west of Montrose is Sunnyside Asylum, one of the best establishments of its kind in the country. Hillside is a residential suburb with fine villas. The town of Montrose is a royal burgh, a seaport, and a manufacturing centre, and seems to have been in existence as early as the tenth century. A suspension bridge and a railway viaduct span the South Esk. Flax-spinning, rope-works, tanneries, machine-making establishments, breweries, starchworks, soap-works, an artificial manure and chemical work, and boat-building are the chief industries of the town and district. The harbour is important, and Montrose is the headquarters of the local fishery district, (pp. 13, 34, 40, 43, 47, 54, 61, 62, 64, 69, 70, 71, 72, 73, 75, 79, 83, 87, 89, 106, 116, 127, 133, 135, 136, 138, 139, i44, *4.5-)

Newtyle is a village that owed its origin in 1831 to the Dundee and Newtyle railway. Kinpurnie Hill (1134 feet) with its disused observatory is a far-seen object and commands an excellent view. The Glack of Newtyle is a pass behind the village, through which run road and railway, (pp. 114, 133, 135.)

St Vigeans is a small village a little over a mile from Arbroath, interesting for its great antiquity, (p. 99.)

Tannadice is a village on the South Esk, seven miles northeast of Forfar.

Tarfside is the chief village in Glen Esk, near the junction of the Tarf and the North Esk. In the vicinity are Migvie or Rowan Hill with a monumental cairn, the ruins of Invermark Castle, and the shooting lodge of Invermark.


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