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Strathmore Past and Present

If there is anything in the romantic grandeur of natural scenery, in the patriotic associations of historical places, and in the divine spell of lyric poetry, to help a band of holiday-seekers to have a day’s pure enjoyment, there is no spot in this charming district of Strathmore to be compared with the Den of Airlie. Here all summer, for three days a-week, pic-nic and tourist parties delight to spend some happy hours. The scenes are resistless to the most callous and worldly man. Brakes from Dundee and' Forfar pour their pale and careworn occupants into the fairy-land of health. Hardy artisans, close-confined clerks, and nerve-shaken mill-workers become here, with other than alcohol, for the time “o’er a’ the ills o’ life victorious ” Carriages with birth-day family parties and carts with the whole household on their annual trip, drive in to give the young folks their long-anticipated feast. Only the other day we saw two brakes full of close-shaven priests, as happy as the day was long, in their blessed (!) celibacy, “getting off* the chain ”with greater ease than poor “ John Gilpin ” of ballad renown. Nature gives the picturesque scenery of the Den, history gives the Castle, and poetry combines both in the ballad of “The Bonnie House o’ Airlie.” An ivy-clad wall alone remains of the ancient structure. A modem mansion forms one side within; and in the central grassy square the pic-nic parties strengthen the inner man before taking the different routes to enjoy the scenery. The Castle is situated on the summit of a huge peninsulated rock, which overhangs the junction of the Isla and the Melgum.

The rock is not so precipitous as at Craighall on the Ericht, but the scenery is more charming. Looking northward, from fully a hundred feet above the water, you see four parishes joining within a stone’s cast— Alyth, Glenisla, Lintrathen, and Airlie. The ruins give evidence of enormous strength—impregnable in olden times to all but fire. Inaccessible on three sides by natural securities, the fourth or front side, looking south, was protected by a ditch and drawbridge, thirty feet wide, and a wall thirty-five feet high and ten feet thick. When complete, it must have been one of the largest and least accessible of mountain fortresses. No one can tell who planned the ancient keep ; no jotting of history tells when the massive walls were reared to defend the Highland chieftain’s home. There is, however, a suggestion, that Sir Walter Ogilvy, when Lord High Treasurer of King James I., obtained the necessary permission to erect the Castle, in 1432. But the old Castle—long rearing its battlements in seclusion—burst into historical fame during the broils of Covenanting times. The Earl of Airlie was at that period a faithful supporter of King Charles I., who was pressing his ecclesiastical polity with undue haste and severity upon a dour and prejudiced people, that characteristically clung with death-grip tenacity to the religious forms of their fathers. To discharge his duties to his Sovereign, the Earl had to be in England; but he left his Countess, with his son, Lord Ogilvy, in Airlie Castle. The strong Covenanting party, hearing of the departure of this hated champion of the royal cause, appointed the Earl of Argyle, a hereditary enemy of the Ogilvies, to destroy the stronghold, along with the Castlo of Forter, in Glenisla, another of his seats. It was in 1640, and as the ballad puts it, “on a bonnie summer day, when the corn grew green and rarely,” that the work of destruction was accomplished. The Earl of Argyle appeared before the Castle, anti summoned Lord Ogilvy to surrender. With 5000 well-chosen Covenanters, Argyle considered his word as law. Jervise, in his “Memorials,” and Browne in his “History of the Highlands,” consider that the Countess and her son had fled during the night to Forter, which became the scene of the ballad. But no less an authority than Ochterlony thinks differently, and tradition is so strongly in favour of the bravery and devotion of the noble and high-spirited wife, that we are inclined to consider Airlie Castle as the tragic scene ; otherwise the popular song would have lost its fervour and sympathy. Who wrote the song, no one knows; but the whole spirit of it favours the belief that the heroic woman vowed that, if Argyle destroyed her patrimonial castle, she would perish in the ruins rather than flee for safety with a lily-livered coward’s shame. Out of her bower window (looking weary for her absent lord, and in a precarious state of health, as she was so soon to become a mother), she spied the great, but “gleyed,” Argyle, making his diabolical preparations. With sham gallantry he asked her to “come down, and kiss him fairly;” but with indignant scorn she refused, and exposed the cruel tyrant behind the smiling mask. On this,

“Argyle, in a rage, attacked the bonnie ha’.
In a lowe he set the bonnie House o’ Airlie.”

Soon the splendid baronial mansion was burned to the ground; and Argyle, according to the old historian, Gordon of Rotliiemay, showed such bitter earnestness in the work of destruction, that with a hammer “he knocked down the hewed work of the doors and windows till he did sweat for heat at his work.’’ The half-frantic Countess then burst into vehement denunciation in her forced flight,

“Gif my gude lord were now at hame,
As he is wi’ King Charlie,
The dearest blude o’ a’ thy kin
Wad sloeken the burnin’ o’ Airlie.”

When the Earl of Airlie heard of this nefarious work, and told the king, a spark of the fire was taken to kindle, in revenge, one of Argyle’s strongholds; for, in 1045, the Castle of Gloom, near Dollar, was by the Royalists destroyed by fire; and Lochow, Argyle’s principal residence, was overthrown. Deep-seated patriotism clings to such associations; and the ruins still speak of their former glory.

Airlie is a parish in the west of Forfarshire, in the shape of a parallelogram; being six miles long and four miles broad. The name is supposed to be derived from the Gaelic, and, “the extremity of a ridge.” Two-thirds of it lies in Strathmore; but the Kirk, in a hollow over the ridge that bounds the Strath on the north, is very inconveniently situated. Compensation in religious service is, however, afforded by the Free Church in the southern part. Whether it was from necessity, on account of the difficulty of obtaining a good site, or from pawkincss to sec that more worshippers could be in attendance when the fields of Eassie, Glamis, and Ruthven could also be drawn upon, or from the sense of decency, we cannot say; but it is certainly far more seemly, respectful, and charitable to see this, than, as in too many eases, rival churches within a stone-cast of each other. From the “Howe” (120 feet above sea level), the parish gradually rises in a series of parallel waving ridges, the most northerly (550 feet above sea level), terminating in a deep gorge on the west, through which the Isla flows. Here, as already noted, the Isla is justly celebrated for its romantic beauty. Wordsworth, in his “Effusion,” thus refers to a scene not unlike the Den of Airlie :—

“Strange scene, fantastic and uneasy,
As ever made a maniac dizzy.”

We first saw the Den thirteen years ago, on a Sunday afternoon, in the first week of November, when the sere tints of autumn were on the trees, and the river was in flood; and we were fairly entranced with the scenery. But whether in the season of the varied colours of the foliage, or in the fresh green leafy month of June, the gorgeous display on Nature’s face is equally attractive. North of the Castle, for several miles up to the Falls of the Reeky Linn, the Isla presents at every turn kaleidoscope views, which never fail to interest; and within a short distance are the famous Slugs of Auchrannie, already described in the article on Alyth (p. 110). For a mile and a-half, the river, swollen by the Melgum at the Castle, continues its majestic course onwards to the bridge of Delavaird; through not so alarming, yet grand scenery, till wearied with its labours it calms down in the plain. Thomson’s lines seem written for this scene—

“Nor can the tortured wave here find repose;
But, raging still amid the shaggy rocks,
Now flashes o’er the scattered fragments, now,
Aslant the hollow channel rapid darts;
And falling fast from gradual slope to slope,
With wild infracted course, and lessen’d roar,
It gains a safer bed, and steals, at last,
Along the mazes of the quiet vale.”

The rocks in the Den of Airlie are nearly all Devovian; and the strike or run of the basset edges of the different beds is from north-east to south-west. The lower beds are applicable to all the different objects of architecture, and are quarried for building purposes. There is a remarkable Kaim, running east from the Castle two miles long, described in the Proceedings of the Royal Society. Traces of fossil fishes have been found in a quarry of the mottled sandstone on the farm of Grange. The rock and impervious debris are throughout most of the parish overspread with sand and gravel. The gravelly cover is generally acervated into low rounded hillocks, or raths, filled up with peat moss or earthy marsh. Some contain deposits of shell-marl under a surface of peat. A century ago, these deposits were dug out for manure ; which very materially improved the agriculture of the vicinity. Robertson in his Agriculture, however, mentions that at the end of last century the soil of Bradiston, by the continuous use of marl, lost all the power of cohesion, and became so light that it had no sward ; the surface soil being blown away like dust before the wind, and dens six feet deep being thereby formed. The Moss of Baikie was the largest. Sir Charles Lyell published a very complete report of it in the Transactions of the Geological Society. This was formerly a loch of 150 acres in extent. But, in 1750, the proprietor began to drain it for the marl, and some beds were found 18 to 20 feet deep. During the work several very large deers’ horns were found; one of them, presented to the Antiquarian Society, weighing 24- lbs. There was also dug up the tusk of a wild boar, 4 inches from the supposed seat of the jawbone, and 2 inches broad—remarkably like ivory in colour and substance.

The soil varies in quality according to the character of the sub-stratum. Where it lies on the rock it is loamy and fine, suitable for green crops and grass. When the subsoil is of the impervious debris or mortar nature, the soil is thin and barren, especially in dry and hot seasons. A margin of deep loamy earth stretches for about 300 yards on either side of the river Dean, in the south part of the parish; and is very productive, though the crops are somewhat subject to mildew.

The Den of Airlie is an exceptionally rich field for tho botanist. It was the scene of the labours of Don and Drummond. Gardiner, in his “Flora of Forfarshire,” gives a very elaborate list of the principal wild flowers found there by the late Dr. Barty of Bendochy, and other eminent authorities. In that list we may particularize the Rock-Currant, and the Black Bitter-Vetch—both rare plants; the Herb-Paris (with its large green flowers rising out of the centre of four pointed leaves), found here only in Forfarshire; the Twayblade (with its small green flowers issuing from the two egged-shaped leaves) ; the Bird’s-nest (a leafless parasite, with brownish-yellow flowers, turned all one way) ; the Wood-vetch (covering the rugged steeps with its trailing festoons of beautifully pencilled flowers); the Red German Catchfly (distinguished from the other Campions around, by its slightly notched petals and clammy stem) ; the Luckengowan (with its handsome yellow globe flowers); the Three-nerved Sandwort (distinguished from chick weed by its undivided petals); the beautiful Alpine Lady’s-Mantle, “throwing the shadows of its silvery leaves o’er fresh green mosses;” and the Great Leopard’s-bane, which, in the dark ages of witchcraft, found a place in Hecate’s Pharmacopoeia. Writing in 1678, Edward, in his “County of Angus,” says:—“On the banks of Yla and Melgum, and a few other places, may be gathered plenty of well-flavoured wild strawberries. Here is abundance of timber for labouring utensils, and for the houses of the common people; and water-mills, unless obstructed by frost, are constantly employed in sawing the timber. Shells containing pearls are found in the river Yla. In Yla there are many salmon caught every season, sufficient not only to supply the inhabitants, but merchants for exportation to other countries.” Few salmon are caught now; but fair baskets of trout can in the proper season be got in the Isla, Melgum, and Dean. Occasionally are to be seen the Kingfisher, the Golden-eye, and the Crane; and the wood Martin, a very rare animal in Britain, has been found—a very fine specimen having been shot, in 1814, by the Earl of Airlie, in the woods near the Castle.

In the south-west corner of the parish, near Cardean, are the remains of a Roman camp; and about 500 yards of the great Roman road (which ran eastwards along the Strath), can be traced in a plantation on the farm of Reedie, in the eastern part of the parish. On the farm of Barns there is the most entire specimen of a Weein or Peght’s House to be found in the kingdom. It is nearly seventy feet long, six wide, and six high ; constructed of dry stone walls on the sides, and roofed over with very large, long stones, quarried with considerable labour and care. Those who discovered it (according to a local rhymster)— “On descending saw a Weem,

Of length and build that few could dream.
Strewn here and there lay querns and bones—
Strange cups and hammers made of stones,
And tiny flints for bow or spear—
Charr’d corn, and wood, and other gear.”

As already noticed, the old Castle of Airlie occupied a commanding site on a rocky promontory, If miles N.N.W. of the Kirkton. The moat has now been filled up, to render the place accessible to carriages; and a goodly modern mansion, originally designed (about a century ago) as merely a summer resort, has been built inside the ruins ; and is now occupied by the Countess of the deceased Earl. Edward states:—“The Earl of Airly boasts of deriving his descent from Gilchrist, an ancient Earl of Angus.” The traditionary origin is this:—Earl Gilchrist was married to a sister of William the Lion, by whom he had three sons. One day his Majesty was out hunting in the Glen of Ogilvy, in Glamis; and, getting detached from his party, was set upon by robbers. The Gilchrists, happening to be near, ran to his rescue ; for which he, on learning their names, gave them the glen; accordingly, in honour of the place where they saved their Monarch’s life, they took the name of Ogilvy, which has been so long and so worthily borne by their descendants.

Gilchrist’s male heirs failing in 1225, the representation passed to the heirs of his brother Gilbert. In 1309, Sir Patrick de Ogilvy adhered steadily to Robert the Bruce. In 1458, Sir John Ogilvy obtained from the Crown the Lands, Barony, and Castle of Aroly. In 1491, Sir James was created a Peer with the title of Lord Ogilvy; and appointed Chief Bailie of the Abbey of Arbroath. In 1639, James, Lord Ogilvy, was created Earl of Airlie and Baron Ogilvy of Alyth and Lintrathen, by King Charles I., as a reward for his loyalty. In 1647, his son was to have married Lady Magdalene, daughter' of the Earl of Southesk; but, as his horse refused to cross the river while on his way to propose marriage, he thought it a bad omen, and immediately returned. On learning this, Lady Magdalene was sorely grieved ; but her father soothed her by advising her “not to mind, as he would soon find her a better husband than Airlie;” and that husband was the Marquis of Montrose, who, in 1650, died on the scaffold in Edinburgh. The second Earl suffered much for his loyalty. Taken prisoner at Philiphaugh, he was sentenced to be executed at St. Andrews; but he escaped from that Castle by the help of a loving sister, who dressed him in her own clothes; and in this disguise he safely passed the guards on the night before he was to suffer death. After this event the history of this noble family is sufficiently well known ; and we have not space to add more. The present holder of the titles is David Ogilvy, who was born in 1856, and succeeded as eleventh Earl in 1881; he has, only the other day in Egypt, shown his hereditary prowess by his distinguished conduct under General Stewart at the battles of Abu-Klea Wells and Metammeh—in each of which he was slightly wounded. He owns land to the value of £26,000 a year.

The remains of Baikio Castle, which was situated on a rising ground near the west end of the Moss of Baikie, are now scarcely traceable. About a century ago, however, the proprietor got the ground cleared out; and the workmen came upon a part of the causeway which led into the drawbridge. It seemed very strong and almost impregnable, the walls being eight feet thick—well suited for a place of refuge in times of danger. According to the Reverend Mr. Stormonth (the writer of the Old Statistical Account of tho parish in 1791), it was more than a hundred years before his time when any part of the roof of that Castle was standing. The early proprietors were the Fentons; John of Fenton, Sheriff of Forfar, in 12G1, being the earliest on record. William of Fenton did homage to King Edward I. of England, within the Monastery of Lindores in 1291. In the following year, he was one of those who declared that Edward might proceed to decide between the claims of Bruce and Baliol for the Scottish crown. John of Fenton was present at the celebrated Parliament held at Arbroath, in 1320. In 13G2, the Laird gifted the adjoining property of Linross to the chapel of St. John of Baikie. In 1403, Regent Albany granted a charter, arranging the lands of Fenton of Baky. In ]45S, David Lindsay of Lethnot, a son of the Earl of Crawford, married Margaret Fenton ; and their only son, the bailiff to the Earls of Crawford, was charged with being one of those who took part in the sacrilegious outrage on “twa monks” belonging to the Abbey of Cupar. Ho is the last designed Lindsay of Baikie, and it is likely that the estate passed from the family in the time of his successor, for John, third Lord Glamis, had charters of it in 14S9. After the execution of the unfortunate Countess of Glamis for the alleged crime of witchcraft, the Lord High Treasurer made a payment of forty pounds for the “reipar of the Glammys and Baky;” so that it is probable that some of the King’s courtiers occasionally resided at Baikie. Ochterlony, in his “Account of the Shyre of Forfar" in 1684, thus writes:—"The Barronie of Baikie, a great interest, and excellent land, and als good cornis and a great deal more ear [i. e. early] than upon the coast.” The lands now belong to the Earl of Strathmore; and the only thing that keeps up the association of the ancient name, is a hillock near, called “Fenton-hill,” upon which stone coffins containing bones were discovered some time ago. The fertile patch which tells the site of the Castle, “where once the garden smiled, and still, where many a garden flower grows wild,” brings up hallowed memories ; and in an old ballad reference is thus made to the undrained Loch—

“Bonnie shines the sun on the high towers o’ Airly;
Bonnie swim the swans in the Loch o’ the Baikie;
High is the hill, an’ the moon shining clearly,
But the cauld Isla rins atween me an’ my dearie.”

In the reign of Robert III., John Straiton was proprietor of the lands of Erroly (Airlie), which he resigned in favour of John Cuthris. Fletcher of Balinscho added the estate of Lindertis to his original patrimony, and rose to the rank of Major in the Indian Army. He was succeeded by his brother, who along with “Panmure” enacted those youthful vagaries for which he is so well known as the “ daft laird.” At his death the estates were sold to Wedderburn of Balindean, who parted with them in the course of two or three years to Gilbert Laing-Meason (brother of Malcolm Laing, the Historian of Scotland), who, in 1813, erected a most splendid mansion of dark red sandstone, in the castellated style, from a design by Elliot of Edinburgh. The house is beautifully situated two miles east of the Kirk ton, in a compact wood, with an extensive view of the richest part of Strathmore. It came into the possession of Major-General Munro, who was made a baronet, in 1825, when Governor of Madras. Tho estate has belonged to his son Sir Thomas Munro, Bart., since his succession, in 1827. In this fine property are Kinalty, Reedie, and Littleton. Kinalty was oncc a thanedom, belonging to the Crown, in the reign of Robert II. That King, in 1370, gave to Walter of Ogilvy a chartcr of an annual rent of £29 stg., “furth of the Thanedom of Kyngoltvy;” and 20 years afterwards, King Robert III. confirmed a charter by William of Abemetliy, Knight, to John Abernethy of the lands of Kynnaltie in the Barony of Rethy (Refcdie). In 1403, the Regent Albany arranged the lands of Thomas heir of the Barony of Rethy. The lands of Littleton once belonged to the Grays. In 1449, Lord Gray had a charter of them. They afterwards passed to the Carnegies, and then to the Earls of Strathmore: till at the middle of the eighteenth century Major Fletcher bought them for Lindertis.

About the beginning ot tho sixteenth century, tho Ogilvies of Balfour acquired Cukistone property. John Ogilvy, heir of Cukiston is named in a precept of Sasine by George, Archdeacon of St. Andrew’s, of the lands of Bennathy, in 1538. In 1620, Cookston came into the possession of David Livingstone of Donypace: in 1688, to tho Carnegies ; and now it belongs to the Earl of Strathmore.

Ecclesiastically, the parish of Airlie was in Pre-Reformation times connected with the Abbey of Cupar, under the names of Erlie, Eryle, Eroly, and Erolyn. The donor and tho date are not to be found; but somewhere between 1214 and 1226 (dated Edinburgh, October 3rd), Alexander II. confirmed by royal charter the original gift, with the consent of the Bishop of St. Andrews. From the Register of Cupar Abbey we find that, in 1464, the alterage of the Church was let to the vicar thereof for five years for tho annual payment of £12 Scots. In 1469, the Church was let to the vicar thereof (Sir Andrew Holand) for five years, for the annual payment of 18 merks, with the obligation to keep the Church in repair; and the farm of Grange was let to William Spalding for 13 merks annually, with 2 dozen capons and 4 bolls of horse-corn. In 1474, David Blair of Jordanston leased the Church—that is, received powers to uplift the tithes, and the altar and cemetery dues, and to use the proceeds belonging to the manse and glebe, and of all lands belonging to the same, for 3 years—for £20 Scots annual rent; all ordinary expenses being deducted, except reparation of the choir and altar, the visitation of the bishop, and bishop’s subsidy, or other annual taxes, for which annual payment Robert Michaelson of Lytvy (Leitfie) is cautioner. In 1479, the vicarage, along with the fruits of the Kirk of Mathy, was let for 5 years to Master Thomas of Durame, Dene of Angus, for 110 merks Scots; raised to 125 merks at next tack. In 1539, Abbot Donald gave Lord Ogilvy of Airlie a feu-charter of Auchindorie. In 1540, James, Lord Ogilvy of Airlie, was appointed hereditary bailie of the regality of Cupar. In 1550, the Abbot let to the vicar, Sir John Smythe, all the vicarage for his whole life-time for £24 Scots; but “he shall hold the choir of the kirk watertight.” In 1561, the “hale rentalis of the Abbacie of Cupar” included the teinds of the farms in Airlie to the amount of 28 chalders 14½ bolls of meal, and 11 chalders 7½ bolls of beir, with 8 bolls of horse-corn; but Andrew Ogilvie had to officiate at Airlie and Glenisla for £8 17s. 9d. In 1662, John Robertson was deprived by the Privy Council; and in 1729,William Lyon joined in a dissent against the deposition of John Glas, minister of Tealing (the founder of the Glassites). In 1747, the Earl of Airlie got £800 as compensation for the abolition of the Bailie of Cupar.

The Kirk of Airlie was dedicated to St. Madden, by David, Bishop of St. Andrews, in 1242. A fine spring in the neighbourhood, with a knoll and hamlet, bears the name of this saint. The Dunkeld Litany has a bishop styled Medanach, who is probably the saint here referred to, and whose feast-day is April the 29th. A document, dated 1447, makes mention of the “bell of the Kirk of St. Madden of Airlie" as an evidence of right and title to property ; then it was resigned by its hereditary possessor, the curate, to Sir John Ogilvy, who gifted it to his wife, Margaret Countess of Moray, in virtue of which she had possession of a house and toft near the Kirk of Lintrathen. In the present church (built in 1783) is an old auinry or press for holding sacred vessels, bearing on its back the initials of the Fentons of Bailie (A. F.) The coping-stone of an old burying aisle, removed from the old church, has marks of the five passion-wounds of our Saviour, with the addition of the scourge, the pillar to which Christ was bound, the spear, and the pincers. In the west gable of the church is built the gaunt effigy of a man, 3 feet high, representing Saint John, whose right forefinger is pointing to a lamb which is standing upon a book, meaning “The Lamb’s Book of Life.” This had been taken from the ruins of the Chapel of St. John the Baptist at Baikie. The Abbey of Cupar possessed the teinds and patronage of this chapel, gifted to the monks by one of the Fentons. A coffin slab of red sandstone, bearing the common figures of an ornamental cross, a sword, a hunting horn, and a blank shield has the shaft of the cross thus inscribed:—“Lyis heir Roger and Yofom Rolok, quha died in Hidie, 1640.” A statue, very rudely sculptured, and placed in one of the apertures of the old wall of Airlie Castle, of hirsute appearance, with one of the arms supporting something before the breast, is thought by some to be a rude image of the Baptist.

The Parochial records date back to May 28th 1662. In ] 759, we see that £3 was the penalty for the current breach of Session discipline. In 1765, the Kirk-Session expended £10 upon the new east loft in the Church, and £15 on the west loft. The Manse was built in 1792. A handsome organ, presented by Mrs. Monro, Lindertis, was lately used in the service of the church, when the esteemed incumbent (the Reverend Thomas Reid), preached with all the energy that he displayed when elected fifty-one years ago; and showed thereby his cultured common-sense in supporting this movement for the improvement of the psalmody.

The population of the parish, in 1775, was 1012, and is now 844—the decrease being accounted for by the junction of farms. The valued rent was £258 ; and the real rent now is £11,092. There is no legal assessment for the poor. There are two public schools, with accommodation for 104 and 62 pupils respectively. A century ago, some of the Airlie tenants were among the first in Strathmore to set the example of an improved mode of husbandry; and this worthy distinction has not been lost since. Then there was one flock of sheep brought from Northumberland, weighing 22 lb. per leg; now there are the finest specimens in many farms. Then 16 four-horse ploughs were employed in taking in the ground; now the implements of agriculture are far more easily suited to the working of the soil. A hundred and fifty years ago, the low part of the parish was almost in a state of nature, with scarcely an enclosure; now there are excellent dykes, ditches, fences, and steadings to mark off the farms. Then the climate, though mild, was very foggy— rheumatism, slow fevers and agues being not unfrequent, especially in the mossy grounds; now, by the extensive draining of the marshes, the parish has been made exceptionally healthy. The parish has always been noted for its breed of cattle. Since 1855, the Earls of Airlie have been raising the fine Angus breed, now taking a prominent place. The Herd Book of Ravenscroft mentions a good stock, from ' which the modern excellent breed have sprung. The manures required for feeding the poorer land are now easily carried from Dundee and Glasgow, as the Caledonian Railway passes through the parish; and these, when mixed with the ordinary reed produce, form a very suitable stimulant for green crops. The parish is traversed by 16 miles of principal roads, and 12 miles of less resort; all under the Road Trust, and in very good condition. A very fine avenue of chestnut trees extends for half-a-mile along the main road at Lindertis.

Many interesting associations make the parish of Airlie noteworthy among the neighbouring country districts; its pleasant walks, and bonnie braes so charm the lover of Nature that English scenes fail to obliterate their memory, as James Guthrie thus fondly brings before us :—

“Bonnie sing the birds in the bright English valleys,
Bonnie bloom the flowers in the lime-sheltered alleys,
Golden rich the air, with i>erfumc laden rarely,
But dearer far to mo the bonnie braes o’ Airlie.”

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