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Parish records for 1843







Name. - Cargill. takes its name from Caér, signifying in the Celtic language a village, and Cill, a place of worship, or burial.

It was formerly called the West Parish, and is said to have been part of the parish of Cupar of Angus, but has long since been disjoined from that, and erected into a distinct parochial district.

Bishop Spottiswood mentions, that, as far back as the year I5l4, Andrew Stuart, brother to John Earl of Athole, got the benefices of Cargill and Alyth.


Situation, - This parish is situated in the large vale of Strathmore, and is bounded on the north, by the river Isla; on the north-east, by the parish of Coupar-Angus; on the east, by Kettins; on the south-east, by Collace ; on the south, by St Martins ; and on the west and north-west, by the river Tay.


Extent, - It extends from west to east about 6 miles, and from north to south about 4 miles on an average, forming nearly an oblong square. This parish exhibits a surface diversified by wood and water, and variegated by ascents and declivities. Rising gradually in the form of a ridge for about a mile from the river Tay, it reaches a plain of near four miles in breadth, which, with some unevennessess, it preserves till it comes to the Sidlaw hills, which form part of its eastern boundary.

Excepting the woodlands, it is mostly all arable. The soil is extremely various and different. In the lower part of the parish, along the banks of the river, it is a wet mortary clay, which produces strong crops; inclining as you rise in elevation to a rock marl, which is cold and unproductive. The level grounds on the top of the ridge are partly loamy and partly moorish. Towards the foot of the hills, the soil is a light dry gravel.


Rivers, Woods, Hills. - The river Tay forms the west and north west boundary of this parish, and abounds with salmon-, trout, and pike. Near the west end of the parish, this river forms what is called the Linn of Campsey, by falling over a rugged basaltic dike, which crosses the water at this place, and is found to extend in a right line many miles to the east and west of the Tay. At the distance of twenty miles westward, Drummond castle stands on a similar rock, which is supposed to be a continuation of the same range.

The most romantic and magnificent views on the Tay are in this parish.* About half a mile above the village of Cargill, the river Isla runs into the Tay. The fisheries of this parish are of considerable value, those on the Tay especially, being considered second to none in the kingdom for rod fishing.


Minerals. - Several quarries of freestone of an excellent quality, and good colour, have been wrought to a considerable extent.

Limestone also is to be found, and might, it is said, be wrought to great advantage. Rock marl of a reddish colour is found here in great abundance. Little use has hitherto been made of it as a manure; but it is thought that it would be of service to the light

moorish grounds in the upper part of the parish.

About fifty years ago an attempt was to find coal; but after much labour, and. not a little expense; the project was abandoned from want of the necessary funds.




Land-owners. - These, with their respective valuations, are as follows-:

- Mungo Murray, Esq. of Lintrose,                    L.         166      13        4

- James Wight of Lawton,                                             315      0          0

- Lady Willoughby D'Eresby,                                        4432    0          0

- William Edmund Collins Wood, Esq. of Keithick,       150      0          0

- James M. D. Nairne, Esq. of Dunsinane.                     576      14        0

L.         5640    7          4

Antiquities.- There are several tumuli in this parish, in some of which, when opened, human bones have been found, and near them the remains of some military weapons. Druidical temples also have been discovered in different places. Near the confluence of the Tay and Isla, and exactly opposite to the ancient castle of .Kinclaven on the other side of the river, are discovered plain vestiges of a Roman station, now called the Castlehill; on one side, this encampment is defended by the steep banks of the Tay; on another, by a deep ravine; a high breast-work and strong entrenchments guard it on all other sides where it was accessible.

The fossae are perfectly discernible, and the aqueduct by which they were filled from a neighbouring rivulet, is still in high preservation; but the site of this encampment is now converted into a corn-field - Et seges est ubi Troja fuit. In this camp, according to Boethius, the Romans took up their winter-quarters under Tribellius, after Agricola left him, and preserved their communication with other detachments of their troops who had advanced farther into `the country, towards the foot of the Grampians.

Upon the top of a high rock which rises perpendicular above the Linn of Campsey, in a most romantic situation, stand the ruins of an old religious house, dependent on the Abbey of Cupar. Next to our Kings, the Hays of Errol were the principal benefactors of this monastery, and some stones picked up from the ruins still bear the arms of that family. Stobhall, a seat of the family of Perth, is situated on the banks of the Tay in this parish. It is an old fabric, most fancifully situated on a narrow tongue of high land, and seems to have been built at different times and on different plans. It has been in the possession of the family of Perth since the year 1360, when Sir John Drummond, by marrying Lady Mary, the eldest daughter and co heiress of Sir William do Montifex, Justiciar of Scotland, and head of a most ancient family, with her obtained the lands of Cargill and Stebhall, which then became the designation of the family.

A Roman road or paved way runs along the high grounds in this parish, which deserves particular notice. This road, which is about twenty feet broad, and composed of rough round stones rudely laid together, can be plainly traced from Innerpeffry, through the parish of Gask, {where there is a camp,) to Duplin: from thence to Bertha, few vestiges of it can be discovered.

About a quarter of a mile above Bertha, (which seems to have been a Roman station from the number of urns that have been discovered there), a ridge of stones, which extend far into the river, and a great number of large oak trees, which have been dug up there, and many of which still remain in the water, give strong appearances of a military Roman bridge over the Tay there. From thence the road is to be traced to Rome, (which probably got its name at that time), passed Sherifftown and Innerbuist, where there is a large camp and several tumuli, through the parish of St Martin’s

to Byres, keeping the ridge of the hill through the estate of Stobhall; and passing near Gallowhill, where it is very discernible, it bends its course to the Isla at Windyedge, where the remains of another military bridge are distinctly to be traced, and the houses adjacent to which are still known to the old residenters by the name of Bridgend. This bridge seems to have communicated with different Roman stations which are to be seen on different places on the extensive plain on the other side of the river towards Blairgowrie, where the Romans fought a bloody battle with the united armies of the Caledonians and Picts. When this military road was made is uncertain; probably by the army at Ardoch, to preserve a communication between their different camps, and as convenient for their after marches, had they conquered the country.* (Old Statistical Account.)


Eminent Persons. - The family of Drummond, which has always been ranked among the most ancient and illustrious of the Scottish nation, and who had for a long time their chief residence here, gave birth to many characters, not more distinguished by their high stations than by their personal merit; among a variety of these which might be specified, the brevity of this sketch permits only one to be mentioned. Annabelle Drummond, daughter of Sir John Drummond and Lady Mary Montefix. She was a lady of the most exquisite beauty and distinguished accomplishments, and had the honour of being married to Robert III. King of Scotland, and crowned at Scone with him in the month of September 1390. She was the ornament of the Court of which she was the Queen; and her death about_ the year 1401, was considered and lamented as a public loss. Queen Annabella was mother to James I. King of Scotland, and from her are lineally descended all the royal race of the Stuarts.

* Near the village of Cargill were, until lately, to be seen some erect stones of considerable magnitude, having the figure of the moon and stars cut out on them, and probably the rude remains of Pagan superstition. The corn field where these stones stood is called the Moonshade to this day, or Moonstone Butts.

There are several round artificial little hills or conical mounds, in this parish called Laws, particularly one at Lawton, the property of James Wright, Esq. which, as it is situated in the near neighbourhood of Macbeths Castle, on Dunsinnan hill, is said to have been the place where Macbeth dispensed laws and settled differences among his subjects.

Near the village of Gallowhill is a Field called the Gallowshade, which was a place of execution under the feudal system, and in a field about a hundred yards north from the school-house is a well, said to have been used by the executioner for washing his hands alter being engaged in his bloody work, and which still goes by the name of “Hangies Well."




Amount of population in :

1801, . 1585

1811, . 1521

1821, . 1617

1831, . 1628

1841, , 1648




Agriculture. - Most of the recent agricultural improvements have been introduced into this parish. Much, however, still remains to be done. The land being generally of a cold damp bottom, thorough draining must be resorted to before thorough productiveness can be expected.

Surface contents of Stobhall estate, Scots measure: arable, 4386.02 acres; pasture, 161.16; moor, 147.17; wood, 703.02; total, 5397.37 acres.




ViIlages. - There are three large villages in the parish, viz. Burrelton, Woodside, and Wolfhill, which, according to the last census, contain the following population,

Burrelton - 485,

Woodside - l69,

Wolfhill - 122,

which, added together, amount to nearly half the population of the entire parish.


Ecclesiastical State. - The parish church of Cargill, which was erected in 1831, is a neat substantial fabric, without ornament, stands on the banks of the Tay, at the base of a sloping bank, and is unseen until close upon it. The manse stands adjacent, and is one of the most delightful parsonages in the country. The amount of the stipend is L. 224, 9s. ; value of the glebe per annum, L.l4.

There is a chapel at Burrelton.


Education. - The parochial teacher’s salary is the maximum.

Besides, he has L.10 per annum from Lady Willoughby d’Eresby for teaching the poor gratis; and in addition to all, has at glebe of about three acres Scots. There are two private schools, one at Burrelton, the other at Woodside.


Poor. - The average number of poor of all classes is 37.

The average annual amount of church door collections for their behoof is L.l4. Besides, there is a legal assessment for their support which has been in force for three years.

Total expenditure for poor last year, L.158, 13s. 4d.

Oclober 1843

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