text below is mostly summaries with some extracts from
the original text. The links are mostly to Google Books,
usually to the first item of interest rather than the
first page of a parish. The NSA for Forfarshire is volume
11. Some notes from MacFarlane's Geographical Collections
(mostly Volume I) have been added - these are useful
as they date from the 1720's. See here
for further information and links.
information about parishes can be found on the Vision
of Britain site and on Scotland's
illustrations from Forfarshire
Cumming, 1843 are incorporated. These link back to the
original text on Googlebooks. Also included are some
images from Google Street View.
maps are based on the quarter-inch OS map The Forth
and Tay, 1923 and the half-inch map, sheet 24, 1914.
With thanks to Ordnance Survey. The maps of turnpikes
in 1813, of Cortachy & Clova, Glenisla and Lochlee
are based on the map by Keith
Johnson, 1861, courtesy of David
Rumsey Historical Map Collection. The image is copyright
Cartography Associates but has been made available under
Commons license for non-commercial use.
are frequent mentions of both Roman camps and stretches
of Roman road, Strathmore being the main invasion route
followed by the Romans. A number of the camps have been
confirmed by archaeologists and many others discovered;
work continues to try to identify roads. Although the
references in the statistical accounts are interesting
in their own right, so much research has now been undertaken
that it is best to consult up to date findings to gain
an overview of the Roman presence in this area, see
for example: Scotland
during the Roman Empire (Wikipedia); www.Roman-Britain.org
Roman Gask Project (see in particular their map
for camps in Forfarshire).
interesting point made by some of the writers is that
some of the camps, rather than being Roman could date
from the time of Edward I or from the campaigns of Montrose.
from Roman roads, there are two roads of particular
interest. One is the King's Cadgers Road that ran from
the Fishertown of Usan to the royal palace in Forfar,
for the purposes of supplying fresh fish daily to the
king. It was to be the width of a mill wand, a piece
of wood that went through the hole in the centre of
a mill stone and allowed it to be trundled along on
its edge. The course of the road is hard to reconstruct
but it must have taken a fairly direct route over to
Montreathmont Moor, through which it is said to have
other is the Heckenbois Path, said to have been made
by Hector Boece the historian in the late 1400's - hence
the name. Again, its course is difficult to reconstruct
but it is said to have ran from his home in Panbride
up to the then road between Dundee and Brechin and ultimately
Aberdeen. A short section is shown on the early 6"map.
are occasional mentions of other roads and paths, particularly
over the Grampians into upper Deeside and up the glens.
One of the latter in Lethnot and Navar parish is known
as the Minister's Path or the Priest's Path, a tedious
journey the Minister had to take in the early 1700's,
a journey re-enacted occasionally by the local historical
society - see Heritage
Paths site. A survey had been carried out for a
road over the Cappel Mount that would have led to upper
were some early bridges: that at Brechin is known to
be very early, one at Cardean was thought to be Roman,
or at least modelled on an earlier Roman bridge, and
another in Kinnettles was also considered Roman in origin
there were no bridges, fords and ferries had to be used
and there are the usual references to how dangerous
these could be and how people were prepared to take
risks rather than be held up for lengthy periods.
regard to roads in the 1600's we are fortunate to have
Edgar's map of 1687 on which roads are marked. Without
this the best we could do would be to guess at the road
network from bridges and placenames shown on the maps
of Pont and Gordon or work backwards from the descriptions
of the 1720's given in MacFarlane's Geographical Collections.
Certainly these clues from Pont and Gordon indicate
there must have been a road system between the major
towns at least, including the major route to Aberdeen,
round about 1600 and there are enough references in
the mediaeval chartularies for Brechin, Arbroath, Coupar-Angus
etc to convince us that "roads" existed at
the statute labour system was applied, there were some
improvements in both the number and condition of the
roads though this could vary by parish, and as elsewhere,
the system attracts adverse comments from the writers.
In 1779 a turnpike act for the county was passed that
allowed both the building of turnpikes and a commutation
of the statute labour where work that had previously
had to be performed in person could be substituted by
a monetary payment - this allowed competent workmen
and supervisors to be employed. Turnpike roads were
quickly made and although there was some grumbling about
the tolls, the benefits of the new system were soon
appreciated. The statute labour roads also improved
market towns had a major effect on the growing road
network as they were where the farmers sold their produce
and where commodities could be bought. A nice example
of this is shown on Edgar's
map of 1678 where a road runs directly from Kirriemuir
to Dundee, where the produce of the parish could be
sold. The older burghs like Arbroath, Montrose, Forar
and Brechin can be seen even on early maps as nodal
points from where roads stretched to nearby settlements.
Being a coastal county, ports were important and there
are frequent mentions of journeys to Dundee, Arbroath
and Montrose where coal and lime were landed and from
where grain and, at a later date, livestock could be
exported. One early reference from 1684 is of slates
being carried from Glammis to Dundee on horseback. Again,
a network of roads can be seen extending to these ports.
NSA has quite a few references to railways and it is
quite clear from these that the railways had a major
effect. Forty years before many journeys would have
taken hours of arduous effort, open to the elements,
the road muddy and uneven underfoot, often hilly; even
with turnpikes a journey could be uncomfortable, slow,
and expensive. Now a journey would be faster, more comfortable,
and relatively inexpensive. For the farmers, it meant
a great saving both of time and money as transport by
railway was cheaper than road. The first railway to
be built was between Dundee and Newtyle and was originally
horse-drawn; steam engines were introduced in the 1830's.
in other counties there is a major contrast between
the two accounts where the OSA clearly shows that although
there was a network of "roads", these were
in most cases "beaten tracks" that were hardly
passable in bad weather and in winter-time. Few journeys
were made, the local market town and the local fairs
were the most people could aspire to, apart from the
annual ritual of gathering peats, often on some high
moorland tract reached by difficult tracks. Carts were
few and far between, and wheeled carriages even more
so. It was essentially a static, inward-looking society.
By the time of the NSA there was a much enlarged network
of fine roads with frequent coach services and many
carriers to the major towns.
Illustrated, Gershom Cumming, 1843
search for "roads" in Forfarshire - 176 records,
mostly bridges;search for "track"
- 21 records; search for Roman
or Forfarshire, the land and people, descriptive and
(1880, 5 volumes), Alex J Warden. This is a comprehensive
study of the county that contains interesting details
about roads and transport, including Roman and mediaeval
scenes in Forfarshire, W Marshall, 1875
the Ancient City, Six Circular Tours in Angus and
the Mearns, D H Edwards, 1904
of Angus and Mearns, an account, historical, antiquarian,
and traditionary; (1885) A Jervise
view of the agriculture of the county of Angus, or Forfarshire,
Rev. James Headrick, 1813
This link is to interesting sections that give a good
overview of roads and bridges and an insight into how
people at the time thought about them.
Paths - see Grampian and Angus and Tayside for details
of paths over the Mounth
Grampian Ways, Robert Smith, John Donald Publishers,
details of the Mounth passes
Old Deeside Road, G M Fraser, 1921, reprinted 1983 -
details of the Mounth passes. See also The
Mounth Passes over the Grampians, G M Fraser, Scottish
Geographical Magazine, Volume 36, 1920, pages 116 -
122 and continued on pages 169 - 180
Page 50 Miscellaneous Observations.Many
slates are sent to London and elsewhere. Coal, peat,
turf etc used for fuel. Peat comes from a nearby parish.
There are 2 chaises in the parish.
In 1777, there was a cut made the whole breadth
of this parish, from the church southward; and a bridge
built by private subscription, to connect the road from
Forfar to Brechin with that to Arbroath.
The statute-labour is mostly commuted. There are two
inns on the Brechin to Forfar road, used by travellers.
Tenants or subtenants have to carry their landlords
Page 632 He mentions the possibility that a camp on
Turin hill in the south-west of the parish that overlooks
the Lunan valley and the pass between Forfar and Brechin,
and another camp two miles to the north overlooking
the Esk, could have been Roman.
Page 634 Parochial Economy.
Market-Towns.Forfar and Brechin, both six
miles away. As the nearest post-towns this distance
is inconvenient. A more regular postal service is needed.
Means of Communication.A turnpike road, the Auldbar
road, runs from Auldbar railway station to Brechin and
two miles of the Forfar to Montrose road pass through
the south of the parish. There is also a parish road
from Forfar to Brechin.
of the Parishes in Angus 1743
Vol.1, Page 275 On highway between Forfar and Brechin.
No particular mention of roads.
Page 679 Antiquities.He describes the remains
of a Roman camp near Cardean and traces of the Roman
road that ran eastwards from the camp and passed through
Strathmore. Some 500 yards are in good condition between
a plantation on the farm of Reidie and moorland at Auchindory.
A mile to the west at Landerick there is a small earthwork
that may have been used as an observation post.
Page 686 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication. Several main roads
both east-west and north-south run through the parish,
16 miles in all with 12 miles of less important roads.
They are all statute labour roads and have improved
considerably. The annual funds are L82.1.1. The Dundee-Newtyle-Glammiss
railway runs on the south of the parish. The post town
Page 687 Fuel. Peat from a moss in the north-east of
the parish is used as is some coal and wood.
Note: A J Warden (vol.2,
p.338) refers to a very old bridge over the Dean
near to the Roman camp that some think Roman or perhaps
modelled on an earlier Roman bridge. When the bridge
was removed, "the stone and lime forming it were
one solid mass." - See Canmore
record - thought to be 17th century or earlier.
Page 471 Fuel. Coal is used in the lower part of
the parish, peat and turf in the upper part.
Page 472 Roads and Bridges.The bridges in
the parish are good. The roads had been very bad but in
the last couple of years have improved greatly since the
statute labour was commuted. A turnpike road is being
made between Dundee and Arbroath and passes through the
parish. The tolls are high but it will be of benefit to
477 It is confidentially reported, that a road
was made through part of this parish, by Hector Boethius,
the Scotch historian, which still bears his name, though
somewhat corrupted. It is called Heckenbois-path.
in his work Angus or Forfarshire (v.5, p.70) notes of
Boece that: "After his succession (after 1494)
to his paternal property of Balbride, he is reported
to have commenced the construction of a road from Panbride
to join the great road from Dundee to Aberdeen, which
then passed through the parishes of Monikie and Carmylie.
Some traces of an old road are discernible in the moor
of Arbirlot, which bears the name of " Heckenbois-path,"
a corruption of Hector Boyce Path."
extract on the Monikie
website says that the farm of Hunter's Path close
to a ford in Elliot water, used to be called Hector's
Path and that traces of the road could be seen between
the farms of Fallaws and Kellyfield. This section is
shown on the old 6" map for Forfarshire
XLV and XLVI - SE and SW quadrants respectively)
Page 334 Parochial Economy.
Market-town, Means of Communication, etc.Arbroath,
which is a short distance away.
Over four miles of the turnpike between Arbroath and
Dundee run through on which three or four coaches travel
Fairs. A small fair is held here.
Larger Map Looking
towards the farm of Hunter's Path along the line of
the path shown on the 6" map. It ran across the
field to the tree line where it intersected the access
road to the right of the buildings. The track behind
you is probably a modern access track but at this point
is practically on the line of the Heckenbois Path.
Page 340 The post-road from Edinburgh to Aberdeen
runs through it. It is distant 17 miles from Dundee,
and 12 from Montrose.
Page 341 Details of trade, shipping etc. Although roads
are not specifically mentioned it is clear that there
was considerable communication with other towns and
with neighbouring parishes.
Page 76 Maps, Plans. A map of the town and the
suburb of St Vigeans was made in 1822 by Wood.
Page 77 Letters, Papers etc. A document dated
1445 lists the streets and crofts in the town, viz.
Neugate, Seygate, Neumarcatgate, Marcatgate, Grymysby,
Mylgate, Lortburngate, Appylgate, Ratonraw, and Cobgate.
Cobgate was that part of the High Street below, and
Ratonraw that part of it above the present parish church.
Page 87 Details of industry and of the port.
Page 91 Streets in the town are paved and lit.
Means of Communication enjoyed by the Parish.The
post office here receives mail each day, both from the
north and the south. There is a need for a cross post
There are about two miles of turnpike road, part of
which forms the boundary of the parish. There are a
total of 15,622 yards of streets, including those of
the suburbs in St Vigeans parish. The streets
are lit by gas.
As well as the mail coach, the New Times from Aberdeen
to Perth, the Highlander from Montrose to Dundee, and
the Commercial Traveller from Arbroath to Dundee run
on each lawful day and there is a weekly coach between
Arbroath and Forfar. There are two good inns suitable
Surveys for either a canal or a rail-road between here
and Forfar have been made.
There are 5 small bridges over the Brothock which allow
easy access to the suburbs. Sailing vessels can be found
at the harbour.
Page 107 Fairs.Two small fairs.
Inns and Alehouses.The number of these
is far too high, namely 95.
Fuel.Coal from Durham and Northumberland
and also from the Firth of Forth which is used mostly
Page 525 Roads and Bridges.The Dundee to
Meigle turnpike runs through here. Those living near it
benefit but those at a distance can not take advantage
of it due to the very poor bye-roads which the commuted
statute labour can never improve.
Page 653 Parochial Economy. Market-Town, etc.The
nearest market town is Dundee, easily reached by the
turnpike road or the railway between Dundee and Newtyle.
The railway, which has a depot near the Milltown of
Auchterhouse, carries 2500 tons of goods and 3000 passengers
Page 243 Roads and Bridges.The old post-road
between Dundee and Aberbrothock was merely a line
traced by frequent passengers on the surface of the soil.
A new post-road was made about 20 years ago in the north
of Barry parish but most of the statute labour is taken
up by it. The small amount left for Barrie has been insufficient
to make any progress although the light sandy soil means
that the road are at least dry. The bridges were built
and supported by voluntary subscription though a
detailed account of the bridges would reflect no honour
on the police of the district.
and Disadvantages. We are near the sea where coal
and lime can be landed.
Miscellaneous Observations.Four inns used
by travellers between Dundee and Arbroath.
One waggon was made at Barrie in the year 1791.
No waggon road can reasonably be expected in the parish
sooner than the year 1793.
No particular mention of roads.
Page 460 Church, Burgh, Fuel, Etc.
Brechin is a royal burgh with a weekly market. The fuels
used are coals brought from Montrose, wood and furze,
and peat brought from the Mearns. There is an unfair
tax on coal.
Bridge, Antiquities, etc. The bridge of Brechin
(over the South Esk) is thought to be one of the oldest
stone bridges in Scotland but there are no details as
to when or by whom it was built.
Page 131 Map of town prepared by John Wood some years
Page 137 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.Brechin
serves as the market town for much of the district.
Means of Communication.Each day the postman
comes from Montrose and returns later. There is a runner
are turnpike roads leading to Aberdeen, Forfar and Montrose.
Coaches run between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, passing
through the town; a noddy goes to Montrose, and a caravan
to Arbroath on market day.
There is an ancient bridge on the old roads to Arbroath
and Forfar, and a new one at Stannachy ford, on a road
presently being built that will reach Dundee and Arbroath.
There is much talk of a rail-road to Montrose, of a
canal, and of deepening and widening the South Esk.
Page 141 Fairs, etc.The Trinity Muir market
is held four times in a year; the June market is the
busiest. There are also two hiring fairs at which merchants
goods are sold. Cattle and horse fairs are held throughout
the winter and spring. There is a weekly market.
Inns.There are more than sixty, which is
far too many.
Fuel.Mostly coal brought in from Montrose;
also wood. Peat is so far away that little is used.
of the Parishes in Angus 1743
Vol.1, Page 273 Bridge over South Esk.
Vol.2, Page 40 Bridge in the town. Details of fairs.
Page 489 Miscellaneous Observations.One disadvantage
is that coal has to be obtained from Montrose, 12 miles
away, where it is very expensive because of the tax raised
on coal sold north of the Red Head (above Arbroath). Others
are the long distances grain, lime and marl have to be
the advantages are that the road to Montrose is smooth
and level and that Brechin with its post-office, market,
and shops is nearby.
No inns or alehouses.
Page 532 Antiquities.He refers to the possibility
of a Roman fort in the area, perhaps near the confluence
of the Noran and Esk
Page 536 Parochial Economy.
Market-Towns, etc. Brechin, four miles away.
The Brechin to Forfar coach passes each day. There is
a statute labour road between Brechin and Kirriemuir,
and a bridge over the Noran.
1839. Revised 1842
Page 437 There are quarries of grey slate and pavement
stones here, which have been wrought for some centuries.
They supply the neighbourhood, and are exported to Fife,
Perthshire, the Mearns etc.
Page 356 Annual market held from time immemorial at
Glass-tor (Grey Hill) but moved about 80 years ago to
a moor near Kinnaird. It is still called Glastorlaw
Page 370 Pavement stones quarried here and taken by
some 30 carts to Arbroath from where they are shipped
to Leith, London, Glasgow, Aberdeen and elsewhere.
Page 372 Parochial Economy. Means of Communication.Arbroath,
seven miles away. The post-office is four miles away
at Muirdrum, a small village in Panbride parish but
Arbroath is mostly used. There is no turnpike road.
Page 376 Fairs.Annual cattle market.
Inns.Three. Two of these are on the main
roads hence useful for travellers.
English coals are available at Arbroath but mostly at
East and West Haens, about six miles away where
coal and lime vessels unload. Peat is still used by
poorer people, and was the main fuel before coal became
A road to East Haen has been mooted for some time
and would be very useful for bringing in coal and lime.
A main road runs south to north in the parish, with
a branch to Arbroath. These are much improved but the
bye-roads are still in need of improvement.
No particular mention of roads. Peat etc used as fuel.
Kirriemuir is the nearest market town.
450 The upper parts of the parish suffer from the distance
to markets and lime and marl.
Economy. The nearest market and post town is Kirriemuir
but it is 18 miles from the north of the parish. The
roads are good and the lines of some have been improved
in the last 20 years. Several miles of the Strathmore
road are very good and it is hoped these improvements
will be carried through to its northern boundary.
A survey was made some time ago for a road that would
run over the Cappel Mount to upper Deeside - it was
thought quite feasible by the surveyor.
are two main bridges: one over the Southesk near Cortachy
church; and another over the Prosen on the road that
leads to Strathmore. There are various other bridges
and a suspension bridge over the Southesk opposite Clova
church. It is used by foot passengers, and by horses
when the ford below is impassable.
Page 454 Fairs.Two busy sheep markets are
held near Collow Farm at Cortachy twice each year.
Inns, Alehouses.There is an inn in Clova
which is convenient for travellers and 5 ale-houses
Fuel.In the northern part of the parish
peat and turf are used though it has to be brought a
distance of from 2 to 6 miles and requires much labour
to obtain it. The south of the parish also uses peat
and turf and some brushwood as well. Some families use
coal which is brought in from Dundee or can be had at
Newtyle where it is brought in by railway.
of the Paroches of Cortachie, and Clova, Angus 1743
Vol.1, Page 283 There is a stone bridge over the south
Esk near the church in Cortachie.
Page 498 Roads. Up until 1750 or so the kings
highway through this parish was very poor and near impassable
in winter. However, at that time the statute labour was
applied in the making of an excellent road between Ferryden
and Arbroath which was completed in a few years.
This year a new turnpike road is being made to the west
of the other on a longer but more level course. The statute
labour is now commuted and allows us good private roads
which we were in need of.
Ferry Boats.In the past the ferry boats at
Ferryden were not allowed to cross on the Sabbath; now
this is the busiest day for them.
Many strolling vagrants, or sturdy beggars.
Page 503 Advantages and Disadvantages. Being
so near Montrose, business can be conducted easily and
quickly. This will improve even more once the projected
bridge is built over the South Esk.
Lime from Bodden is also easily obtained.
The main disadvantage is the unjust tax on coal.
course of cadger road from Usan to Forfar. The
purpose of the road was to supply fresh fish to
the palace and it was to be as wide as a mill
wand. This was a a piece of wood that went
through the hole in the centre of a mill stone
and allowed it to be trundled along on its edge.
Most of the local histories listed in Other
Resources above mention the road but not in
enough detail to reconstruct its course other
than it probably ran near Bonnyton and across
Montreathmont Moor. From there the topography
would suggest it ran along the lower slopes of
Based on quarter-inch OS map The Forth & Tay,
1923. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.
Larger Map Remains
of cottages at Fishtown of Usan, where the Cadger's
Page 251 Antiquities.The ancient
kings of Scotland possessed a right to a cadger road,
from the shore of Usan to the cross of Forfar, the breadth
of which was to be the length of a mill wand; and about
seventy years ago the proprietor of Usan claimed a part
of Monrithmont moor, equivalent to the extent of the
said cadger road through that moor.
Page 254 In speaking about the quarries in the parish
he mentions a quarry on the coast where a great deal
of lime had been quarried since 1692 - the quarry had
since been worked out.
Page 256 Details of the fishing trade carried out from
Ferryden and Usan. Fishcadgers from adjoining parishes
and from Forfar, Cupar-Angus, Perth and Dundee come
here throughout the year for fresh fish - in summer
there can be more than a dozen carts each day.
257 Parochial Economy. Market Town. Montrose,
reached by a fine suspension bridge over the South Esk.
Means of Communication. These are: the post-office
at Montrose; the turnpike roads to Arbroath and to Forfar;
the Inverness mail-coach, the New Times from Aberdeen,
and the Highlander from Montrose, all going to Edinburgh;
and a steam-boat from Aberdeen to Leith that calls at
Usan in summer.
Bridges are in good order. Ferryden and Boddin have
harbours where coal and lime can be landed - with the
new road from Forfar, facilities at Ferryden could be
Page 261 Alehouses.There are thirteen and
two soon to be licensed, which is far too many.
Fuel.Coal from England and the Firth of
of the Parishes in Angus 1743
Vol.1, Page 273 Village of Ferrydon on South Esk opposite
Montrose - passage boat.
Page 359 The parish lies between the parishes of
Brechin and Montrose. As these are connected by a fine
high-road there is no need for a turnpike here.
Page 360 There is a fine bridge built in 1787 over what
was a very dangerous river where many drowned trying to
cross it in flood or when it was covered with ice.
Page 127 Fairs.Last year the two fairs
were moved from Dun's Muir to some waste ground a mile
to the north on the Strickathrow road.
Inns, etc.Drink is sold at the toll-house
on the turnpike, mainly to travellers.
Fuel.English coal obtained at Montrose.
Page 242 Advantages and Disadvantages. Among
the advantages are its situation on the Tay that gives
easy inland access and access to London and European
ports. It also benefits by the supply of agricultural
produce from the surrounding district, and in turn supplies
this with merchandise and products.
It must also benefit from the growing network of excellent
turnpike roads throughout Angus and the neighbouring
part of Perthshire. Even though the initiative for such
roads has come from the country gentlemen, the town
will benefit by the markets being accessible all year
round, and those living in more remote areas will no
longer have to go to the less abundant markets
of inferior towns.
this long account there are many incidental references
with implications for roads and transport.
Page 25 He gives considerable details of imports and
exports through the port of Dundee and of local industry
Page 35 In addition to the coastal trade to Perth, Leith,
London etc there are passage boats across the Tay to
Newport. These are steam-driven and much safer and more
comfortable than the sailing-boats they replaced. More
than 90,000 people and many horses, carriages and cattle
were carried in the past year.
Page 39 Parochial Economy. Dundee is well served
by markets and these cater for the surrounding district,
including parts of Fife, as well as the parish. Grain
and produce are brought in, and these and various manufactures
are available in the town. There is a fish market supplied
by locally caught fish and some from the south coast
of Fife brought in by cart. Women from Achmithie make
a journey of 24 miles with crabs, lobsters and dried
Means of Communication.
There is the coastal road to Aberdeen and turnpikes
to Cupar Angus, Forfar, and Brechin. There are several
coaches to Aberdeen, including the mail, one to Glasgow
and several running through Fife to Edinburgh.
There are also leisure trips by steam-boats up the Tay
to Perth and a rumbling, though capacious vehicle
that goes to Broughty Ferry where sea bathing can be
enjoyed. A steam-boat service to Leith has started but
has not been successful.
miles of rail road run to Newtyle. Goods can be carried
at one-third of the cost of turnpikes.
Page 52 Inns.Three main inns and some good
taverns as well as many whisky shops.
Fuel.Coal from England and Alloa is used
both in the factories and in homes as fuel.
Miscellaneous Observations. The former rough
pavement of our streets is being Macadamised.
In a footnote, he adds that the MP, Sir Henry Parnell,
has written a book on road-making in which he disagrees
with some of Macadams principles and advocates
using Telfords method used for the Holyhead road
viz. "making a regular bottom of rough close-set
pavement, and then a coating of broken stones added.
The writer suggests that Sir Henrys recommendations
would lead to a more solid road and hence better traction,
as well as being drier. 1832. Revised 1833
Vol.2, Page 30 Details of extensive trade.
Page 419 Mention of road over the Hill of Dunnichen.
There is ample peat, and coal is available at Arbroath.
In 1788 the farm of Lethem was laid out by the proprietor
of Dunnichen with the intent of forming a village there.
Streets have been laid out and a fair held each fortnight.
There is an old-established fair in Dunnichen itself,
called St Causnans fair but it is a toy fair,
at which neither horses, corn, nor cattle, are sold.
Page 430 High Roads.-The turnpike act, passed two
years ago, in which turnpike roads can be formed and the
statute labour commuted, holds great promise. Commutation
has nearly quadrupled the effective labour applicable
to the roads, and this must be employed within the parish
where it is levied. L.27 Sterling is raised here
each year and more than L.2000 for the whole county. Just
in this first year many roads have been formed or repaired.
Turnpike roads to Cupar of Angus, Forfar, Arbroath, Dundee,
Cupar of Angus, and Meigle, and from Dundee to Montrose
should be completed soon.
Page 432 He gives an interesting account of the various
services that were sometimes required by landlords from
their tenants. This was a major grievance at that time.
Page 434 A survey was made in 1788 for a canal between
Arbroath and Forfar that would have allowed easy transport
of coal, lime and wood to Forfar. As the expense was too
great in relation to expected returns the plans had been
laid aside for the meantime.
Page 151 Parochial Economy.
Market-Towns, etc.Two markets are held in
Letham, the principal village, and an annual fair at
the Kirkton of Dunnichen, formerly very important but
now much declined.
Means of Communication.The old roads are
generally inadequate. The main one on the estate of
Dunnichen is too narrow and is very muddy in wet weather.
However, a long-planned turnpike between Brechin and
Dundee by Letham has been formed through the estate
of Dunnichen and partly completed to the north of here.
It will be very useful in giving easy access to Dundee.
There are 4 small bridges.
Page 157 Alehouses.Several.
Fuel.Coal brought from Arbroath or Dundee.
Page 214 Mention of a bridge recently built over the Dean,
near Cookstown, and of a turnpike road to Glammiss.
Page 217 Marl from the mosses of Baikie and Meigle is
used as a manure.
Page 218 Peat is available at the moss of Cookstown and
coal from 12 miles away.
Antiquities. There is a large encampment on the
north side of the turnpike that runs through the Strath.
Some think it Roman but it is more likely to have been
constructed by the English army at the time of Edward
I. There is also an encampment at nearby Inglestown.
Page 219 Roads.The Perth to Aberdeen turnpike
passes through Essie parish and a toll-bar was erected
a few years ago. However, part of this towards Meigle
to the west is unfinished and almost impassable in winter.
There is no direct road to Dundee but roads from Glammis
and Newtyle were made recently and can be accessed from
Page 483 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.The great northern
road from Edinburgh to Aberdeen passes through the parish,
and is kept in excellent repair in this neighbourhood.
A railroad runs through the parish and joins the Dundee
and Cupar-Angus line just north of Newtyle and ends
at Glammis. It may eventually be extended to Forfar
and Kirriemuir. The railroad has proved very important
in allowing easy communication to Dundee.
of the Parishes of Eassie & Nevay
Vol.1, Page 277 Bridge of Cookstoun over the River of
Vol.1, Page 278 The Kings highway from Perth to Brechin
goes by Newmiln, Castletown and Eassie. A higher road
often taken by carriers between these two places goes
by Templetoun, Balkerie and the Chappel in the
Page 111 Disadvantages. Peat is obtained from distant
mosses with much labour and coal is expensive as it has
to be obtained from Montrose, 12 miles away, and has a
tax placed on it. Turf and broom is also used but will
eventually run out.
Page 624 Parochial Economy. Last year a sub-post-office
served by runner from Brechin was set up in the village.
There is an inn there and one at the Cannachy Bridge,
one mile to the north. The scenery near the river (North
Esk) attracts many visitors.
Markets.Three, one of which is long established.
1834. Revised 1842
Page 229 Fuel.Turf used to come from Montrithmont
Muir but that was stopped by the owners. Now some trimmings
and broom and whins are used. The nearest peats are 12
or 14 miles away. Coal is available from Arbroath, 8 miles
away, and is cheaper than Montrose as the coal tax is
levied from a point just north of Arbroath.
Observations. The statute labour was commuted last
year and raised L31 Sterling.
Page 112 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town, Means of Communication.The
nearest post and market-town is Brechin, which is distant
between three or four miles from the church. A turnpike
road is at present in the course of being made between
Montrose and Forfar, two miles of which lie in this
Page 122 Inns.None.
Fuel.Coals from Montrose and also from
Old Montrose which saves two miles on the journey. Wood
is sometimes available. 1833
Page 439 Fuel and Fossils.The tenants
have peat and furze from the hills, and drive some coals
from the nearest sea-port towns, Montrose and Arbroath.
Page 319 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication. No turnpike or stage-coach
in the parish. A new road to Brechin, 6 miles away,
on a better more level line is needed given the amount
of heavy carriages on the present old road and the conveniences
that would result.
Page 510 Forfar is thought to be the ancient Or, and the
Page 520 Most of our trade is with Dundee but it is also
carried on with Arbroath and Montrose. Travel to these
places will be much improved when the turnpike roads are
completed. The turnpike act was passed in 1789 and the
roads to Dundee and Arbroath are nearly finished. Opinion
was initially hostile but this has changed as it is seen
that horses can draw nearly twice as much, and the toll
is inexpensive. The road to Perth is also nearly complete
and will benefit the estates it passes through and the
towns it connects.
Fuel is very scarce; the peats obtained from the draining
of the loch of Forfar are nearly exhausted as will be
the case with Loch Restenet, recently drained. Coals can
be used if they can be afforded.
525 Weekly market at which a great deal of country business
is carried out. There are several fairs throughout the
Page 527 Peat and marl are obtained from the partly drained
Loch of Forfar.
Page 692 Immense quantities of pavement are dug
from the quarries to the south of Forfar, and are conveyed
to Dundee and Arbroath, and thence to, different quarters
of the kingdom.
Page 693 Antiquities.Near Forfar there
are the remains of two Roman camps: one is at Black
or Battle Dykes in Oathlaw parish, the other at Haerfaulds
in the parish of Inverarity. A road ran between them
and some remains can be seen today where the gound has
not been cultivated. There is another camp between them,
one and a half miles east of Forfar but some say it
is Pictish rather than Roman.
Restennet there are the ruins of a priory. It stood
on the west end of the lake. It must apparently have
been originally wholly surrounded by water, and must
have been approached by a bridge.
There is a paved road or causeway in the Loch of Forfar
on its north side running south-westerly from an artificially
formed peninsula called the Inch. Queen Margaret, wife
of Malcolm Canmore is said to have had a residence on
Page 697 Parochial Economy. Town.There
are two main streets in the town, one running east-west,
the other northwards from the cross. The Perth to Aberdeen
enters the town at the west and then runs to the north.
the past 40 years the appearance of the town has improved
- among the improvements are the rebuilding of the former
mean houses and removing outside stairs and other projections
to give wider streets.
Railway.The main improvement of recent
times is the opening of 15 miles of railway to Arbroath
700 "The state of this road (Forfar to Kirriemuir)
was long a subject of complaint, but this ground of
complaint has been removed. A good turnpike road has
at length been formed; and the communication between
Forfar and Kirriemuir has been rendered comfortable,
and a wide Highland district thereby opened up."
Page 125 Fuel. Peats are available but expensive
to dig and will soon run out. A few people bring coal
in from Dundee, 12 miles away. There are, however, extensive
woods recently planted which will supply the want of fuel.
Much marl and peat have been made available by the partial
draining of the Loch of Forfar.
Page 346 On top of Hayston hill there are some remains
of what may have been a Roman signal station. There
is another exactly the same in Airlie parish nearby.
When the Forfar Loch was drained, some Roman remains
Page 348 Parochial Economy.
Villages, Means of Communication, etc.Glammiss
is a post-town and stands on the great northern road
between Aberdeen and Edinburgh. The Kirriemuir to Dundee
turnpike crosses it there.
Vol.2, Page 26 Two great bridges on the Carbit, one
of stone and one of timber. Sklait carried to Dundie
Larger Map Kirktown
Page 395 Miscellaneous Observations. The roads
are very bad and will not improve until we have proper
overseers and the road money is used for their repair.
There are only 2 bridges to cover 25 miles of river;
a bridge built half way between them (they are 9 miles
apart) would be a great help. Some funds are already
available and a subscription could easily be set in
11/421Page 422 Narrow passes lead past Mount Blair into
Glenshee and the district of Blackwater.
Page 423 Bridge at Milna-Craig on the River Isla.Page
431 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.The nearest post-office
is at Meigle, although there is a sub-office at Alyth,
the market town. There are two roads kept in repair
by the statute labour assessment: one to Alyth, the
other communicating with Kirriemuir and Castletown of
Braemar by the Spittal of Glenshee. Other roads are
badly made and of little use. There are 4 bridges, 2
for foot-passengers only. Page 433 Fairs.Two
fairs for the sale of horses, sheep and cattle.
Inns.Four small inns.
Since the last Account, the statute labour has been
converted which has led to improved roads, and a stone
and an iron suspension bridge now cross the Isla.
It is unfortunate that there is no proper road connecting
the upper and lower parts of the parish. The present
road by the hill of Kilry is steep, inconvenient and
in winter often impassable. Recently it was proposed
to replace this with one that would communicate with
Strathmore by the eastern base of Kilry and then by
a bridge near the church with the Kirriemuir to Braemar
road. This would not only benefit the parish but allow
access from Newtyle to the north.
Page 333 Fuel.The northern part of the parish
uses coals from Arbroath, and the southern part uses peats.
Antiquities.In the south of the parish, bordering
with Inverarity, there are still obvious remains of a
Page 471 Antiquities. He describes the remains
of a temporary Roman camp, 5 miles south-east of Forfar.
Page 474 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town,Means of Communication.Forfar
is the nearest post-town but most people go to Arbroath.
A turnpike road and a railway between Arbroath and Forfar
pass through here.
Fuel.Coal brought in from Arbroath.
Page 129 Antiquities.He refers to the Roman
camp at Taerfauds (stet), in the moor of Lower and at
Battledykes, 8 miles to the north, and the traces of a
road supposed to connect them.
Page 236 Antiquities.He says that the Roman
camp at Haer Faads can still be seen but that trees
have now been planted.
Page 238 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.Forfar. The Forfar to Dundee turnpike
road passes through the parish. The Aberdeen to Edinburgh
and the Brechin to Dundee coaches run on this each day.
Page 282 Fuel
Mostly coal from the Firth of Forth, bought at Arbroath
(Aberbrothock). Beyond the Red-head, north of Arbroath,
a tax is levied on it. Agricultural improvements have
led to whin and broom becoming very scarce.
Page 284 Roads.About two miles of the
post-road, leading from Aberbrothock to Montrose, run
through this parish. It has been hitherto kept tolerably
well in repair by the statute labour. Two tolls have been
lately erected on it, with a view to the alteration of
its course. The turnpike road betwixt Aberbrothock and
Forfar, passes, for about two miles, through the west
part of the parish.
Page 242 Cattle sent to the London market or driven
Page 243 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.The nearest is Arbroath. There
is a post office at Chance inn.
Means of Communication.The turnpike roads
from Arbroath to Montrose by Chance inn, and to Forfar
pass through. The mail coach, two other coaches and
many carriers travel on the first of these roads. The
Lunan is crossed by five bridges here.
Page 13 A turnpike road from Coupar to Dundee is in course
of making, and passes through the parish. There is also
a road to Perth by the foot of the Sidlaw hills but few
Page 15 There are a few dealers in cattle in the
parish, who keep grass parks, and drive their fed cattle
to Falkirk, or to England.
Page 17 Three drovers, 5 public houses.
Page 643 Antiquities. Vestiges of what may be a
Roman camp at Camp-Muir.
of the Paroch of Kettins
Vol.1, Page 280 A very patent road from the Burgh
of Dundie, lies through this village to Coupar Angus,
and thence to Dunkel and Strathardle, and another from
Perth, by the foot of the said hills (Sidlaws) Eastward
to Glamis and Forfar.
Page 132 Grain etc carried to Kirriemuir and Dundee markets.
No particular mention of roads.
Page 617 Cattle sold for the London, Glasgow and Edinburgh
Parochial Economy. Market-Town, etcKirriemuir,
four miles away, which has markets for sheep, horses
and cattle. There is a reasonable network of roads but
they are in a bad state, partly because of a lack of
road money but mainly because of the system of management.
It is hoped that measures will soon be adopted that
will change this. There are insufficient bridges and
some are very insecure.
Page 619 Fuel.Peat and wood constitute
the principal fuel. Scotch and English coals are, however,
becoming every year more common. The latter are obtained
from the Newtyle, Glammis, and Forfar railway depots.
Miscellaneous Observations. If the roads (near impassable
in winter) could be managed better it would be easier
to transport farm produce, and to reach more favourable
Page 494 Miscellaneous Observations.The
roads are tolerable. The statute-labour is sometimes exacted
in kind, and sometimes commuted. There are no stone bridges
in the parish, no turnpikes, no services of any consequence;
no post-office. The nearest is Aberbrothock, about 4 miles
distant. No peat, some bad turfs; but plenty of coal,
from Aberbrothock, for 6s the boll, which is 70 stones
Page 406 The road money, or commutation for the
statute labour, is at present L.33.3s., and is paid
by forty-four tenants. Fourteen smaller tenants either
pay no road money, or pay it through the landlord.
Page 407 Parochial Economy. Means of Communication.The
Montrose to Forfar turnpike was completed in 1831 but
has no public carriages. In 1819 a bridge was built
at Kinnells Mills, over the Lunan, and several
over the Gighty and lesser streams.
Another turnpike road was made in 1841.
Page 411 Markets.Four cattle markets held
at the Glesterlaw, on the estate of Bolshan.
Inns, etc.One in the toll-house, established
Fuel.English coal from Arbroath, and a
little wood when available.
1838. Revised 1842
Page 201 He makes some strong remarks about sturdy beggars.
Page 202 One coach and one two-wheeled chaise.
Page 205 Peat, broom and furze are generally used. Some
Page 209 Repairs are being made on the public road through
Strathmore - these started in 1789 - and also on the Forfar
to Dundee road and all the county roads in Angus. These
are funded by a new plan of subscriptions.
The improvements on the above two roads here are under
the direction of Mr Douglas of Brigton and consist of
smoothing and widening where necessary, ensuring a gradient
of no more than 1 in 20, and in places realigning it -
this has been done on Mr Douglass land for some
one and a half miles. These roads have turnpikes, and
all the county roads have, or will have them. Farmers
approve of them because of their benefits.
Statute labour is now commuted with the funds applied
to the private roads. A bridge was built on the Forfar
to Glammiss road about 11 years ago, and another on the
Forfar to Dundee road is to be replaced by a new one nearby.
Page 214 He gives details of carriage services that have
to be performed by tenants. Post town is Forfar. One ale-house.
Page 213 Cattle sold for the Edinburgh and Glasgow markets.
Page 221 In the parish there are 35 carts, 2 chaises,
3 gigs, 1 car.
Page 225 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.Glammis and Forfar, both with
several annual markets, and a weekly market for dairy
produce at Forfar.
Means of Communication.There is a postal
service at the inn in Douglastown. The Strathmore and
the Dundee to Forfar turnpikes pass through. The Defiance
coach and a carrier to Glasgow travel on the first road,
and the Union and Sir Henry Parnell coaches from Edinburgh
to Aberdeen via Fife, and some others.
There are 5 stone bridges in the parish, and a chain-bridge.
They cross the Kerbit and the Spittle-burn.
Page 229 Inns and Alehouses.One inn on
the Strathmore turnpike road.
Fuel.With the peat mosses nearly exhausted
and whins and broom unavailable, coal and wood is used.
The coal, both English and Scotch comes from Dundee,
12 miles away, and the expense of carriage shows the
need for a canal or railway from the ports to the inland
Page 231 Miscellaneous Observations. He remarks
on the requirement on some tenants to perform services
such as carrying goods over several days for their landlords.
Page 232 Obstacles to Improvement. A major
obstacle is that Dundee is 12 miles away which leads
to considerable expense in carrying goods to and from
that town. This could have been avoided if the canal
between Arbroath and Forfar had been constructed. This
plan however was obstructed by some gentlemen who wanted
a railway between Dundee and Newtyle which would serve
the interests of Dundee. This railway is now open but
is of no benefit to this parish. Even if, as is proposed,
it was extended through Strathmore to Glammiss, it would
still be of no benefit to this parish as the distance
involved would raise the cost of carriage to what it
is at present on the roads. This could have been avoided
if the canal or a railway between Arbroath and Forfar
had been built.
Page 507 In talking about weaving he says: Till
lately, the manufacturers of this neighbourhood went to
Forfar or Arbroath, for the stamping and sale of their
webs ; but now there is a market, every fortnight, for
these purposes, at the neighbouring village of Letham.
Page 508 Division of the Inhabitants.These
include 2 cadgers (fish-carriers) and 2 creamers
(persons who go through the parish, and neighbourhood,
and buy butter, hens, eggs, &c. mostly for the Dundee
Page 512 Stock and Produce.Meal, barley and
dairy produce are taken to neighbouring towns.
Most of the fuel is coal brought from Arbroath.
Up until last year, the roads have been made by statute
labour, long found an inadequate system for making and
maintaining roads. People often had to work in a parish
not their own, while their own roads were neglected.
A turnpike act was obtained in 1790 allowing certain roads
to be built and converting the statute labour into a monetary
payment and stipulating that this money be applied only
on a parishs own roads. The act was met with resistance
at first but many are now realising their advantages when
the roads were so bad in the past, and in winter almost
Page 515 Miscellaneous Observations.
Randies (sturdy vagrants) infest this country, from the
neighbouring towns, and the Highlands.
Page 389 Parochial Economy. Market-Towns, etc.Arbroath
The nearest Post-Offices are those of Forfar and Arbroath.
A request was made some time ago for a letter-carrier
between these towns via Letham. Although rejected it
should have paid for itself as an individual runs a
successful private business taking the post between
Forfar and Letham.
Roads.The Arbroath to Forfar turnpike passes
though the parish. Parish roads are numerous but fairly
indifferent. One goes between Dundee and Brechin and
one between Forfar and Arbroath.
Rail-roads.A railway, which intersects
the eastern division of this parish, was lately opened
between Forfar and Arbroath, a distance of fifteen miles.
It communicates with another, which was opened about
the same time betwixt the last-mentioned town and Dundee,
and proceeds thence over the Sidlaw Hills and along
Strathmore to Glammis, within five miles of Forfar.
Page 392 Inns, Alehouses, etc.Six.
Fuel.Newcastle coal obtained at Arbroath.
The cost of carriage is expected to fall due to the
Page 191 Marl from the Lake of Kinnordy and the meadows
of Logie is used as manure. Manure is also available from
Page 193 Kirriemuir is the market for the locality and
nine carriers take the produce of the nearby parishes
to Dundee and return with flax, sugar, tea, porter,
rum, and all kinds of merchant goods. Two carriers
come from Montrose. Coal is brought in by Dundee carriers,
or by the farmers.
Two annual fairs are held here, in July and October,
for sheep, horses, and black cattle; and for flax, wool,
labouring utensils, and household necessaries.
Page 198 Mention of a turnpike road being made to Dundee.
183 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.Kirriemuir.
Page 185 Means of Communication.The
north mail arrives at Kirriemuir every morning.
There are three miles of turnpike in the parish, a bridge
over the Esk at Shielhill and a bridge over the Prosen,
Page 189 Fairs.Two large and two smaller
fairs held at the hill of Kirriemuir for sheep, cattle
Inns, etc.There are in the parish
6 brewers, 1 maltman, 1 chandler, 1 tobacco-manufacturer,
52 dealers in tea, 48 in tobacco, 4 in vinegar, 31 in
beer, 31 in spirits, and 7 in wine.
from Dundee, peats from nearby mosses, and wood from
Glammis, Lindertis, and Kinnordy.
Miscellaneous Observations. The situation of
this parish is such that many things have to be brought
some 20 miles from the coast and the nearest road
is across a range of hills, in many places steep, and
difficult of access. He notes how the parishioners
have overcome many of the disadvantages so that for
example the weavers compare very well with elsewhere
despite having to carry the yarns from the shores
in carts and along roads constructed on the common principles
and return with the finished cloth. There is street
lighting in the town.
For many who live on the north side of the Grampians,
Kirriemuir would be a convenient market if only there
was a road over the Capul Mount. Fortunately, landholders
on both sides of the Grampians have had a survey for
a road carried out.
He notes that since writing the above there is a definite
possibility that the Newtile rail-road will be extended
Page 1 Lethnott was once joined to Lochlee but as they
were 10 computed miles apart and the road was bad and
could be dangerous, they were disjoined in 1723.
18 Eminent Persons.James Black, born in 1677,
arranged for the building of the Gannachy bridge on the
North Esk and provided most of the funding for it, as
well as a fund for its maintenance. He also put forward
a sum for the building of a bridge at Balrownie.
Fuel.Mostly turf, peat, and heath, obtained
with difficulty from distant places with steep hills.
Many are bringing coals in from Montrose or Arbroath,
10 and 14 miles away. Those sold in Montrose are dearer
because of a tax on the coal
Roads and Bridges.Although improved in the
last 20 years the roads are still quite poor. The statute
labour is used for the parish roads and also for the Brechin
road, which is outwith the parishes. There are no turnpikes
but there are seven bridges, four of them with spans of
50 feet or so.
Miscellaneous Observations. Fifty years ago there
were very few carts and loads were carried on horseback.
Page 690 The principal disadvantages of the place
arise from the rugged and uneven nature of the roads,
and its distance from market towns, the nearest, Brechin,
being eight miles distant, and the road lying over a
Fuel.Peat and turf, and some coal from
Note: A J Warden in his Angus or Forfarshire (vol.4,
page 162) says that: "The districts of Lethnot
and Lochlee were in more modern times served by one
minister, who preached twice at Lethnot for once at
Lochlee. When Lethnot and Navar were united in 1723,
Lochlee parish was erected into a separate charge. The
road the clergyman took in going between his two churches
was by the east side of the Westwater, past Finnoch
and Achourie, and Clash of Wirran. It is still known
as the priest's road. It is hilly and now lonely, but
very direct. In former times it was the great road from
Banffshire and the western part of Aberdeenshire to
Brechin and the low country, and was kept in fair order.
It was much frequented by smugglers, Highland shearers,
and others up to the end of the first decade of this
century. By this road Brechin and Ballater are within
thirty miles of each other." See also Heritage
Page 107 Ten carters in the parish.
Page 109 Mention of recently made turnpike road.
Page 112 Market town is Dundee.
Page 115 The Roman camp said by Maitland in his history
to have been at Catter Milly can no longer be seen because
Page 122 A pier at Invergourie to land lime and coal,
the main fuel used here, would be very useful.
11/568 (Liff & Benvie)
Page 569 The Perth to Dundee turnpike and the road from
Dundee to Meigle and Cupar-Angus pass through the parish.
Page 579 Roman Camp.No trace remains of
the Roman camp at Catter Milly.
Page 586 Parochial Economy.
Villages.Mention of turnpike road from
Dundee to Meigle and Cupar-Angus.
Page 590 Fairs.None are held here.
Public-Houses.Four in Liff and 12 in Lochee.
No particular mention of roads.
Page 640 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.Kirriemuir is the market-town
for part of the produce. Forfar and Dundee are, however,
frequently resorted to. These places are respectively
seven, twelve, and twenty-one miles distant; but the
journey to Dundee is facilitated by the Newtyle Railway.
Means of Communication.The roads are statute
labour and are steadily improving.
Inns.Three public houses.
Fuel.Peats are used but the mosses are
becoming worked out.
Page 361 There are few beggars passing through except
in June and July when 120 or so come from Dundee, Arbroath,
Montrose, Brechin, Stonehaven and Aberdeen to ask for
Larger Map - Glen Isla -
View north of Tarfside
Page 364 Roads and Bridges.Before 1764 there
were no roads suitable for wheeled carriages. Since that
time, the statute labour has been used to make a tolerable
cart-road that runs east to west through the parish.
Only the east end can be accessed by wheeled carriages
and it is unlikely this will change as the mountainous
terrain makes it difficult to make a cart road to Glenmuick,
Glentamir, Navar or Clova; and there is little communication
with these places anyway.
Many tenants have made their own cart roads so that carts
are used much more. Indeed before 1764, there were none.
There are 3 bridges, built since 1749 over the Tarf, the
Mark, and a mile below the confluence of the two rivers.
Fuel.As the mosses on the lower ground are
being worked out, peat will have to be obtained with great
difficulty from the hills which are inaccessible at present
- if roads were built to them the cost would be considerable.
Page 367 The only road for wheel carriages from
Brechin to Lochlee, lies in a direction north from Brechin
for about 7 miles, till it cross the Gannachy bridge,
in the parish of Edzell; when, for several miles along
the north side of the river North Esk, it takes a north
westerly direction. It enters Lochlee at the east end,
and from thence to the church. There are 6 miles in the
direction of west, or rather W.S.W.
Page 196 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town and Means of Communication.The
nearest is Brechin although it is 22 miles from the
manse. Two carriers go there each week and bring letters
and newspapers. In 1829 a new road of seven
and a half miles length
was made from the east end of the parish to the manse.
There are 3 stone bridges, many wooden bridges, two
over the North Esk, and several private bridges.
Fuel.Peat and turf.
Page 33 The old church of Pert is situated near the Old
Page 36 Salmon sold at Montrose for the London market.
Page 37 A great deal of lime is produced locally. Coal
from Inverkeithing and other ports on the Forth is landed
at Montrose and brought to the quarries where the limestone
Page 40 There is a ferry at the Boat of Craigo.
46 Advantages and Disadvantages.Although
Montrose and Brechin are both 4 or 5 miles distant so
that grain and dairy produce can be sold easily, the demand
at these places for such items means that the price in
this parish can be very high for those who need them.
Another problem is that turfs, broom and furze are now
scarce and peat can only be had from Fettercairn about
6 miles away or 12 miles away in the hills partly by a
very steep and disagreeable road. Wood also
is scarce so that poorer people will have to use coal
which is more expensive because of the coal tax.
Those with horses can earn some money by carting coal
from Montrose to the lime works in this parish.
53 Roads, Bridges, &cThere are 3 public
roads and various private or bye-roads. Recently the statute
labour has been converted into money, proprietors and
tenants paying up to L1.14s Sterling for each L100 Scots
Turnpikes are not thought necessary here, and would be
Two bridges have been built in Logie parish on the Marykirk
to Montrose road by subscription, and on the west public
road 2 bridges
were built some time ago. They are maintained by the converted
The main bridge here, connecting it with the Mearns, is
North Water Bridge. It is called the Old Bridge to distinguish
it from the New Bridge, built a few years ago on the east
coast road. The old bridge was built by John Erikine of
Dun, superintendant of Angus and Mearns, some 200 years
ago. A folktale says that he had a dream or vision saying
that he would be unhappy in the afterlife unless he built
a bridge over Stormy Grain, where three waters meet. Some
time later he met an old woman near the North Esk and
asking her the name of the spot was told it was Stormy
Grain. Accordingly he started to make the bridge but the
first two attempts failed. It was only after he observed
a spider struggling to complete its web and succeeding
on its third try, that he tried for a third time and was
Page 263 Mention of the old North-water bridge.
Page 268 Parochial Economy. Montrose is the nearest
market town and there is much traffic there.
Means of Communication.There is a daily
post between Montrose and Lawrencekirk, and the Union
and Defiance coaches between Edinburgh and Aberdeen
also pass through. Short sections of the Brechin turnpike
and the Marykirk to Montrose turnpike pass through;
the second of these is being altered to avoid a long
ascent at Rosemount.
The old North-Water Bridge was built about 300 years
ago and has three arches. The Marykirk Bridge was built
in 1814 and has 4 arches. It cost L7000 by shares of
Page 270 Fairs.Two cattle and horse fairs
on the moor of Dun.
Alehouses, etc.One at a mill and two at the toll-houses
at the above bridges, mostly used by travellers.
FuelCoal from the shore at Montrose, and
With regard to improvements much could be done with
the roads which are extremely bad with insufficient
funds spent on their improvement. If this was done communication
would be much easier and the value of property increased.
of the Parishes in Angus 1743
Vol.1, Page 274 Church is 1/4mile from Northesk river
bridge - this was built by Erskine of Dun who maintains
it and in return receives customs from it.
Vol.1, Page 274 Mention of Northwater bridge.
Vol.2, Page 41 Bridge over the North Esk.
Page 443 The surplus of the parish is carried to market,
easily reached by the high road.
This road and its bridges had been statute labour, sometimes
in kind, sometimes commuted; but under an act of Parliament
of 1790 is now a turnpike, a fact much resented by the
Page 448 Miscellaneous Observations. Turf and broom
used as fuel in summer and coal from Arbroath in winter.
Page 328 Parochial Economy.
Market-towns.Montrose and Arbroath.
Means of Communication, etc.Post-office
at Chance Inn, in Inverkeilor parish. Three coaches
run in either direction on the coast road to Edinburgh.
The other roads are statute labour.
Alex J Warden in his work Angus or Forfarshire published
in 1880 (vol.4, page 253) says that Colonel Imrie had
had the gardens in the Kirkton planted with flowers
and the road into Montrose that led from his mansion
"ornamented with rows of flowers, care being
taken that their bloom contrast well with each other."
He says: "There are few public roads so decorated,
but the idea is excellent, the lines of flowers pleasing,
and the effect upon the rustic inhabitants and wayfarers
is instructive and humanizing."
of the Parishes in Angus 1743
Vol.1, Page 276 Ford near House of Lunan.
Page 289 Miscellaneous Observations.The roads
are statute labour, now commuted. Turnpikes are being
made and are generally approved of though some of
the inferior ranks are not yet reconciled to them.
Coal and peat used as fuel. Being close to the Tay, lime
and coals are easily obtained and agricultural produce
Page 465 Parochial Economy. Although the nearest
market town is Cupar-Angus, Dundee is preferred both
for buying and selling, as it is one of the best market
towns in the kingdom.
The turnpike between Dundee and Cupar-Angus gives easy
access to both towns, and the Carse of Gowrie turnpike
runs near Fowlis.
The parish roads are indifferent - there are too many,
particularly in Lundie and they have poor lines; however,
improvements are anticipated.
The nearest post-office is Dundee, which is 9 miles
away, which is very inconvenient.
Page 468 Fairs. Two small fairs in Lundie.
There is an ale-house there, and usually one at Lundie
Fuel.Only coal is used. It comes from the
south coast of Fife or the north of England and is bought
in Dundee. As the farmers drive both their own and their
cottars' coal, this save poor people the cost of carriage.
1838. Revised 1842
Mains of Fintry OSA
Page 224 Many resent paying a toll for a short distance
and when their own roads are near impassable. It is hoped
this will improve.
Page 97 The manure used here, is lime from Fife,
brought to Dundee by water, marl from the mires of Anchterhouse
parish, and composts of dung and earth. There are some
excellent stone quarries in the parish.
Water, Bridges and Mills.There are bridges
over the Dighty on the Glammiss to Carse of Gowrie road,
on the road from Sidlaw-hill to Dundee, and one to the
east built by the corporation of bakers in Dundee.
Page 99 Antiquities.On the west side
of Clatto-moor, are the traces of a camp. It is generally
believed to have been occupied by a part of Agricola's
army, and afterward by Alpin, Wallace, and Monk.
Mains and Strathmartine NSA
Page 57 Vestiges of a Roman camp.
Page 62 Parochial Economy.
Market Town.As Dundee is so near, produce
is taken there to market and items purchased in return.
There is much going to and from Dundee. On the Dundee
to Forfar road there are several coaches, and since
1825 there is a railway leading to Strathmore. Although
it has opened up some quarries it will need to be extended
to towns in Strathmore to gain further business in transporting
their produce. There are nine bridges over the Dighty.
Page 64 Fairs.Two fairs for sheep, cattle
and horses, and hiring of servants.
Alehouses.There are six small alehouses
in the parish, three of which are toll-houses.
Fuel.Coals from Sunderland, imported
at Dundee, are the only fuel used in the parish; and
the carriage by water is not a heavy addition to the
Page 404 Advantages.One advantage is being
so near to Montrose where produce can be taken and various
goods obtained. The closeness of Old Montrose is also
advantageous as coal and lime can be landed there. A canal
has been proposed and could eventually run between Brechin
Page 120 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.There is a ready market in Montrose
for the sale of produce, and where any goods can be
Means of Communication.It is a great advantage
that coal and lime can be landed at Old Montrose, and
grain and potatoes shipped from there.
The turnpike road, presently being made between Montrose
and Forfar, besides being 4 miles shorter, will give
easy access to Montrose for the delivery of grain, slates
and pavement. It also shortens the distance between
the towns by 4 miles.
Page 122 Alehouses, etc.One sited on the
Montrose to Arbroath road.
Fuel.Mostly coal, brought from Montrose
and Old Montrose. Firewood is also used.
Larger Map Brown and
White Catherun hillforts - looking north
Page 148 Disadvantages. He goes into detail about
the difficulty caused by having to obtain lime and marl
from up to 12 miles away. He also refers to the lack
of peat and the problems in obtaining and preparing
turf and other fuels. Coal is available at Arbroath
and Montrose but it is expensive as is the carriage
given the distance of these towns. In addition, there
is a tax applied at Montrose. These are a burden on
the poor, and a hinderance to the spirit of enterprise
Page 150 Long description of the forts of Catherun.
Page 154 Miscellanous Observations. Yarn is carried
to Montrose. The roads are statute labour, which is
not commuted - they are improving. There are no tolls,
and it is generally held that they would be oppressive.
There are 2 bridges over the Cruick, on the Brechin
road. One was built 3 years ago, at a cost of L70, L30
coming from the county and the rest from subscriptions.
No particular mention of roads.
Page 482 Surface, rivulets etc. Mentions of the
road from Dundee to Brechin, the old road from Dundee
to Arbroath, and the new turnpike road from Dundee to
Page 488 Ancient state of rivulets, roads and hills
etc. Roads have improved in the last few years - the
Dundee to Brechin road has been widened and straightened
some 12 years ago and the old road from Dundee to Arbroath
made about 25 years ago with a new turnpike road just
Page 490 Manure such as seaweed, marl and dung from Dundee
are hard to obtain, although lime is brought in from the
south coat of Fife and from Sunderland to the villages
of Monifieth and East Ferry.
Page 552 Parochial Economy.
The market-town is Dundee. There is a half-yearly market
here for cattle, horses etc but it is much in decline.
Castle and village
is a growing village of 2200 inhabitants. Although it
has a clean and neat appearance the streets are not
paved or macadamized which because of the sandy soil
leads to sand being blown about. A considerable trade
in fishing is carried on and it is much used as a bathing
resort. However, in the summer steam boats bring
down an inundation of the worst population of Dundee
on the Sabbath day which leads to drunkenness
A foot-runner takes the post to and from Dundee and
the mail coach runs on the Dundee to Arbroath turnpike
each day. Three coaches used to run on this road but
have been replaced by the railway. There is also a public
road from Dundee to Brechin to the north-west of the
parish, and about 20 miles of parish roads, some of
them poor. The railway which runs between Dundee and
Arbroath is very useful.
Page 557 Inns.Five alehouses in the Monifieth
part of the parish, but one hotel and 20 alehouses in
Fuel."Coal, brushwood and burnt furze.
Page 346 Miscellaneous Observations.The roads
are generally poor and that from Dundee to Arbroath almost
impassable in bad weather. A turnpike road is being made,
a mile to the south of the old road, yet because it is
straighter, is shorter.
A road from Brechin to Dundee was made about 7 years ago.
On this road a bridge was made 5 years ago over a precipice
at Denfiend, or the Fiends Den.
are 2 considerable inns in this parish, and several petty
Page 487 Milk, butter and potatoes sold to the Dundee
Page 488 Alehouses.Three small public-houses
used mainly by travellers.
Page 25 Rivers. The North Esk separates Angus from
Kincardineshire. The post-road from Aberdeen crossed this
river near the sea at a ford at which many people were
drowned. The town built a bridge of 7 arches in 1775 at
this ford which makes the journey north much easier.
South Esk runs into the Basin and passes to the sea about
a mile south of the town. It is proposed to build a bridge
here, firstly over to the island of Inchbrayock, and then
a small one from the island over to Craig parish. Estimates
for three types of bridge have been handed in: one with
stone piers and a wooden superstructure; one entirely
of wood; and one of stone. Subscriptions are well underway
and an act of parliament obtained for an undertaking of
Page 28 There are 5 four-wheeled carriages in the country
part of the parish.
Page 36 Details of trade.
Page 40 Details of the coal tax levied north of the Red
Head above Arbroath.
Page 280 Details of manufactures, imports/exports etc.
Page 281 Parochial Economy. Markets. Weekly
market for the sale of grain and farm and garden produce.
There are also two fairs mostly for the hiring of servants.
Burgh. Montrose is a royal burgh. There is gas
lighting in the town. Since utilising the general Police
Act for burghs, passed a few years ago, the paving and
cleaning of the streets has greatly improved.
bridge at Montrose. It was replaced by an unusual
reinforced concrete cantilever
bridge (Canmore record with photos) in 1930,
which in turn was replaced by a modern bridge in
refers to the former account and says that a wooden
bridge over the northernmost channel to Inchbrayock
was built and a stone bridge over the southernmost channel.
The design of the wooden bridge was such that the channel
was constricted and led to the bridge being undermined.
Remedial work was ineffectual and it was eventually
decided to remove the bridge and replace it with a suspension
bridge. The work was completed to a design of Captain
Samuel Brown of the Royal Navy at the end of 1829.
He gives considerable details of the bridge such as
the distance between the towers being 432 feet, the
height of the towers being 71 feet, and the width 26
feet. The cost was L20,000 and a pontage raised L1300
At the same time the centre of the arch of the smaller
bridge was replaced by a revolving drawbridge which
allows vessels to pass in to the Basin.
284 Post-Office.There is a post office
in the town.
Means of Communication.The north
mail goes by Montrose; besides which, there is a daily
coach to Edinburgh; and one which runs daily between
Perth and Aberdeen passes through the town. During six
or seven months of the year, the Aberdeen steam-boats
take in and land goods and passengers.
There are three toll-roads in the parish;the
Aberdeen road, one to Marykirk bridge, and the Brechin
290 Inns.One good inn as well as 130 licensed
premises which are far too many and have the usual ill
Fuel.English coal is used in the home,
and Scotch coal in the public works.
Page 162 The recently made Dundee to Brechin turnpike
road passes through.
Page 594 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.Dundee
is 5 miles away and is the nearest market and post-town.
It is of great benefit to this place because of the
demand for agricultural produce and the availability
of various products and manufactures.
Alehouses.Two, used mostly by travellers.
Fuel.Mostly English coal brought from Dundee
or Broughty Ferry.
Page 404 Miscellaneous Observations.Coal
brought in from Dundee is the main fuel. The roads are
adequate and the statute labour was commuted last year.
Turnpikes are being made and some doubt their utility
though this may change when the roads are completed.
Page 559 Antiquities. Chesterpark, near
the village of Hill of Keillor, may indicate a Roman
Page 562 In 1832 a new village was erected. He says
that the streets were formed on the principle advocated
by the late Sir H. Parnell, viz. putting the lower
stratum of metal on end, breaking the tops to a uniform
height, and overlaying with broken metal in the ordinary
station at Newtyle
565 Parochial Economy.
Market- Town.No fair or market but meat is
available in the new village twice a week.
Means of Communication.A turnpike
road from Dundee passes northward between the Kirkton
and new village, eleven miles distant from Dundee, which
is kept in excellent repair. Several other county or
statute-labour roads cross and intersect the parish.
He gives details of the growing railway network and
of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway which was opened in
Page 567 Public Houses.Five.
Page 466 Rivers. Some have suggested that the river
Esk could be made navigable between the Kirktown of Tannadice
and Montrose, 12 miles away.
Page 468 Antiquities. He mentions a supposed
Roman camp at Battledykes.
Page 295 Antiquities. The number of military
remains, both Caledonian and Roman, suggests this area
was populated by some powerful tribes.
Vitrified Forts. He gives a long description
of the earliest and most conspicuous of these, the vitrified
fort on the summit of the Hill of Finhaven. From it
can be seen the two fortresses of the Catherun to the
north-east, Dennon Castle to the west, and Barry Hill
in the parish of Meigle. He suggests that these were
the strongholds of a people living in the fertile lands
Roman Camp. Roman camps are found near these
forts. Thus, near to the Hill of Finhaven is the large
camp of Battledykes. Its situation allowed it to command
the low country at the foot of the Grampians along Strathmore
and to guard passes through Glen Isla, Glen Prosen,
and Glen Clova. It was connected with the camp at Ardoch
by a road. No traces of this road remain but in Maitlands
History of Scotland (1667) it is said that "John
Webster, the farmer of Battledykes, turned up with the
plough the foundation of the road in divers parts in
its course through the camp." The road continued
for 11 miles ENE to the south of the Esk, passing
the hill fort of Finhaven and crossing the moor of Brechin
to Wardykes, which guarded the Catherun. Battledykes
was also connected by a smaller iter with a camp at
Haerfaulds, 8 miles away, that guarded the entrance
No mention of roads.
Page 71 Parochial Economy.
Villages.The two main ones are East and West
Haven, about a mile from each other.
Means of Communication.Although there is
no harbour at either village, coal and lime can be landed
by small vessels except in winter. Muirdrum on the Dundee
to Arbroath road has a post-office served daily by the
mail coach. There are three other public coaches and
regular carriers to both towns.
Page 73 Alehouses.Five.
Page 599 Poor. He writes about the poor from outwith
the parish, noting that in one day two dozen had called
before noon, and 2 score in one day. He implies that many
came from Perth and Aberdeen and that these towns should
take more responsibility for their own poor rather than
set them adrift into the countryside.
Page 609 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.Forfar, 3 miles away.
Means of Communication.No post office.
Two turnpike roads run west to east through the parish:
Forfar to Arbroath on the south side of the loch and
Forfar to Montrose on the north side. Other roads are
the Forfar to Brechin turnpike and the Auldbar turnpike
from Brechin. Bridges and fences are in good condition.
Forfar and Arbroath railroad opened in December 1838.
Page 610 Fairs. St Triduanes Fair used
to be held here at a remote time but is now held in
Fuel.The main fuel is coal brought in from
Page 294 There is a bridge over the Isla on the Dunkeld
and Blairgowrie to Kerriemuir and Brechin road. It appears
very old. It was repaired recently and is very useful
as there are only two other bridges on the Isla on a course
of 40 miles.
One would hope that the many drownings at one of the fords
on the river would encourage the building of at least
one other bridge.
Page 300 Coal is brought in from Dundee.
Page 301 Dundee is 15 miles away, 12 miles of this is
by a turnpike road.
Page 420 Ale-houses.None.
Fuel.Wood and coal. The latter is obtained
at the railway depot at Newtyle.
Page 169 There is one 2-wheeled carriage in the parish.
Page 171 A cart road down to the beach at Auchmethy has
recently been made for the convenience of the fishermen,
though it is rather steep.
185 Under an act of 1789, turnpike roads from Arbroath
to Forfar and Montrose are being made, and the statute
labour has been commuted at a rate of 24 s Sterling for
each 100L Scots valued rent. In this parish the sum raised
is between 90L and 100L Sterling, and will be used on
the private roads.
Coal are available in Arbroath.
Page 499 There are eleven miles of turnpike roads,
five of railroads, and thirty miles of roads repaired
by the commutation or parish road money.
Page 512 He gives details of the railways opened in
the 1830s between Arbroath and Dundee and Arbroath
Page 517 At the time of the last account there were
no four-wheeled carriages; now there are seven.
Page 211 Black cattle and grain are sold at Brechin and
Montrose. Coal is used to burn lime and is obtained at
214 Roads.The Brechin to Aberdeen and the
Brechin to Glenesk roads are in reasonable order but the
Montrose road and the private roads are a disgrace
to the country. An act of 1789 to repair the roads
of the county allowed conversion of the statute labour
into money. It is felt that this is a good thing but that
the rate is too high at present.
Antiquities, and Miscellaneous Observations.He
gives details of a camp at Blackdikes, or Battle-dykes,
and of the forts at Caterthun and says many think this
is the area where the battle of Mons Graupius was fought
between Agricola and Galgacus.
Page 663 He refers to a location near the North Esk
supposed to be the site of the Roman station Tima but
notes that no remains have been found to confirm this.
The remains of fortifications lie one mile to the north-west
but are not Roman.
Page 668 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.The old and new turnpike
roads between Aberdeen and Perth run through here. The
Defiance coach and carriers to Brechin and Montrose
use the new road. The commutation roads give access
throughout the parish and are now much improved. They
are managed by five of the principal rate-payers.
of the Parishes in Angus 1743
Page 274 Mention of northwater bridge (North Water of
Page 374 He refers to the Itinerary of Richard of Cirencester
in which Aesica is mentioned and suggests that this is
the south Esk and that the Roman camp at Battledykes (near
Tannadice) rather than that at Kethick, near the North
Esk is meant by Richard when he talks of ad Aesicam.
Page 380 Peat and turfs are used in the higher parts of
the parish; coal, furze and broom in the lower. The coal
has to be brought 20 miles from either Montrose or Arbroath.
The roads are much improved. L105 has been spent in making
and repairing private roads that lead to the new turnpike
road between Forfar and Brechin. There is general approval
Page 382 Mention of bridge of Shealhill.
Page 201 Nine licensed ale and whisky houses.
Page 202 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication. In this parish, the
turnpike from Dundee to the north runs from Finhaven
bridge over the Esk to the bridge at Nether Careston
over the Noran. It has a toll-bar on it. Two main lines
of road intersect it and these are in poor condition
due to the constant movement of carriages laden with
coals, grain etc. There are many other roads but these
are near impassable in winter. We have 4 bridges over
Page 205 Fuel.Anything that can burn is
used as fuel. The lower part of the parish gets coal
in Montrose and the upper part at the rail-road depot
at Newtyle - in the past, it was near impossible for
them to access coal.
Whereas 40 years ago there were no wheeled carriages
(nor suitable roads for them) now there are 13 two and
four wheeled taxable carriages.
of the Parochine of Tannadice, Angus 1744
Vol.1, Page 285 There is a passage boat over the Southesk,
¼ mile SE from the church and two others to the
west as well as the North Bridge of Cortachie.
Vol.1, Page 287 There is a bridge over the Noran called
the Courtfoord Bridge.
Page 102 Miscellaneous Observations. The
roads, in general, are bad, and have been much neglected.
An act, however, has been lately obtained for turnpikes
throughout the county, and is already begun to be put
in execution, but many people think they will prove too
Page 104 Fuel. Generally turf, but the use of coal
from Dundee is increasing.
Page 380 With Dundee only 5 or 6 miles away, agricultural
produce finds a ready market there and manure from the
town is easily obtained. Much pavement stone is quarried
here and taken to Dundee.
381 Parochial Economy.
Market Town. Dundee.
Means of Communication.The Dundee-Forfar-Aberdeen
turnpike road passes at the east of the parish and the
Dundee-Newtyle rail-road at the south-west corner. The
parish roads have improved but further progress can