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Barry, Forfarshire

Historical Description

BARRY, or BARRIE, a parish, in the county of Forfar, including the former quoad sacra district of Carnoustie, and containing 2124 inhabitants, of whom 217 are in the village of Barry, 9 miles (E. N. E.) from Dundee, and 1268 in the village of Carnoustie. This parish is situated at the southern extremity of the county, on the shore of the German Ocean, and at the mouth of the Firth of Tay; measuring about four miles from north to south, and three and a half from east to west. In the latter direction it is intersected, throughout its whole extent, by a high verdant bank, supposed to have once formed a steep shore of the ocean, and separating the locality into two grand divisions totally dissimilar in character. That on the north is of a good soil, and elevated about fifty feet above the southern portion, from which it has the appearance of an extensive and regularly constructed terrace. The lower division is sandy and sterile, affording in general but a scanty pasture for a few sheep and cattle, with small patches of arable land, producing, in moist seasons, moderate crops of grain. The whole comprises about 4000 acres, half being in the sandy, and half in the cultivated, portion. In the upper part the soil has the several varieties of light loam, good gravel, and a deep black earth; and under the skilful application of the most approved usages of husbandry, crops are obtained of wheat, barley, oats, peas, turnips, flax, clover, and potatoes, nearly equal to those grown in more favoured districts. Of the part never yet cultivated, covering nearly 2000 acres, very little is serviceable on account of the light and sandy nature of the soil, except for occasional pastures. The annual value of real property in the parish is £4052. The larger part of the population, both male and female, are engaged in the manufacture of brown and white linen, for the Dundee and Arbroath houses. A vitriol-work, employing four or five hands, was erected a few years since; and there are five stations for the fishing of salmon, belonging to three different proprietors. The turnpike-road and the railroad between Dundee and Arbroath pass through the parish; and to these two towns the produce is usually sent for sale. Ecclesiastically the parish is in the presbytery of Arbroath, synod of Angus and Mearns, and in the patronage of the Crown; the minister's stipend is £143. 12. 11., with a manse, and a glebe of five acres, valued at £5. 10. per annum. The church, situated in the centre of the parish, is a plain structure, altered and enlarged in the year 1818. A place of worship and a schoolroom have been erected in connexion with the Free Church. The parochial school affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £29. 18. 9., with £30 fees. Till lately there were several tumuli on the eastern limit of the parish; and in the same vicinity, near Carnoustie, were the vestiges of a camp, where, it is said, the Danes under Camus were defeated by the Scots headed by Malcolm II.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis