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Broughton Glenholm, and Kilbucho, Peeblesshire

Historical Description

BROUGHTON, GLENHOLM, and KILBUCHO, a parish, in the county of PEEBLES; containing, with the whole of Kilbucho, 929 inhabitants, of whom 294 are in Glenholm, 361 in Kilbucho, and 274 in Broughton, including 85 in the village of Broughton, 2 miles (N. N. W.) from Rachan Mill. This parish is bounded on the east and south by the river Tweed, and consists of the ancient parishes of Broughton and Glenholm, and the greater portion of that of Kilbucho, the remainder of which is annexed quoad sacra to the parish of Culter. It is about nine miles and a half in length, and three miles and a half in average breadth, comprising about 20,000 acres, whereof 5000 are arable, 300 woodland and plantations, and the remainder, of which not more than 1000 are capable of cultivation, meadow land and hill pasture. The surface is greatly diversified with hill and dale, and intersected by mountainous ridges and fertile valleys. Rachan Hill, in the district of Glenholm, is a detached eminence, rising precipitously from the plain, on the side towards the Tweed, and sloping by a gentle declivity towards the Holms water; it is covered with verdure to its very summit, and forms an interesting feature in the landscape. A chain of mountainous heights extending for nearly three miles from north to south, intersects the parish, separating Broughton from the parishes of Stobo and Kirkurd. Another, extending for nearly five miles in a direction from north-east to south-west, separates Glenholm from Kilbucho and the parish of Culter: a third range stretches for nearly three miles parallel with the Tweed, and there are some others, one of which passes through the district of Broughton. The highest points of these ranges, which in general are precipitous, are Culterfell, Cardon, and Chapelgill; the first has an elevation of 2430 feet above the sea, and the others are very little inferior in height. Between the ranges of hills are several beautiful valleys; the vale of Glenholm, extending for nearly four miles, is strikingly picturesque, and is enlivened by the Holms water. The Biggar water, which forms a boundary between the district of Broughton and those of Glenholm and Kilbucho, receives various rivulets, among which are the Holms water and the Broughton and Kilbucho burns, and falls into the Tweed opposite to Drummelzier. At Rachan are two fine pieces of water, ornamented with wooded islets; one is stocked with trout, and the other with perch. Among the hills are several springs, the water of which is intensely cold; and in the old glebe land of Broughton is a well possessing some medicinal properties.

The soil, in the upper parts of the valleys, is rather inclined to moss, and in the lower parts is a deep rich loam; near the confluence of the Biggar water with the Broughton burn the land is extremely fertile. The chief crops are wheat, barley, oats, peas, potatoes, and turnips, and the system of husbandry is in an advanced state: the woods contain but little old timber, and most of the plantations are of comparatively modern growth. The annual value of the real property in Broughton is £1579; in Glenholm, £2625; and the whole of Kilbucho, £3230. The chief substrata are greywacke, limestone, and slate; sand of a remarkably fine quality is found in the district of Broughton, and there are numerous pits of good gravel. Of the various houses in the parish, Rachan, Rachan Cottage, Mossfennan, Broughton Place, and Kilbucho Place, are the principal: the mansion of Broughton was burnt by an accidental fire in 1774, and rebuilt with the old materials on a smaller scale; Kilbucho Place, now a farm-house, was the family seat of the Dicksons, and its last occupier was General Dickson. The village was once a considerable market for cattle; but a fair only is now held, on the 3rd of October, principally for hiring servants, and for the sale of various wares. The road from Edinburgh to Dumfries passes through the parish, and in 1847 an act was obtained for the construction of a branch line from the Caledonian railway at Symington to Biggar and Broughton.

Ecclesiastically the parish is in the presbytery of Biggar, synod of Lothian and Tweeddale, and in the patronage of William Renny, Esq.; the minister's stipend is about £230, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £64. 14. 9. per annum. The church, which is situated in the district of Kilbucho, and nearly in the centre of the parish, is a plain substantial edifice, erected in 1804, and adapted for a congregation of 500 persons. A place of worship has been erected in connexion with the Free Church. There are three parochial schools, one in each of the three districts; the master of each has a salary of £32, with a house and garden, and, including proclamations of banns and other small emoluments, the fees for Broughton amount to about £25, for Glenholm to about £30, and for Kilbucho also to about £30. Numerous remains may be traced of circular camps, one of which, called Macbeth's Castle, was surrounded with a double intrenchment. Some stone coffins also, containing human skeletons, have been found near the confluence of the Biggar and the Tweed, in a tumulus; one of the bodies was of gigantic size, and the arms were encircled with bracelets of gold or yellow metal.

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