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Dun, Forfarshire

Historical Description

DUN, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 4 miles (N. W. by W.) from Montrose; containing 581 inhabitants. This place is supposed by some antiquaries to have derived its name from the family of Dun, who were its ancient proprietors; and by others, with apparently greater probability, from its elevation above the level of the river South Esk, which forms its boundary on the south. The parish is about four miles in length, and of nearly equal breadth, comprising 3480 acres, of which 2600 are arable, 300 meadow and pasture, 550 woodland and plantations, and about 100 uncultivated moor. A small part of the lands, called Fort Hill, is divided from the rest by the estuary or basin of Montrose. The surface is very irregular; near the river and the basin it is level, but towards the north rises gradually to a considerable elevation. Within the limits of the parish is a lake called Dun's Dish, covering about forty acres; it is supplied from numerous springs in the adjacent grounds, and forms a reservoir for the use of various mills. The scenery is enriched by luxuriant woods and thriving plantations on the demesnes of Dun House and Langley Park.

The SOIL in the vicinity of the basin of Montrose, from the encroachment of which the lands are defended by an embankment, is a loamy clay of great fertility. In the rising grounds it is a deep rich loam, and in other places light and sandy. The crops are oats, barley, wheat, peas, beans, potatoes, and turnips; the system of agriculture is improved, and the five and six-shift courses of husbandry are generally practised, the former in the upper and the latter in the lower districts. The lands are well drained and inclosed; the farm-buildings are mostly substantial and commodious. The cattle reared in the parish are mainly of the black Angus breed, resembling the Galloway; they thrive well, and grow to a great weight. A fishery in the South Esk, in which salmon and trout are plentiful, produces about £100 annually; and there is a fishery in the sands of the basin of Montrose, chiefly for muscles, and of nearly equal value. Facility of communication is afforded by the Aberdeen railway, the Brechin branch of which commences here. There are also good roads, of which that from Brechin to Montrose passes through the parish. Dun House, a substantial mansion, built in 1730, is now the property of the Marquess of Ailsa, in right of the marchioness, who is daughter of the late John Erskine, Esq.; it is finely situated on rising ground, is surrounded with old wood, and, having a southern aspect, presents a beautiful object from the opposite side of the South Esk. East of Dun House is Langley Park, the handsome seat of the Cruickshank family. The annual value of real property in the parish is £6818. Dun is ecclesiastically in the presbytery of Brechin, synod of Angus andMearns, and in the patronage of the Marchioness of Ailsa; the minister's stipend is £159, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £15 per annum. The chapel formerly attached to the old mansion- house of the family of Dun having fallen into a dilapidated state, a church was erected in lieu of it, on a site a short way off, in 1834. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £34, with £13 fees, and a house and garden. A savings' bank has been established; and the poor have the benefit of some money placed in the hands of three of the heritors, who pay interest for it to the kirk-session.

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