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Eassie and Nevay, Forfarshire

Historical Description

EASSIE and NEVAY, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 3 miles distant (E.) from Meigle; containing 732 inhabitants. These two districts, formerly separate parishes, are together about four miles in length and three in average breadth, comprising an area of 5000 acres, of which, with the exception of a small proportion of pasture and woodland, the whole is arable. The surface is varied; in Eassie it is partly level, but the greater portion is included in the Sidlaw hills, whose northern declivity occupies nearly one-half of the parish. The river Dean is the northern boundary of the district of Eassie, where it winds along with a scarcely perceptible current, though, from the great depth of its channel, and the numerous and sudden changes in its course, it frequently overflows its banks, and inundates the adjacent lands. In the lower grounds the soil is a fine black mould, but towards the hills becomes less fertile, and near the summits affords only tolerable pasturage; in Nevay it is partly marshy, with moss, and in Eassie is a tract of strong rich clay, well adapted for grain. The arable lands are in the highest state of cultivation, producing oats and barley, of which, from the great attention paid to them, considerable quantities are sent to various parts of the country for seed. Much care has been bestowed on the improvement of live stock; the cattle are principally the Angus and the short-horned; numerous flocks of sheep, chiefly of a mixed breed between the Highland and the Leicestershire, are fed on the pastures, and in autumn many are fed on turnips and fattened for the market. The farms average about 200 acres in extent, and the farm-buildings are in general substantially built, on the most improved plan, and well arranged. The plantations, which are mostly of recent growth, consist mainly of larch and Scotch fir, and are in a thriving state. The annual value of the real property in the parish is £4019.

There are several small scattered hamlets, but no regular village; the population is chiefly agricultural, and a small number of persons are employed in the manufacture of coarse linen, chiefly for domestic use. Freestone of good quality is quarried to a considerable extent. The river Dean abounds with trout, and is much frequented by anglers. The high road from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, and the Scottish Midland Junction railway, pass through the parish. Ecclesiastically it is within the bounds of the presbytery of Meigle, synod of Angus and Mearns: the minister's stipend is £161, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £15 per annum; patron, Lord Wharncliffe. The church is a handsome structure, erected in 1833 on a site convenient for both districts. The parochial school is well conducted; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees average about £18 per annum. There is a parochial library containing a good collection of works, chiefly on religious subjects. The poor are partly supported by the proceeds of a fund of £120: a bequest of £100 by Miss Ogilvie, of West Hall, for such as are not on the parish list, has been entirely expended. About a mile from the old church of Eassie is a large circular mound, on which stands the farm-house of Castle-Nairn; part of the broad moat that surrounded it is still remaining. It is supposed to have been an intrenchment occupied by the army of Edward of England during his invasion of the country. There is also a large stone obelisk in the parish, curiously sculptured with hieroglyphic characters.

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