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Hutton and Corrie, Dumfriesshire

Historical Description

HUTTON and CORRIE, a parish, in the county of Dumfries, 7 miles (N. N. E.) from Lockerbie; containing 809 inhabitants. The name of Hutton appears to be derived from the term Holt, signifying an elevated piece of ground or a mound of earth: some mounds of artificial construction in the district were used in ancient times as seats of deliberation, and for the administration of justice. Corrie, which was joined to Hutton soon after the Reformation, derives its appellation from a rivulet which runs through it, and the name of which, in the Gaelic language, signifies "a narrow glen": the stream issues from a glen. On the farm of Closs, in the parish, are some remains of a place called Maskersa, where the Grahams of Gillesbie formerly had their residence, but from which they removed, more than 300 years ago, to a tower on the brink of the Dryfe, which was a fortress of great strength, surrounded by a fosse. Of this family the descendants still retain property in the neighbourhood. It was in the Tower of Gillesbie that the first president of the court of session was for a time confined, when taken away to prevent his giving a decision in a suit in which one of the parties thought he had too much influence.

The PARISH extends twelve miles in length from north-west to south-east, and the average breadth is about three miles; comprising an area of nearly 23,000 acres. It is bounded on the north-east by the ridge of hills which divides Annandale from Eskdale; on the south-east by the Water of Milk, which separates Corrie from the parish of Tundergarth; and on the north and west by the parishes of Wamphray, Applegarth, and Dryfesdale. The general aspect of the country is diversified with an agreeable variety of scenery. Towards the north the hills are covered with verdure, and the banks of the Dryfe with wood, the effect of which is considerably heightened by the course of the stream, which runs over a gravelly, and frequently a rocky, bottom. In the direction of the Milk, the view is somewhat similar; but the features of the landscape are less marked and prominent. On the heights between these two waters, the scene is reversed, and becomes bleak and rugged. The soil in some places in the parish is mixed with a fine gravel, and in others with good clay; in the high lands it is mossy or moorish. About 3000 acres of land are occasionally cultivated. None of the remaining 20,000 have been ploughed within the last fifty years: much of this ground was formerly in tillage; but the consolidation of the small farms has led to the conversion of a considerable quantity of ploughed land into pasture. All kinds of white and green crops are raised, with the exception of wheat; and the system of husbandry in this as in other parishes is greatly improved. About two-thirds of the lands are employed as sheep pasture in nine or ten regular breeding-farms, keeping about 10,000 sheep, which are wholly Cheviots except 600 or 700 of the black-faced. The cattle, which are also of a superior description, and much attended to, are of the black Galloway breed. The annual value of real property in the parish is £5300. The communication of the people is chiefly with Dumfries, seventeen miles distant. Formerly the roads were in bad condition; but they have been entirely re-constructed within the last thirty or forty years: among them are two lines, one of which leads from Dumfries towards Hawick, and the other from Moffat towards Langholm and Carlisle. There are bridges over the Dryfe, the Corrie, and the Milk, which, as well as the roads, are kept in good repair.

For ECCLESIASTICAL purposes the parish is within the limits of the presbytery of Lochmaben, synod of Dumfries; patrons, the Johnstone family of Annandale. The stipend of the minister is about £240, with a manse, built in 1803, and since enlarged and improved, and a glebe of about thirty-six acres, worth £25 per annum. The church is situated near the Dryfe, equidistant from the north-eastern and southern extremities of the parish; it is in good repair, and accommodates 312 persons with sittings. There is a parochial school in the Hutton division of the parish, where the classics, mathematics, and French, with the usual branches of education, are taught. The master has a salary of £27, a house and garden, and about £20 fees; he receives also two-thirds of the interest of £260 bequeathed in 1802 by Mr. James Graham, a native of the parish, for teaching poor children reading, writing, and arithmetic. There is another parochial school at Corrie, which has been for a considerable time endowed with a bequest by Mr. Edward Moffatt, of Exeter, consisting of the interest of £280, for teaching the children of this division of the parish reading and writing. In 1820, Col. James Wilson, grand-nephew of the founder, added £20 per annum to the salary, on condition of the master teaching the children arithmetic, and that the school should be considered as endowed, he and his heirs appointing the master. The heritors of Corrie pay the master £16 a year; and besides a house and garden, he has five acres of good pasture ground; together with fees paid for teaching other branches than reading, writing, and arithmetic, these three being taught free. The same branches of instruction are taught here as in the school at Hutton. The relics of antiquity consist of the remains of several old intrenchments of a circular form, called British forts, and of a rectangular intrenchment at Carter-town, which was a Roman camp, and is supposed to have been a post of communication between Annandale and Eskdale, where the Romans had several stations.

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