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Inverarity, Forfarshire

Historical Description

INVERARITY, a parish, in the county of Forfar, 4½ miles (S.) from Forfar; containing 997 inhabitants. This place derived its name from a Celtic term descriptive of the locality of its church, which, till the year 1754, was situated near the spot where the river Arity is joined, almost at right angles, by the Corbie burn, at a small distance from the present house of Fothringham. The parish comprehends the ancient parish of Meathie; it measures three miles square, and contains about 6000 acres. On the north it is bounded by the parish of Forfar, on the south by the parishes of Monikie and Murroes, on the east by Guthrie and Dunnichen, and on the west by Kinnettles, Tealing, and Glammis. The surface is uneven, consisting of a valley, well cultivated and fenced, surrounded by rising grounds and hills of various elevation, some of which are richly wooded. The soil on the higher lands is a dark loam; in several places it is alluvial; its ordinary character, however, is that of clay. About 4000 acres are cultivated; 1000 are waste, consisting of coarse pasture and moor; and the remainder are occupied by plantations, composed of oak, beech, plane, and all the firs usually grown in the country. The value of the produce is considerable; grain of every kind forms a prominent article, and all the various green crops are also raised, of good quality. The common breed of cattle is the Angus or native black, to which great attention is paid. The best system of agriculture is followed; and extensive drainage, the inclosing with hedges or stone-dykes, and marl-manuring, with various other improvements in husbandry, have been carried on to such an extent that very little remains to be done. In this parish the prevailing rocks are sandstone and grey slate, several quarries of which are extensively wrought. The mansions are those of Fothringham, the seat of the ancient family of that name, and the House of Kincaldrum. Four miles of the turnpike-road from Forfar to Dundee pass through the parish; and before the introduction of railways a coach from Aberdeen to Edinburgh, and another from Brechin to Dundee, used to travel daily upon it. The annual value of the real property in the parish is £5593.

Ecclesiastically the parish is in the presbytery of Forfar and synod of Angus and Mearns; patrons, the family of Fothringham, of Powrie. The stipend of the minister is about £300, with a good manse, and a glebe of twelve acres. Inverarity church, in the centre of the parish, was built in 1754, is in good repair, and will accommodate 600 persons with sittings. There is a parochial school, in which Latin is taught, with the usual branches of education; the master has the maximum salary, and fees to the annual amount of about £27. The chief relic of antiquity is the Roman camp called "Haer Faads", part of which lies in the parish of Guthrie; it is nearly a parallelogram, measuring about 300 yards by 700. At the Kirk Brae, near the dene of Fothringham, is the last vestige of the old church. James Webster, the traveller in Egypt, &c., whose posthumous works have been published; Drummond, the botanist, who died some time since; and the mother of the distinguished Professor Playfair, were natives of the parish.

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