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FORFAR, Angus - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]

"FORFAR, a parish in the county Forfar, Scotland, containing the county town of its name and the villages of Carseburn and Lunanhead. It is seated about the middle of the county, and is bounded by Rescobie on the N., Dunnichen and Inverarity on the E., and Kinnettles, Glamis, and Kirriemuir on the W. Its length is 6 miles, its breadth 4. The surface is slightly undulating. It lies within the How of Angus, and contains Balmashinar Hill and the lochs of Forfar and Fithie. The soil for the most part consists of a light loam, watered by two or three small streams. This parish gives name to a presbytery in the synod of Angus and Mearns, in the patronage of the town council of Forfar. The minister has a stipend of about £350. There are a chapel-of-ease, two United Presbyterian churches, and Congregational, Episcopal, and Roman Catholic chapels. There are four public, several private, and female industrial schools. The road from Dundee to Aberdeen traverses the parish. Restenet Priory stands in this parish on a projecting eminence, formerly a peninsula in the loch of Restenet, which is now drained. In the loch of Dean formerly stood an artificial island, supposed to have been the retreat of Margaret, Queen of Malcolm Canmore. The waters of this lake have greatly receded by drainage. There are traces of a large camp about 1½ mile from the town, also of an earthwork stretching from Loch Forfar to Loch Restenet. Don, the botanist, was born in this parish. The presbytery of Forfar includes Aberlemno, Cortachie, Clova, Glamis, Inverarity, Oathlaw, Rescobie, Tannadice, Dunnichen, Forfar, Kinnettles, and Kirriemuir. The Free Church district includes the last four of these, with Mearns."

"CARSEBURN, a village in the parish and county of Forfar, Scotland, 2 miles from Forfar."

"FITHIE LOCH, in the parish and county of Forfar, Scotland, about 1 mile in circuit. It lies in view of the Arbroath railway, and abounds with fish. The Fithie river takes its rise in the parish of Glamis, county of Forfar, and falls into the Dighty Water. Its entire length is 10 miles."

"FORFAR, a post and market town, and royal burgh, in the parish of Forfar, and is the county town of county Forfar, Scotland, 14 miles N.E. of Dundee. It is a station on the Perth, Dundee, and Arbroath railway. The town is situated in a hollow of Strathmore. The hills on all sides slope up gently from its site, though not to screen the distant view of the Sidlaws and Grampians. It is irregularly built. The principal or High-street runs from S.W. to N.E., and is about 1,200 yards long. From about its centre Castle street, the next most important street, turns off, and numerous subordinate thoroughfares branch off at various points. The principal buildings are-the parish church and school, St. James's church, the United Presbyterian church, and Episcopal chapel, the new court-houses and prison, three hanks, insurance offices, the townhouse, the Forfar Academy, reading-rooms, library, deaf and dumb association, and horticultural society. The chief trade of the town is in the weaving of coarse linen fabrics. Formerly the place was noted for the manufacture of its "brogues," or shoes, but the trade has now nearly passed away. The town enjoys every facility of transit by road, rail, and canal. It is governed by a provost, 3 bailies, 11 councillors, treasurer, and 4 deacons of the incorporated crafts of shoemakers, glovers, and tailors. The corporation of weavers is now abolished. The magistrates preside over the royal borough, assisted by the town-clerk as assessor. It returns one member to parliament, together with Arbroath, Montrose, and Brechin. Forfar is supposed to have grown out of a castle, in which, it is alleged, Malcolm Canmore called together a parliament after the regaining of his kingdom from Macbeth. Some traces of the castle were still remaining at the N. end of the town about half a century ago. Margaret, queen of Malcolm, had a residence here. Charles II. granted a charter to the town in 1665, which recites another of earlier date. The market cross, which was erected in 1684, was removed some 30 years ago to a spot near the castle, a representation of which is carved upon its side. In the steeple of the old church is the "witches bridle," an iron collar with which reputed votaries of the black art were fixed to the stake and burnt. Stone and slate are quarried in the immediate vicinity. Sheriff, commissary, and small-debt courts are held here during session every Thursday. Saturday is market day. Fairs are held on the following Wednesdays (old style):-the last in February, second in April, and first in May; also the first Tuesday in July, first Wednesday and Thursday in August, last Wednesday in September, the third in October, and the first in November."

"RESTENET, formerly a loch, but now drained, in the parish and county of Forfar, Scotland, near Forfar, and 13 miles N. of Dundee. Here was once a monastery, founded in the 7th century by St. Boniface as a cell to Jedburgh Abbey."

[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]