"The parish is 7 miles from east to west and its breadth does not exceed 2 miles. At one part, within a mile east of the church, it does not exceed a stone-cast in width. It is bounded by Rescobie, Guthrie, Carmylie, Kinnell, Inverkeillor and Dunnichen. The prevailing wind is from the east, which, during the months of spring, carries dense aqueous vapours, here termed eastern haars, exhaled from the German Ocean. There are two excellent freestone quarries. Poaching is practised to some extent, but smuggling is now entirely abandoned. The parish contains about 789 manufacturing operatives, employed in spinning flax and weaving Osnaburg cloth, 2/3 of whom are females, and of these nearly 4/5 are weavers on the hand loom. The market towns of Arbroath and Forfar are each 5 miles from the parish. The nearest post offices are there. Application was made to Government a few months ago to establish a letter carrier between Arbroath & Forfar via Letham but this was rejected. A person has, on his own account, made a very good livelihood by undertaking the post between Forfar and Letham. There are 6 ale houses in the parish."
Edited from The New Statistical Account of Scotland, Angus, 1840.
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- The transcription of the section for Kirkden from the National Gazetteer (1868) provided by Colin Hinson.