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CULROSS, Perthshire

"CULROSS, a parish in the county of Perth, Scotland. It contains a royal burgh of its own name, and also the villages of Blairburn and Low-valleyfield, in the detached district of Perthshire. It is bounded on the S. by the Firth of Forth, on the W. by Tulliallan, on the N. by Clackmannan and Saline, and on the E. by Torryburn. The outline of the parish is square, each side being about 4 miles in length. The surface is elevated and without any great inequalities. The soil is fertile and in some places rich. Potter's clay, lime-stone and ironstone have been found. The collieries, which were formerly worked extensively by the monks of Culross Abbey, and after 1575 by Sir George Bruce, of Blairhall, are no longer profitable. One pit, which was drowned by the sea in 1626, extended a mile below the sea at high water. The landed property of the parish is divided amongst nine proprietors. The modern mansion of Castle Hill, near the Firth, occupies the site of Dunamarle Castle, the possession of the Macduffs, Thanes of Fife, where Lady Macduff and her children were murdered by order of Macbeth: other historians refer this incident to Cupar Castle. Blair. Castle and Valleyfield House are modern residences. The railway traverses the parish, and there is a station at East Grange. This parish is in the presbytery of Dunfermline and synod of Fife. The charge is collegiate, and under the patronage of Lady Keith and Miss Preston, of Valley field. The stipend of the first minister is £156, and of the second minister, £117. Besides the parish church, which is very ancient, there is a Free church. There are several benefactions in this parish for aged and indigent persons. The town of Culross stands on the, Firth, 22 miles W.N.W. of Edinburgh, and 4 miles E. of Kincardine. It is pleasantly situated amidst gardens, on the slope of a declivity, as seen from the sea, but a closer inspection shows it to be mean and decayed. It was formerly a place of great resort, both from the neighbouring monastery (founded in 1217 by Malcolm, Thane of Fife, and dedicated to the Virgin Mary), and subsequently as being a seat of commerce. Besides the above mentioned extensive coal trade, it manufactured 100 tons of salt a week, and in both of these articles a large foreign trade was carried on prior to the Union. The inhabitants are now chiefly occupied in weaving linen for the Dunfermline manufacturers, and muslins for those of Glasgow. Culross was made a royal burgh in 1588, by James VI. It is governed by a provost and nine councillors, and, joins with Dunfermline, Inverkeithing, Queensferry, and Stirling, in sending one member to parliament. The population of the burgh in 1851 was 605, which had decreased in 1861 to 517, though the houses had increased in the same period from 110 to 117. The number of children at school between the ages of five and fifteen were 107."

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

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