Tweedsmuir (parish)


Imperial Gazetteer of Scotland, edited by John Marius Wilson and published by A. Fullarton and Co - 1868

TWEEDSMUIR, a parish in the south-western extremity of Peebles-shire.  It has on its northern margin the post-office station of Crook-Inn.  It is bounded by the counties of Dumfries and Lanark, and by the parishes of Drummelzier and Megget.  It is not very far from being a regular circle of about 8¼ miles in diameter.  The surface is a congeries of mountainous hills, with narrow intervening flats and morasses.  The hills, in general, are luxuriant in verdure on the sides, and often boggy on the tops; affording on the former, rich supplies of pasture and even crops of hay, and, on the latter, a large proportion of the local supply of fuel.  They are broad-based, slow of ascent, soft in outline, and summited with table-land.  Horses can easily ascend them, and, even without difficulty, bring down loads of turf.  The highest elevations are Broadlaw on the north and the culminating point of Hartfell on the south.  See the articles BROADLAW and HARTFELL.  The predominant rocks are greywacke and greywacke slate.  The soil in many places is a strong thick mould, formed of earth and moss; and that of the arable parts is generally a light loam, incumbent on gravel and sandstone.  The river Tweed originates and has its first 10 miles' run in the parish; and, in return, gives its name as the prenomen of that of both the district itself and several of its localities.  No fewer than about twenty-five indigenous and independent streamlets fall into it before it departs, and render it, even in this lofty land of its infancy, not altogether unimportant in volume.  The chief of these streamlets are the Core, the Fruid, the Menzion, the Tala, and the Harestone.  Gameshope-loch, about 600 feet in diameter, is probably the loftiest lochlet in the south of Scotland, and abounds in excellent dark-coloured trout.  A peculiarly fine perennial spring, called Geddes'-well, sends out a rill near the summit of Broadlaw.  The parish is as eminently pastoral in the richness of its herbage, and the prime quality of its flocks, as in the mountainousness of its physical features.  About 16,000 sheep are pastured; more than three-fourths of them Cheviots, the rest black-faced.  Only about 280 acres are in tillage; though, but for the distance and expense  of lime and other appliances, a large aggregate extent of the lower declivities of the hills might easily be subjected to the plough.  The chief landowners are the Earl of Wemyss and George Graham Bell, Esq.  The estimated value of raw produce in 1834 was £3,231; assessed property in 1860, £5,121; real rental in 1857, £4,674 9s.  The road from Edinburgh to Dumfries, by way of Moffat, passes up the Tweed, and leaves the parish at a point 132 feet higher than that river's source, or upwards of 1,600 feet above sea-level.  The locality at which it takes leave is called Tweed's-cross, and is supposed to have been first a station fro the Druidical worship of the sun, and next the site of a cross erected as a road-mark in so wild and perilous a mountain-pass.  Vestiges of ancient castles exist at Fruid, Hawkshaw, and Oliver; the first, the property of the Earl of Wemyss, as Earl of March; the second, the ancient residence of the family of Porteous, the chief of that name; and the third, the paternal seat of the Frasers, now of Lovat.  Population of the parish in 1831, 288; in 1861, 196.  Houses, 42.

This parish is in the presbytery of Peebles, and synod of Lothian and Tweeddale.  Patron, St. Mary's college, St. Andrews.  Stipend, £275 7s. 6d.; glebe, £12 10s.  Unappropriated teinds, £32 18s. 9d.  Schoolmaster's salary, £50, with about £12 fees, and £2 other emoluments.  The parish church was built in 1648, and contains 160 sittings.  The parish was constituted in 1643; and it previously formed part of Drummelzier, and was called Over-Drummelzier.