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Friday, 21 March 2008

Best Scottish Tours of Tibbermore

Tibbermore Parish Church, Perthshire, Scotland. Tibbermore parish church dates from 1632, when the local lairds substantially rebuilt the structure, a church dedicated to St Mary existed during the late middle ages. Tibbermore Parish Churchyard. Tibbermore in 1846, a parish, in the county of Perth, four miles west of Perth; containing, with the villages of Hillyland and Ruthvenfield, 1651 inhabitants. This place was anciently the residence of several of the bishops of Dunkeld, of whom Bishop Geoffrey died here in 1249, and Bishop Sinclair in 1337. A convent for Carmelite friars was founded by Bishop Richard in 1262; and the prelates continued to hold their synods at Tibbermore till the year 1460, when they were removed by Bishop Lauder to his cathedral. The barony was once the property of the earls of Gowrie, whose seat, Ruthven Castle, is distinguished as the scene of the event called the Raid of Ruthven, an attempt made by the earl and his confederate lords to force James VI., whom Gowrie had invited to the castle on a hunting excursion, to dismiss his ministers, the Duke of Lennox and Earl of Arran, for which purpose that monarch was for some time detained in confinement. After the attainder of the earl for this conspiracy, the castle, of which the name was changed from Ruthven to Huntingtower, and the barony, were conferred by James VI. on the Tullibardine family, from whom they passed by marriage to the Duke of Atholl, by whose descendant the barony was divided into small portions, and sold to various persons. The first engagement between the Covenanters, under Lord Elcho, and the forces of the Marquess of Montrose, took place in this parish, when the former, amounting to 6000 men, were totally routed with the loss of 2000 slain on the field, and 2000 prisoners.

The parish, which is bounded on the east by the Tay, and on the north by the river Almond and the rivulet called the Pow, is about six miles and a half in length, varying from one mile to three miles in breadth; and comprises an area of about 5900 acres, of which 250 are woodland and plantations, 180 heath and peat-moss, and the remainder arable land in high cultivation. The surface is in some places boldly undulated, and the scenery agreeably diversified. A narrow level tract nearly three miles in length, and inclosed on the north, south, and west by steep banks rising from fifty to 100 feet in height, opens gradually towards the Tay into an extensive plain, through which flows a branch from that river, called the Mill-Lead, originally formed to drive some mills at Perth, and which has contributed greatly to the prosperity of this parish. The soil on the banks of the Almond is a sandy loam; towards the south-east, a tenacious clay; on the higher lands, a light gravel; and in the western portion cold and wet; though, by draining and good management, generally fertile. The system of agriculture is in a highly advanced state, and every improvement in husbandry has been adopted. The crops are, wheat, oats, barley, peas, potatoes, and turnips; the farm houses and offices are substantial and well arranged, and the inclosures in excellent order. The plantations, which have been much extended, are mostly Scotch fir; and on those of older date is some valuable timber. The substratum is chiefly the old red sandstone, in some places intersected with trap-dykes affording good materials for the roads. The sandstone is also of superior quality, and has been extensively quarried: three quarries are now in operation, from which was raised much of the stone used in the buildings of Perth and the vicinity. The rateable annual value of the parish is £9996. Huntingtower Castle, the property of General Cunningham, is in tolerable repair, but at present occupied by a tenant; it does not appear to have been a place of much strength: the two towers that defended the entrance are still entire. Newton, the residence of the general, is a handsome modern mansion, pleasantly situated in grounds embellished with thriving plantations.

There were formerly several villages; but they have mostly disappeared, and the only villages worthy of notice at present are the buildings in connexion with the bleaching and calico-printing works at Huntingtower-field and Ruthven-field. The bleach grounds at Huntingtower-field, belonging to Messrs. Turnbull and Son, are very extensive; the quantity of cloth bleached annually is about 1,500,000 yards, and from eighty to one hundred tons of linen yarn are bleached for a powerloom factory in the neighbourhood. The works afford constant employment to 150 persons, of whom nearly one-third are women and children. A little below these works, and on the same stream, are large flour and barley mills belonging to the company. Ruthven printfield, also on the same water, and belonging to Messrs. Duncan, of Glasgow, is on a very extensive scale; and in addition to the calicoes, the printing of mouselines de laine is conducted here with great success. The quantity of calico and muslin produced annually averages 2,000,000 yards, of which about two-thirds are printed by blocks, and the remainder by machinery: the works give employment to nearly 400 persons, of whom about one-half are women and children. Facility of communication is afforded by good roads, of which the turnpike-road to Crieff passes through Tibbermore for nearly three miles: the parish roads are kept in excellent order. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Perth and synod of Perth and Stirling, and the patronage is in the Crown: the minister's stipend is £255. 12. 10., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £20 per annum. The church, rebuilt in 1632, and enlarged in 1810 by the erection of an aisle for their work-people by the Ruthven-field Company, is in good repair, and contains 600 sittings. The parochial school, situated near the church, is attended by about forty children; the master has a salary of £34. 4. 4., with a house and garden, in addition to the fees. A school has been established at Ruthven-field, to the master of which the proprietors of the works allow a house rent-free, and guarantee a salary of £50, in the event of the fees not amounting to so much. There is also a parochial library, supported by subscription.

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