Name.- The ancient name of the parish is Gargownno; its modern name, Gargunnock. It is probably derived from the Celtic words Caer-guineach, which   signify a sharp or conical fortress. A fortress of this kind, called the Peel of Gargunnock, was situated near the north-east boundaries of the parish.

Extent and Boundaries .- The length of the parish is 6 miles, and its breadth 4 miles ; and it contains about 20 square miles. It is bounded on the east and south by St Ninians ; on the west, by Fintry, Balfron, and Kippen ; and on the north, by Kincardine and Kilmadock. The Lenuox hills, which. run from Stirling to Dunbarton, extend through the breadth of the parish on the south. The greater part, by far, of the parish lies on the north side of these hills; and, from their base, the land slopes gradually till it runs into the level plain, or carse ground, which is bounded by the windings of the Forth The height of the Lennox hills above the level of the sea, is about 1400 feet; and from their summits, there is one of the most extensive and finest views in Scotland, comprehending, perhaps, more than 12,000 square miles.

Climate.- The temperature of the atmosphere is mild, and the climate wet, but not unhealthy.

Hydrography.- There are in the parish a number of perennial springs, flowing from tilly or gravelly subsoils, resting on red and white sandstone rocks, which supply the inhabitants with abundance of excellent water. At the Burn of Boquhan, which forms the western boundary of this parish, there are two chalybeate springs, one on each side of the burn, perhaps little inferior to the Dunblane and Airthrey wells, though not so celebrated.

The Forth is the only river in this parish. Its average breadth, where it forms the northern boundary of the parish, is 60 feet, and its average depth 12 feet. There are several cascades on the north side of the Lennox hills; one of them attracts particular attention In this neighbourhood; it is about one mile from the manse, and, in time of heavy rains, it has a grand appearance, and is heard at a considerable distance.

Geology.- The rocks of the Lennox bills are composed chiefly of trap or whinstone. In the gently sloping lands, between the hills and the carse, strata of red and white sandstone are found everywhere, under the soil and subsoil. Under the strata of white sandstone, there is abundance of limestone of different depths. It is the opinion of some men of experience, that there is plenty of coal on the estate of Gargunnock; of which there are several indications, although no steps have been taken to ascertain the fact. There are also some veins of spar near the hills. There is great abundance of peat on the level parts of the Lennox hills; and trees have been dug out of the moss; which is an evidence that the hills, in ancient times, must have been covered with wood to their very summits.

The lands of the parish consist of various kinds of soil, which are denominated moor, dryfield, and carse The moor consists of wet gravelly, and clayey soil; none of it is ploughed except a few acres near the sheep farm of Burafoot, on the estate of Boquhan. The most part of the moor affords sound healthy pasture for sheep and black-cattle, in the summer months. The term dryfield is not descriptive of the nature of the soil, but is used merely to distinguish it from the moor and carse lands. The soil of the dry field is, in general, sandy and clayey; but some of it is rich loam, where it joins the carse The average depth of the soil of the dryfield is six or seven inches; it rests on a subsoil of gravel or till, and under this subsoil are found strata of red and white sandstone. The soil of the carse lands consists of three or four feet of mixed clay of excellent quality, which lies on a subsoil of yellow or blue clay; but the blue clay prevails. And below this blue clay, a bed of sea shells is deposited about ten feet from the surface. - This bed of shells, it is said, is found everywhere in the rich and beautiful Strath of Monteath, which is twenty miles long, and in some places betwixt three and four miles broad. in some places along the banks, where the carse joins the dryfield, the ground has the appearance of having been washed at one time by a river, or by the waves of the sea. These facts prove almost  to demonstration, that the whole of this picturesque and beautiful strath, has, at a remote period, been covered with the sea; and after the  sea had receded, as it has evidently done in later times, from this part of the country, a forest, in the lapse of ages, must have grown. All this beautiful part of Scotland, both hill and dale, was covered with wood, and formed a part of the ancient Caledonian forest. We are informed by the history of the Romans, who conquered this country, and kept possession of it about 500 years, that the Caledonian forest was cut down by the Roman soldiers in the beginning of the third century. The marks of their hatchets have been seen on many of the large trees, lying beside their immense roots. And on the north side of the Forth, in the parish of Kincardine, where Mr Home Drummond of Blair Drummond, and Colonel Graham of Meiklewood, have cleared away the moss, to the depth of 12 or 15 feet - roots were seen as thick as trees in a forest. Part of a Roman spear was found on Colonel Graham's property, and also some smooth stones, in the shape of gun flints, which are supposed to have been used by the aborigines in flaying cattle.

Zoology.- Roe-deer breed in great numbers, in the glen of Boquhan, at the western boundary of this parish. They also frequent occasionally the glen of Leckie, which affords an excellent cover for game, and which the proprietor, Mr Moir, has with fine taste, and at great expense, beautified with winding paths and shrubs on both sides of the wooded banks of the burn. In the woods are seen, squirrels, foxes, polecats or foumarts, badgers, weasels, hedgehogs, hares, and rabbits. And besides the common species of small birds, there are pheasants, crows, jackdaws, magpies, woodcocks, wood-pigeons, grouse, partridges, snipes, wild-ducks, herons and hawks. The herons have, for time immemorial, built their nests on a row of Scotch firs, near the mansion-house of Meiklewood; but since the new house was built, they have taken their departure. The hawks build their nests on the almost inaccessible cliffs of Ballochleam. These are the falcon hawks; and gentlemen in several parts of England have sent repeatedly to take their young, for the purpose of taming them for hunting.

The cattle which are reared in the parish, are generally of the Ayrshire breed. Black-faced sheep are bred; because it is the opinion of the farmers, that this kind agrees best with the soil. Some very strung, handsome, and valuable horses of the Clydesdale breed, are reared. Hogs, both of a small and large kind, are bred.

The river Forth abounds with perch, pike, and eels; but trout and salmon are not so plentiful, since moss began to be cast into the river. The time when the salmon go up to the higher streams to spawn, is in the end of October and the beginning of November; and they return about the beginning of January. There is abundance of fine trout in the burns of Boquhan, Leckie, and Gargunnock; and likewise in the burns which form the boundaries of this parish, on the south side of the Lennox hills.


We are informed by tradition, that, in the year 1745, Prince Charles the Pretender passed the Forth at the ford of Frew, breakfasted at Boquhan, and slept at Leckie.

Land-owners. - the chief land-owners are, Charles Alexander Moir, Esq. of Leckie, who is the first heritor of the pa rish. The barony of Leckie extends through the length of the parish, from the south side of the Lennox hills to the river Forth. it therefore contains moor, dry-field, and carse lands. The next heritor, in point of valuation, is Henry Fletcher Campbell, Esq. of Boquhan. The barony of Boquhan runs parallel with the barony of Leckie on the west, .and has the same kind of soils. The third heritor is John Stirling, Esq. of Gargunnock, who is a minor. The barony of Gargunnock runs parallel with the barony of Leckie on the east. The fourth heritor is David Graham, Esq. of Meiklewood. The fifth is Henry Seton Stewart, Esq. of Touch. The sixth is Mr Young of Easter Culmore. And the seventh is Mr Kerr of Mosshead.

Parochial Registers.-The earliest entry in the parish registers is dated 1615. The registers are voluminous ; and, upon the whole, they have been regularly kept; but, owing to accident or carelessness, the registers of the last forty years of the seventeenth century have been lost. Since that time, many marriages, births, baptisms, and burials have been omitted to be recorded: and in consequence, several valuable legacies have been lost to the nearest heir.

Antiquities.- The Keir-hill was a fortified place, in the end of the thirteenth century. It is considerably elevated, and is of an oval figure, and has been surrounded by a rampart; it is near the confluence of two rivulets which unite at the east end of the village; and there must have been a ditch to the south. The circumference of the summit is about 140 yards. At the summer sacrament, the tent is placed at the bottom of fhe Keir-hill, and the people sit on its gently sloping side, and form an interesting sight. The Peel of Gargunoock has been a much larger fortification than the Keir-hill. It was situated on a rising ground about fifty yards from the Forth, where that river takes a direction to the north, and about fifty or sixty yards east from the mouth of the burn of Gargunnock. It was surrounded by a rampart and a ditch. Part of the ditch is still visible on the south where it commnnicates with the burn. There is not a vestige of the Peel now remaining: the plough passes over the place where it once stood; and the site must be pointed out to the inquiring stranger. The use of the Peel is supposed to have been for the protection of a ford, formed in the Forth by the influx of the burn. There was also a small fortress about three miles up the river, for the defence of the Ford of Frew. There is an account of the Peel or Gargunnock, in the history of Sir William Wallace. This patriotic and brave man and his followers were in possession of the Keir-hill, from whence they sallied forth, and attacked and put to flight the English who were stationed in the Peel. Wallace and his men crossed the Forth, on their way to the moss of Kincardine, by the bridge of Offers, part of the ruins of which is still to be seen, about half a mile above the Peel. Between the old bridge of Offers and the Peel, and very near the new line of the Dumbarton road, a substantial and handsome suspension-bridge was erected nine years ago, by Colonel Graham of Meiklewood. He also made and repaired, at his own expense, a new line of road from the bridge, to the great road from Stirling to Callendar, a distance of two miles. A communication has thus been opened up, through this rich and beautiful strath of country. The public are much indebted to Colonel Graham, who, in this undertaking, has displayed a well-informed mind, and a most liberal and public spirit.

At Ballochleam, near the west end of this parish, a battle was fought between the Grahams and the Leckies, the date of which is not recorded. The late learned and accomplished Lieutenant General Fletcher Campbell of Boquhan alludes to this battle in a curious manuscript left by him. " The ballad," says he, "that celebrated the batlle of Ballochleam, was still surng by a lady of our days. The Leckies must have been of considerable numbers at that time, if they could cope with the Grahams. Ballochleam signifies the hollow of the leap. In the hollow of one of those fields, searching for limestone, an old tenant found some pieces of brass armour, with the points of spears, and a great quantity of different kinds of bones. He said he intended to go on, but a thought came that he might raise the plague." There was also a tower belonging to the Grahams, who were Barons of Boquhan. The ruins of this ancient tower were dug up, about eighty years ago, in the field of Old Hall; and at that time, some aged men remembered the old iron door and grated windows. The glen of Boquhan is so grand and romantic, with wild and beautiful scenery, that it is sometimes called Trosachs. About a mile above the glen, the burn whish descends from Ballochleam has washed out, in the soft freestone rocks, some very curious shapes, resembling wells and caldrons.

Mansion-houses.-Mr Moir of Leckie has lately built a very elegant, commodious, and beautiful house, after the plan of the ancient English baronial mansion-houses. It stands on a higher situation than the old mansion-house of Leckie, and has a commanding view of the picturesque and beautiful strath of Monteath. And when the approach and pleasure grounds are finished, it will be one of the finest gentleman's seats in the country. Colonel Graham has built a very beautiful house at Meiklewood, near the site of the old mansion-house, and it is a prominent object amoug the fine old trees which surround it.


The population in 1795 was 956
1793 830
1833 908


The decrease is partly owing to the enlargement of farms, two or three having been put into one; and partly owing to emigration to other parishes. The number of the population in the village is 466; and in the country part of the parish it is 442.

The yearly average of

births for the last seven years is 24
deaths 9
marriages 12

The number of persons under

15 years of age 305


15 and 30 279
30 and 50 207
50 and 70 97
70 + 20
The number of bachelors and widowers upwards of 50 years of age 16
The number of unmarried women upwards of 45 47

The average number of children in each family is about 3. The number of male servants below twenty, is 40; and above twenty, 50; and the number of female servants below twenty, is 43; and above twenty, 51.

Mr Moir of Leckie, Mr Campbell of Boquhan, and Colonel Graham of Meiklewood, are resident heritors. Gargunnock House
is at present occupied by Mrs Stirling of Gargunnock, and her family. The number of proprietors of land of the yearly value of
L.50 and upwards is 7.


Agriculture. -The number of cultivated acres in tbe parish, imperial measure, is 5332; the number of acres which have never been cultivated, and which are in pasture, is 3762; the number of acres under wood, both natural and planted, is 574. The different kinds of trees which are planted, and which have been already mentioned under the bead of Natural History, are, oak, ash, Scotch and silver fir, larch, plane, elm, willow, and birch. The indigenous or natural wood consists chiefly of oak, ash, birch, and willow. The woods are under good management, and are regularly thinned, pruned, and felled, at the proper periods.

Rent of Land- The average rent of dryfleld is from L. 1, 5s. to L.2 per acre; and of carse land from L.2, 5s. to L.3 per acre. Mr Moir of Leckie has lately let some capital farms at L. 3, fls. per acre. The average rent of grazing in the high lands, is at the rate of 15s. to L. 1, 5s. per ox or cow, and in the lowlands at the rate of L. 3 and at the rate of 6s. per ewe or full-grown sheep pastured for a year.

Wages - The rate of labour, winter and summer, for different kinds of farm-work, is from 9s. to l0s. per week. The rate of wages for male farm-servants is from L. 12 to L. 18; and for female-servants, from L.5 to L.7 per annum. Masons' and carpenters' wages are 14s. per week.

Live-Stock.- Particular attention has been paid to the improvement of the breed of black-faced sheep, and of cattle of the Ayr shire kind.

With respect to the rotation of crops, it is as follows, viz. dry- field, three years pasture; if limed upon the sward, two crops of oats, but if not limed, one crop of oats; next, green crop of potatoes or turnips; then barley; and after that bay. The rotation of crops on the carse-land is, 1st, summer fallow; 2d, wheat; 3rd, beans; 4th, barley; 5th, hay; 6th, oats. In some farms where the soil is dry, the tenant pastures two years.

Wedge-Draining.-The wedge drain is three feet deep, twelve inches broad at the top, and two inches broad at the bottom. Three kinds of spades and a cleaner are used in digging it; 1st, a common spade; 2d, a spade four inches broad at the point; 3d, a spade two inches broad at the point. The clay is dug out with a gradual slope on both sides to the bottom. The cleaner is in the form of a half-cylinder, about a foot or fourteen inches long, with a wooden handle, five or six feet in length. With this the clay is cleaned out of the bottom of the drain. Then peat or hard clay, and sometimes feal or green turf, fourteen inches long, four inches broad, from three to five inches deep, and sloped at the ends, is pressed firm into the drain, with the grassy side downwards, leaving a space of five or six inches from the bottom; and then it is filled with clay to the top. The wedge drains are 15 or 18 feet apart. This mode of draining is a very great improvement. There is another kind of draining, which is a great improvement to the dryfield. It is called wedge or furrow-draining. The leading drains are, at least, three feet deep. They are laid with tiles at the bottom, with a foot of broken stones above them, somewhat larger than road metal. The other drains are two feet and a half deep, laid also with broken stones, about a foot or four teen inches deep. The drains are about 15 or 18 feet apart. The wettest land may, in this manner, be made completely dry and valuable. Mr Campbell of Boquhan is of opinion, that the greatest part of the dry field land in the parish might be increased almost half its value, by this mode of drairiing. And he strongly recommends this way of draining in all the carse lands instead of the present system of wedge-draining; and the reason he assigns is that the feal or turf-draining continues good for six or eight years only, whereas the stone-draining will last for many years. Trench-ploughing above the stone drains is also a great improvement. This is done by a two-horse plough turning off the soil six inches; then by the trench-plough, drawn by four horses, immediately following, and opening the subsoil ten inches more, which makes a furrow sixteen inches deep to the very top of the stones.

Farms are let on leases of nineteen years, which is considered advantageous to the tenants. The farm onsteads are, in general, substantially built and commodious, and suited to the size of the farms. The dryfield and carse lands are conveniently en closed with flourishiug hedges, which are regularly pruned, and kept in good repair. There are whinstone, and red and white freestone quarries in the parish. The former are blasted with gunpowder, and the latter with plug, and feather, and wedges. Potatoes, turnips, and sometimes cabbages are cultivated with great success, being fine in quality, and abundant in quantity, There is not much meadow-hay in the parish. The most of it is rye-grass sown with clover.

The late General F. Campbell of Boquhan instituted the Farmers Club in this parish, in the year 1796; and in 1807 he enriched it by his bequest of L.500 Sterling. Eleven parishes are entitled to the benefit of it, viz. Gargunnock, Stirling, St Ninians, Kippen, Fintry, Balfron, Killearn, Drymen, Port, Kincardine, and Kilmadock.


Market-Town.-The nearest market-town is Stirling, which is about six miles distant from the church and village.

Village.-There is only one village in the parish, very near the church, and situated on the eastern declivity of a small hill. The view from the top of the village, near the schoolmaster's house, is one of the richest and most beautiful of the Strath of Monteath. Almost the whole parish is seen from this commanding spot. The prospect is bounded on the south by the Lennox hills; on the west, by Ben-Lomond; on the north, by Ben-Ledi and the Grampian mountains; and on the east, by the Ochil hills and Stirling Castle. The whole strath, from Gartmore to Stirling, stretches out before the eye like a beautiful map, adorned with many gentlemen's seats, enriched with a vast variety of corn-fields, and rendered pic turesque and interesting in a high degree by the windings of the Forth, and the delightful scenery of the low and rising grounds. The village is situated in the barony of Gargunnock. The lower part of it was feued, between eighty and ninety years ago, at the rate of L. 1 an acre; the upper part was feued at a later period, at the rate of L.2 per acre. Each feu has half an acre of ground attached to it, which is a great benefit to the inhabitant.

Means of Communication.-There is no post-office in the village; but a postman passes through the parish about ten o'clock in the forenoon, on his way to Kippen, and returns about three o'clock in the afternoon, which is a great accommodation to the parishioners. The great road betwixt Stirling and Dumbarton passes through the breadth of the parish, for the distance of four miles. A new line of road was made, some time ago, through the carse grounds, about half a mile from the church and village. No stage-coaches travel on this turnpike road, except the stage-coach from Kippen to Stirling, every Friday, which returns on the same day, for the accommodation of people going to, and returning from, the Stirling market The bridges and fences of the parish are kept in good repair.

Ecclesiastical State.-The parish church is conveniently situated for the greater part of the, population. It is distant from the eastern extremity of the parish one mile and a half, and from the western extremity two miles and a half. It was built in the year 1774, and is in a state of good repair, and affords accommodation for 500 sitters. The seats of the church are free. The manse was built about the year 1750. It was enlarged and repaired in the year 1802; and nine years ago it was again enlarged and thoroughly repaired, soon after the present incumbent came to the parish, and it is now a commodious and comfortable house. The church and manse are situated on a rising ground, about 50 or 60 yards from one another. Few situations are more eligible, in point of romantic and beautiful scenery. The extent of the glebe, including the garden, is 7 acres; and the value of it is about L.20 per annum. The amount of the stipend is 148 boIls of oatmeal, and 2 bolls of barley, and L. 25, 11s. 3d. from the Court of Exchequer, to augment the stipend to L 150. There is L. 9, 1s. 1d for communion elements. The number of families attending the Established Church is 195; and the total number of persons of all ages connected with it, is 880. The number of Seceders is 8; of Episcopalians is 9. Divine service at the Established Church is well attended; and the average number of communicants is 340. The sacrament is dispensed twice a-year. The winter sacrament was commenced by the late faithful and much respected Dr Robertson of South Leith, when he was minister of this parish, upwards of forty years ago. The expenses are defrayed by collections at the church gate. Collections are made regularly for the five schemes of the General Assembly, and occasional collections for local societies, such as the Stirlingshire Bible Society,&c

A Sabbath school was commenced eighteen years ago at the Burntown, by a pious female; and fourteen years ago, another Sabbath school was opened by the parish schoolmaster, and a member of the congregation, who is now an elder. it was patronized by some members ,of the kirk-session and others. The Sabbath school, so auspiciously begun, has continued to the present time; and last summer it was attended by nearly 100 children, and the school at the Burntown by 36.

State of Religion.-This parish has been highly favoured with many pious ministers; and at the time of the revivals of religion in Kilsyth, Muthil, and other parishes, in the year 1742, this parish was also visited with the outpouring of the Spirit. And it is mentioned in Mr Robe's Narrative, that about 100 individuals were brought to the knowledge of the truth at that time; and that 18 were converted on a Fast-day by a sermon preached by their aged pastor the Rev. John Warden. Prayer-meetings were then held in several places of the parish, which continued for some time. The preaching of the Gospel and other means of grace have, through the Divine blessing, built up the people of God in their most holy faith; and have been instrumental, from time to time, in bringing many to Christ. During the last two years, the Lord has been pleased in answer to many prayers, to pour out his Spirit on Kilsyth. This wonderful event made the people of God more anxious and more earnest in prayer for the Spirit; and the ministers whose parishes were visited in the year 1742, were very desirous that the Lord would again manifest his power and grace among them ; and accordingly; in this parish, many week day sermons were preached, which excited an interest in the people. Several of the neighbouring ministers were invited, and kindly came and preached on these occasions. The Rev. Charles F. Buchan, a devoted servant of the Lord, now minister of North Shields, was engaged last year, in the month of March, to assist the minister of the parish, during the summer months, in the earnest hope that the Lord would be graciously pleased to accom pany with his effectual blessing the means employed. And it is with much gratitude mentioned, to the praise and glory of God, that several individuals have been brought to see their lost condi tion by nature, and to flee to Christ, the refuge set before them in the Gospel. Prayer meetings are again established in the parish; and, it is humbly hoped, that this day of small things may be the beginning of a more plenteous effusion of the Holy Spirit!

Education.- There are three schools in the parish, one parochial and two unendowed schools. One of the unendowed schools is near the village, and is numerously attended; the other school, two miles distant, is attended by a small number. It is taught chiefly in winter for the accommodation of the children in the neighbourhood. The parochial schoolmaster's salary is L.25, 13s. 3d., which is the minimum. The plan of teaching in the parish school is excellent. The average amount of fees of the largest unendowed school is L.40 per annum. An infant school was begun in the manse six years ago, and is taught by Mrs Lawrie.

Literature.-A parish library was established ten years ago. There is also a library for the Sabbath school. A Tract Society was formed in February 1835. The tracts are distributed every month, one to each family.

Poor and Parochial Funds. -The average number of persons on the poor roll is 7 or 8; and about the same number receive occasional relief. The heritors, greatly to their honour, are very attentive to the necessities ofthe poor. The average sum allotted to each pauper is 4s. 6d. per month. Besides the weekly collections at the church gate, there are other funds, which have been mortified at different times, by charitable individuals, for the benefit of the poor. The funds for the poor consist of two sums bearing interest; one sum of L.266, 15s. 7d. is deposited in the Bank of Scotland; and the other sum of L. 365, is lent to the trustees of the turnpike road between Stirling and Dumkarton. The people of this parish areof an independent spirit, and they do not apply for parish relief, except in cases of extreme necessity.

Alehouses.-The number of alehouses in the parish is four.

There is one distillery, on the estate of Gargunnock.

The people in general cultivate temperate habits, and very few of them drink to excess.

Fuel-The fuel chiefly used is coal, brought from Bannockburn, the distance of nine miles. The price of a cart load of coals of 15 cwt., is 11s. 6d, including carriage. Peats are also brought from the moss of Kincardine, at 3s 6d. per cart load. A few of the farmers bring peats on sleds from the, Lennox hills.


'The present state of the parish is distinguished from that which existed forty years ago, by some striking variations and improvements. The elegant and beautiful house of Leckie, and also the beautiful house of Meiklewood, Colonel Graham's suspension- bridge over the Forth, and the fine level line of road through the carse lands of the parish, did not then exist The new systems of wedge or stone draining had not then been introduced and brought into general operation. In consequence of this superior system of draining, and other modern improvements in agriculture, the land has increased above one-half in value; and, therefore, the rental of the parish has been more than doubled within the last forty years. The rental was then stated at L. 8000; it ,is now upwards of, L.6500. The new line of road through the carse lands has been much improved, though it has lost much, in point of scenery. The old Dumbarton road, which, at the time when the last Statistical Account was written, passed by Touch and Gargunnock House, the manse, and church, and village, Leckie, and Boquhan, to the village of Kippen, was in many places beautified with fine scenery and the views from the rising grounds were varied, extensive, lively, and interesting. It is the opinion of some gentlemen, that the internal communication of the parish would be much improved, were a new line of road made from Fintry, through the east end of Balfron parish, and by the foot of the Lennox hills, above Boquhan and Leckie, till it passes between the village and the church, and joins the new line of the Dumbarton road, near the new bridge which has been erected over the Forth. Others are of the opinion, that the new road from Fintry, instead of coming above Leckie, and past the east end of the village, should come down betwixt Boquhan and Leckie to the Dumbarton road. Were this line of new road to be made through the dryfield part of this parish to Fintry, it would be the nearest road from Dunblane and that neighbourhood, to the city of Glasgow.

March 1841.