The land immediately about the town of Falkirk is let in small pieces, and produces a rent of L.2 lOs to L.3 5s per acre, Scotch measure1. The carse farms upon an average may be stated at L.2 an acre; more or less, according to circumstances. Good land which is not of Carse quality, is also let at avery high rent; but in some parts ofthe parish, where the soil is very poor, wet, and spungy, the value of the acre is very small.
In the Carse,the crops of grain are so luxuriant and productive, that the farmers have but a small portionof their land in pasture; and of course they have no more cattle than are necessary for the family and the farm.
The rotation offarming in the carse of Falkirk consists in general of six parts; First, the ground is fallowed; secondly, it is sown with wheat; thirdly, with beans and pease; fourthly, with barley; fifthly, it produces a crop of grass for hay, the seeds of which had been sown the preceding year with the barley; and sixthly, it is sown with oats.
The valued rent of the parish, by which the land-tax, parish assessments, etc., are paid, is L.1 3,52 1 8s 6d Scotch money2. The rental of the parish, about fourteen years ago, was estimated at L.6277 9s sterling; but owing to the improvements which have taken place since that period the rental cannot now be less than L.9000. Houserents are not taken into the account in either of the above valuations.
Soon after the estates of the family of Linlithgow and Callendar were forfeited, they were purchased by the Company which undertook to raise water from the river Thames into the York-buildings, for supplying apart of the city of London. The affairs of that Company having soon after into disorder, their whole estates were sold for the benefit of their creditors by the authority of the Court ofSession; and those ofCallendar and Almond were bought by William Forbes Esqr: the present proprietor.
The whole estates, together with some farms which were purchased by him about the same time, amounted to about 8000 Scotch acres; almost 7000 of these are in this parish. Excepting about 500 acres, it was all arable; but little more than 200 of it were inclosed. The whole farms were out of lease, and the tenants were all removed as soon as they could provide themselves with other situations, in order that there might be no obstruction to the intended improvements.
Almost the whole of these estates is now inclosed and sub-divided. The fences, are as much as possible, drawn at right angles to one another; the ridges are straightened; and the wet parts are drained, or in the train of being done with all convenient speed. The enclosures which are near the town of Falkirk, or the villages adjoining, contain each from three to four Scotch acres of land; but those which are in different situataions, comprehend from seven to eight acres of the same measure.
About 2000 acres, which are near the canal and in the vicinity of Falkirk, were limed upon the green sward, and let to tenants for the space of two years, who were bound to lay them down with grass seeds in the last year of their leases. A considerable part of the land, which was over run by heath, broom and furze, was let to tenants also, who were to plough it five times. This in like manner was to be laid down for grass; but provided by the proprietor, and at his expence.
These improvements will not only add much to the beauty of a district already
delightful; but when completed, will add much to the richness of this neighbourhood. It is
one distinguishing feature in the improvements of Mr Forbes, that they are intended to be
completed before he let the land in long leases; whereas it is common to carry on
improvements after the farms are in the possession of tenants.
1. A pound Scotch is tweny pence sterling; but all payments in this country are now made in sterling money.
2. The Scotch acre contains 54,760 square feet, and the statute acre 43,560.