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Statistical Accounts of Scotland

Old and New Statistical Accounts

GlenislaLintrathenKirriemuir, part ofKingoldrumKirriemuirClova and CortachyLochleeEdzellLethnotStracathroLogie-PertMontroseDunMarytonTannadiceFearnMenmuirCarestonBrechinRuthvenEassie and NevayNewtyleKettinsLundie and FowlisAuchterhouseGlammisKinnettlesInverarityLiffForfarOathlawAberlemnoRescobieFarnellCraigMaryton, part ofLunanMains and StrathmartineKinnellDundeeTealingMurroesDundee, part ofMonifiethMonikieBarryDunnichenPanbrideGuthrieGuthrie, part ofSt Vigeans, part ofCarmyllieArbirlotArbroathKirkdenInverkeilorSt Vigeans
Aberlemno Careston Eassie & Nevay Guthrie Kirkden Lunan Montrose St Vigeans
Airlie Carmyllie Edzell Inverarity & Methy Kirriemuir Lundie & Fowlis Murroes Stracathro
Arbirlot Cortachy & Clova Farnell Inverkeilor Lethnot & Navar Mains & Strathmartine Newtyle Tannadice
Arbroath Craig Fearn Kettins Liff, Benvie (& Invergowrie) Maryton Oathlaw Tealing
Auchterhouse Dun Forfar Kingoldrum Lintrathen Menmuir Panbride x
Barry Dundee Glammis Kinnell Lochlee Monifieth Rescobie x
Brechin Dunnichen Glenisla Kinnettles Logie-Pert Monikie Ruthven x

The text below is mostly summaries with some extracts from the original text. The links are mostly to Google Books, usually to the first item of interest rather than the first page of a parish. The NSA for Forfarshire is volume 11. Some notes from MacFarlane's Geographical Collections (mostly Volume I) have been added - these are useful as they date from the 1720's. See here for further information and links.

Additional information about parishes can be found on the Vision of Britain site and on Scotland's Places.

Some illustrations from Forfarshire Illustrated, Gershom Cumming, 1843 are incorporated. These link back to the original text on Googlebooks. Also included are some images from Google Street View.

The maps are based on the quarter-inch OS map The Forth and Tay, 1923 and the half-inch map, sheet 24, 1914. With thanks to Ordnance Survey. The maps of turnpikes in 1813, of Cortachy & Clova, Glenisla and Lochlee are based on the map by Keith Johnson, 1861, courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. The image is copyright Cartography Associates but has been made available under a Creative Commons license for non-commercial use.


Part of map of Agricola's Northern Campaigns on Wikimedia prepared by user "Notuncurious" and made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. With thanks. See original on Wikimedia and a map of the Severan campaigns 208-211.

There are frequent mentions of both Roman camps and stretches of Roman road, Strathmore being the main invasion route followed by the Romans. A number of the camps have been confirmed by archaeologists and many others discovered; work continues to try to identify roads. Although the references in the statistical accounts are interesting in their own right, so much research has now been undertaken that it is best to consult up to date findings to gain an overview of the Roman presence in this area, see for example: Scotland during the Roman Empire (Wikipedia); www.Roman-Britain.org , The Roman Gask Project (see in particular their map for camps in Forfarshire).

An interesting point made by some of the writers is that some of the camps, rather than being Roman could date from the time of Edward I or from the campaigns of Montrose.

Apart from Roman roads, there are two roads of particular interest. One is the King's Cadgers Road that ran from the Fishertown of Usan to the royal palace in Forfar, for the purposes of supplying fresh fish daily to the king. It was to be the width of a mill wand, a piece of wood that went through the hole in the centre of a mill stone and allowed it to be trundled along on its edge. The course of the road is hard to reconstruct but it must have taken a fairly direct route over to Montreathmont Moor, through which it is said to have run.

The other is the Heckenbois Path, said to have been made by Hector Boece the historian in the late 1400's - hence the name. Again, its course is difficult to reconstruct but it is said to have ran from his home in Panbride up to the then road between Dundee and Brechin and ultimately Aberdeen. A short section is shown on the early 6"map.

There are occasional mentions of other roads and paths, particularly over the Grampians into upper Deeside and up the glens. One of the latter in Lethnot and Navar parish is known as the Minister's Path or the Priest's Path, a tedious journey the Minister had to take in the early 1700's, a journey re-enacted occasionally by the local historical society - see Heritage Paths site. A survey had been carried out for a road over the Cappel Mount that would have led to upper Deeside.

There were some early bridges: that at Brechin is known to be very early, one at Cardean was thought to be Roman, or at least modelled on an earlier Roman bridge, and another in Kinnettles was also considered Roman in origin by some.

Where there were no bridges, fords and ferries had to be used and there are the usual references to how dangerous these could be and how people were prepared to take risks rather than be held up for lengthy periods.

With regard to roads in the 1600's we are fortunate to have Edgar's map of 1687 on which roads are marked. Without this the best we could do would be to guess at the road network from bridges and placenames shown on the maps of Pont and Gordon or work backwards from the descriptions of the 1720's given in MacFarlane's Geographical Collections. Certainly these clues from Pont and Gordon indicate there must have been a road system between the major towns at least, including the major route to Aberdeen, round about 1600 and there are enough references in the mediaeval chartularies for Brechin, Arbroath, Coupar-Angus etc to convince us that "roads" existed at that time.

Once the statute labour system was applied, there were some improvements in both the number and condition of the roads though this could vary by parish, and as elsewhere, the system attracts adverse comments from the writers.

Turnpike roads completed by 1813 under the Acts of 1789 and 1811. The principal bridges are also shown. Based on text by Rev. James Headrick in his General view of the agriculture of the county of Angus, or Forfarshire, 1813. The base map is by Keith Johnson, 1861, courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. The image is copyright Cartography Associates but has been made available under a Creative Commons license for non-commercial use.

In 1779 a turnpike act for the county was passed that allowed both the building of turnpikes and a commutation of the statute labour where work that had previously had to be performed in person could be substituted by a monetary payment - this allowed competent workmen and supervisors to be employed. Turnpike roads were quickly made and although there was some grumbling about the tolls, the benefits of the new system were soon appreciated. The statute labour roads also improved greatly.

The market towns had a major effect on the growing road network as they were where the farmers sold their produce and where commodities could be bought. A nice example of this is shown on Edgar's map of 1678 where a road runs directly from Kirriemuir to Dundee, where the produce of the parish could be sold. The older burghs like Arbroath, Montrose, Forar and Brechin can be seen even on early maps as nodal points from where roads stretched to nearby settlements. Being a coastal county, ports were important and there are frequent mentions of journeys to Dundee, Arbroath and Montrose where coal and lime were landed and from where grain and, at a later date, livestock could be exported. One early reference from 1684 is of slates being carried from Glammis to Dundee on horseback. Again, a network of roads can be seen extending to these ports.

The NSA has quite a few references to railways and it is quite clear from these that the railways had a major effect. Forty years before many journeys would have taken hours of arduous effort, open to the elements, the road muddy and uneven underfoot, often hilly; even with turnpikes a journey could be uncomfortable, slow, and expensive. Now a journey would be faster, more comfortable, and relatively inexpensive. For the farmers, it meant a great saving both of time and money as transport by railway was cheaper than road. The first railway to be built was between Dundee and Newtyle and was originally horse-drawn; steam engines were introduced in the 1830's.

As in other counties there is a major contrast between the two accounts where the OSA clearly shows that although there was a network of "roads", these were in most cases "beaten tracks" that were hardly passable in bad weather and in winter-time. Few journeys were made, the local market town and the local fairs were the most people could aspire to, apart from the annual ritual of gathering peats, often on some high moorland tract reached by difficult tracks. Carts were few and far between, and wheeled carriages even more so. It was essentially a static, inward-looking society. By the time of the NSA there was a much enlarged network of fine roads with frequent coach services and many carriers to the major towns.


Other sources
Forfarshire Illustrated, Gershom Cumming, 1843
RCAHMS Canmore search for "roads" in Forfarshire - 176 records, mostly bridges;search for "track" - 21 records; search for Roman roads.
Angus or Forfarshire, the land and people, descriptive and historical (1880, 5 volumes), Alex J Warden. This is a comprehensive study of the county that contains interesting details about roads and transport, including Roman and mediaeval roads.
Historic scenes in Forfarshire, W Marshall, 1875
Around the Ancient City, Six Circular Tours in Angus and the Mearns, D H Edwards, 1904
Memorials of Angus and Mearns, an account, historical, antiquarian, and traditionary; (1885) A Jervise
General view of the agriculture of the county of Angus, or Forfarshire, Rev. James Headrick, 1813
This link is to interesting sections that give a good overview of roads and bridges and an insight into how people at the time thought about them.
Heritage Paths - see Grampian and Angus and Tayside for details of paths over the Mounth Grampian Ways, Robert Smith, John Donald Publishers, 2002 - details of the Mounth passes
The Old Deeside Road, G M Fraser, 1921, reprinted 1983 - details of the Mounth passes. See also The Mounth Passes over the Grampians, G M Fraser, Scottish Geographical Magazine, Volume 36, 1920, pages 116 - 122 and continued on pages 169 - 180


OSA 4/47
Page 50 Miscellaneous Observations.—Many slates are sent to London and elsewhere. Coal, peat, turf etc used for fuel. Peat comes from a nearby parish. There are 2 chaises in the parish.
“In 1777, there was a cut made the whole breadth of this parish, from the church southward; and a bridge built by private subscription, to connect the road from Forfar to Brechin with that to Arbroath.”
The statute-labour is mostly commuted. There are two inns on the Brechin to Forfar road, used by travellers. Tenants or subtenants have to carry their landlord’s coals.

NSA 11/626
Page 632 He mentions the possibility that a camp on Turin hill in the south-west of the parish that overlooks the Lunan valley and the pass between Forfar and Brechin, and another camp two miles to the north overlooking the Esk, could have been Roman.
Page 634 Parochial Economy.
—Forfar and Brechin, both six miles away. As the nearest post-towns this distance is inconvenient. A more regular postal service is needed.
Means of Communication.—A turnpike road, the Auldbar road, runs from Auldbar railway station to Brechin and two miles of the Forfar to Montrose road pass through the south of the parish. There is also a parish road from Forfar to Brechin.

Description of the Parishes in Angus 1743
Vol.1, Page 275 On highway between Forfar and Brechin.

OSA 11/208
No particular mention of roads.

Page 679 Antiquities.—He describes the remains of a Roman camp near Cardean and traces of the Roman road that ran eastwards from the camp and passed through Strathmore. Some 500 yards are in good condition between a plantation on the farm of Reidie and moorland at Auchindory. A mile to the west at Landerick there is a small earthwork that may have been used as an observation post.
Page 686 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.
— Several main roads both east-west and north-south run through the parish, 16 miles in all with 12 miles of less important roads. They are all statute labour roads and have improved considerably. The annual funds are L82.1.1. The Dundee-Newtyle-Glammiss railway runs on the south of the parish. The post town is Kirriemuir.
Page 687 Fuel. Peat from a moss in the north-east of the parish is used as is some coal and wood.
Note: A J Warden (vol.2, p.338) refers to a very old bridge over the Dean near to the Roman camp that some think Roman or perhaps modelled on an earlier Roman bridge. When the bridge was removed, "the stone and lime forming it were one solid mass." - See Canmore record - thought to be 17th century or earlier.

OSA 3/467
Page 471 Fuel. Coal is used in the lower part of the parish, peat and turf in the upper part.
Page 472 Roads and Bridges.—The bridges in the parish are good. The roads had been very bad but in the last couple of years have improved greatly since the statute labour was commuted. A turnpike road is being made between Dundee and Arbroath and passes through the parish. The tolls are high but it will be of benefit to the area.

Based on half-inch OS map, sheet 24, 1914. With thanks.Page 477 “It is confidentially reported, that a road was made through part of this parish, by Hector Boethius, the Scotch historian, which still bears his name, though somewhat corrupted. It is called Heckenbois-path.”

Note: Warden in his work Angus or Forfarshire (v.5, p.70) notes of Boece that: "After his succession (after 1494) to his paternal property of Balbride, he is reported to have commenced the construction of a road from Panbride to join the great road from Dundee to Aberdeen, which then passed through the parishes of Monikie and Carmylie. Some traces of an old road are discernible in the moor of Arbirlot, which bears the name of " Heckenbois-path," a corruption of Hector Boyce Path."

An extract on the Monikie website says that the farm of Hunter's Path close to a ford in Elliot water, used to be called Hector's Path and that traces of the road could be seen between the farms of Fallaws and Kellyfield. This section is shown on the old 6" map for Forfarshire XLV and XLVI - SE and SW quadrants respectively)

NSA 11/332
Page 334 Parochial Economy.
Market-town, Means of Communication, etc.
—Arbroath, which is a short distance away.
Over four miles of the turnpike between Arbroath and Dundee run through on which three or four coaches travel each day.
Inns. One.
Fairs. A small fair is held here.


View Larger Map Looking towards the farm of Hunter's Path along the line of the path shown on the 6" map. It ran across the field to the tree line where it intersected the access road to the right of the buildings. The track behind you is probably a modern access track but at this point is practically on the line of the Heckenbois Path.



Arbroath Harbour
OSA 7/340
Page 340 “The post-road from Edinburgh to Aberdeen runs through it. It is distant 17 miles from Dundee, and 12 from Montrose.”
Page 341 Details of trade, shipping etc. Although roads are not specifically mentioned it is clear that there was considerable communication with other towns and with neighbouring parishes.

NSA 11/74
Page 76 Maps, Plans. A map of the town and the suburb of St Vigeans was made in 1822 by Wood.
Page 77 Letters, Papers etc. A document dated 1445 lists the streets and crofts in the town, viz. Neugate, Seygate, Neumarcatgate, Marcatgate, Grymysby, Mylgate, Lortburngate, Appylgate, Ratonraw, and Cobgate. Cobgate was that part of the High Street below, and Ratonraw that part of it above the present parish church.
Page 87 Details of industry and of the port.
Page 91 Streets in the town are paved and lit.

Arbroath Abbey
Arbroath Abbey

Means of Communication enjoyed by the Parish.—The post office here receives mail each day, both from the north and the south. There is a need for a cross post to Forfar.
There are about two miles of turnpike road, part of which forms the boundary of the parish. There are a total of 15,622 yards of streets, including those of the suburbs in St Vigeans’ parish. The streets are lit by gas.
As well as the mail coach, the New Times from Aberdeen to Perth, the Highlander from Montrose to Dundee, and the Commercial Traveller from Arbroath to Dundee run on each lawful day and there is a weekly coach between Arbroath and Forfar. There are two good inns suitable for travellers.
Surveys for either a canal or a rail-road between here and Forfar have been made.
There are 5 small bridges over the Brothock which allow easy access to the suburbs. Sailing vessels can be found at the harbour.
Page 107 Fairs.—Two small fairs.
Inns and Alehouses.—The number of these is far too high, namely 95.
Fuel.—Coal from Durham and Northumberland and also from the Firth of Forth which is used mostly in factories.

OSA 14/516
Page 525 Roads and Bridges.—The Dundee to Meigle turnpike runs through here. Those living near it benefit but those at a distance can not take advantage of it due to the very poor bye-roads which the commuted statute labour can never improve.

NSA 11/648
Page 653 Parochial Economy. Market-Town, etc.—The nearest market town is Dundee, easily reached by the turnpike road or the railway between Dundee and Newtyle. The railway, which has a depot near the Milltown of Auchterhouse, carries 2500 tons of goods and 3000 passengers each year.

Barry (& Carnoustie)
OSA 4/236
Page 243 Roads and Bridges.—The old post-road between Dundee and Aberbrothock was “merely a line traced by frequent passengers on the surface of the soil.” A new post-road was made about 20 years ago in the north of Barry parish but most of the statute labour is taken up by it. The small amount left for Barrie has been insufficient to make any progress although the light sandy soil means that the road are at least dry. The bridges were built and supported by voluntary subscription though “a detailed account of the bridges would reflect no honour on the police of the district.”

Advantages and Disadvantages. We are near the sea where coal and lime can be landed.
Miscellaneous Observations.—Four inns used by travellers between Dundee and Arbroath.
“One waggon was made at Barrie in the year 1791. No waggon road can reasonably be expected in the parish sooner than the year 1793.”

NSA 11/659
No particular mention of roads.



OSA 5/457
Page 460 Church, Burgh, Fuel, Etc.
Brechin is a royal burgh with a weekly market. The fuels used are coals brought from Montrose, wood and furze, and peat brought from the Mearns. There is an unfair tax on coal.
Bridge, Antiquities, etc. The bridge of Brechin (over the South Esk) is thought to be one of the oldest stone bridges in Scotland but there are no details as to when or by whom it was built.

NSA 11/129
Page 131 Map of town prepared by John Wood some years ago.
Page 137 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.—Brechin serves as the market town for much of the district.
Means of Communication.—Each day the postman comes from Montrose and returns later. There is a runner to Forfar.

There are turnpike roads leading to Aberdeen, Forfar and Montrose. Coaches run between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, passing through the town; a noddy goes to Montrose, and a caravan to Arbroath on market day.
There is an ancient bridge on the old roads to Arbroath and Forfar, and a new one at Stannachy ford, on a road presently being built that will reach Dundee and Arbroath.
There is much talk of a rail-road to Montrose, of a canal, and of deepening and widening the South Esk.
Page 141 Fairs, etc.—The Trinity Muir market is held four times in a year; the June market is the busiest. There are also two hiring fairs at which merchants goods are sold. Cattle and horse fairs are held throughout the winter and spring. There is a weekly market.
Inns.—There are more than sixty, which is far too many.
Fuel.—Mostly coal brought in from Montrose; also wood. Peat is so far away that little is used.

Description of the Parishes in Angus 1743
Vol.1, Page 273 Bridge over South Esk.

Brechin, 1684-5
Vol.2, Page 40 Bridge in the town. Details of fairs.

Page 489 Miscellaneous Observations.—One disadvantage is that coal has to be obtained from Montrose, 12 miles away, where it is very expensive because of the tax raised on coal sold north of the Red Head (above Arbroath). Others are the long distances grain, lime and marl have to be driven.

Among the advantages are that the road to Montrose is smooth and level and that Brechin with its post-office, market, and shops is nearby.
No inns or alehouses.

NSA 11/518
Page 532 Antiquities.—He refers to the possibility of a Roman fort in the area, perhaps near the confluence of the Noran and Esk
Page 536 Parochial Economy.
Market-Towns, etc.
— Brechin, four miles away. The Brechin to Forfar coach passes each day. There is a statute labour road between Brechin and Kirriemuir, and a bridge over the Noran.
1839. Revised 1842

Page 437 “There are quarries of grey slate and pavement stones here, which have been wrought for some centuries. They supply the neighbourhood, and are exported to Fife, Perthshire, the Mearns etc.”

NSA 11/350
Page 356 Annual market held from time immemorial at Glass-tor (Grey Hill) but moved about 80 years ago to a moor near Kinnaird. It is still called Glastorlaw market.
Page 370 Pavement stones quarried here and taken by some 30 carts to Arbroath from where they are shipped to Leith, London, Glasgow, Aberdeen and elsewhere.
Page 372 Parochial Economy. Means of Communication.—Arbroath, seven miles away. The post-office is four miles away at Muirdrum, a small village in Panbride parish but Arbroath is mostly used. There is no turnpike road.
Page 376 Fairs.—Annual cattle market.
Inns.—Three. Two of these are on the main roads hence useful for travellers.
English coals are available at Arbroath but mostly at East and West Ha’ens, about six miles away where coal and lime vessels unload. Peat is still used by poorer people, and was the main fuel before coal became available.
Miscellaneous Observations.
A road to East Ha’en has been mooted for some time and would be very useful for bringing in coal and lime. A main road runs south to north in the parish, with a branch to Arbroath. These are much improved but the bye-roads are still in need of improvement.

Cortachy & Clova
No particular mention of roads. Peat etc used as fuel. Kirriemuir is the nearest market town.

NSA 11/434

Glen Clova

Page 450 The upper parts of the parish suffer from the distance to markets and lime and marl.

Parochial Economy. The nearest market and post town is Kirriemuir but it is 18 miles from the north of the parish. The roads are good and the lines of some have been improved in the last 20 years. Several miles of the Strathmore road are very good and it is hoped these improvements will be carried through to its northern boundary.

A survey was made some time ago for a road that would run over the Cappel Mount to upper Deeside - it was thought quite feasible by the surveyor.

Part of map by Keith Johnson, 1861, courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. The image is copyright Cartography Associates but has been made available under a Creative Commons license for non-commercial use.

Bridges.—There are two main bridges: one over the Southesk near Cortachy church; and another over the Prosen on the road that leads to Strathmore. There are various other bridges and a suspension bridge over the Southesk opposite Clova church. It is used by foot passengers, and by horses when the ford below is impassable.
Page 454 Fairs.—Two busy sheep markets are held near Collow Farm at Cortachy twice each year.
Inns, Alehouses.—There is an inn in Clova which is convenient for travellers and 5 ale-houses in Cortachy.
Fuel.—In the northern part of the parish peat and turf are used though it has to be brought a distance of from 2 to 6 miles and requires much labour to obtain it. The south of the parish also uses peat and turf and some brushwood as well. Some families use coal which is brought in from Dundee or can be had at Newtyle where it is brought in by railway.


Description of the Paroches of Cortachie, and Clova, Angus 1743
Vol.1, Page 283 There is a stone bridge over the south Esk near the church in Cortachie.

Page 498 Roads. Up until 1750 or so the king’s highway through this parish was very poor and near impassable in winter. However, at that time the statute labour was applied in the making of an excellent road between Ferryden and Arbroath which was completed in a few years.
This year a new turnpike road is being made to the west of the other on a longer but more level course. The statute labour is now commuted and allows us good private roads which we were in need of.
Ferry Boats.—In the past the ferry boats at Ferryden were not allowed to cross on the Sabbath; now this is the busiest day for them.
Many strolling vagrants, or sturdy beggars.
Page 503 Advantages and Disadvantages. — Being so near Montrose, business can be conducted easily and quickly. This will improve even more once the projected bridge is built over the South Esk.
Lime from Bodden is also easily obtained.
The main disadvantage is the unjust tax on coal.
Map of parish

Approximate course of cadger road from Usan to Forfar. The purpose of the road was to supply fresh fish to the palace and it was to be as wide as a mill wand. This was a a piece of wood that went through the hole in the centre of a mill stone and allowed it to be trundled along on its edge. Most of the local histories listed in Other Resources above mention the road but not in enough detail to reconstruct its course other than it probably ran near Bonnyton and across Montreathmont Moor. From there the topography would suggest it ran along the lower slopes of Turin Hill.
Based on quarter-inch OS map The Forth & Tay, 1923. With thanks to Ordnance Survey.

View Larger Map  Remains of cottages at Fishtown of Usan, where the Cadger's Road started.

NSA 11/245
Page 251 Antiquities.—“The ancient kings of Scotland possessed a right to a cadger road, from the shore of Usan to the cross of Forfar, the breadth of which was to be the length of a mill wand; and about seventy years ago the proprietor of Usan claimed a part of Monrithmont moor, equivalent to the extent of the said cadger road through that moor.”
Page 254 In speaking about the quarries in the parish he mentions a quarry on the coast where a great deal of lime had been quarried since 1692 - the quarry had since been worked out.
Page 256 Details of the fishing trade carried out from Ferryden and Usan. Fishcadgers from adjoining parishes and from Forfar, Cupar-Angus, Perth and Dundee come here throughout the year for fresh fish - in summer there can be more than a dozen carts each day.

Page 257 Parochial Economy. Market Town. Montrose, reached by a fine suspension bridge over the South Esk.
Means of Communication. These are: the post-office at Montrose; the turnpike roads to Arbroath and to Forfar; the Inverness mail-coach, the New Times from Aberdeen, and the Highlander from Montrose, all going to Edinburgh; and a steam-boat from Aberdeen to Leith that calls at Usan in summer.
Bridges are in good order. Ferryden and Boddin have harbours where coal and lime can be landed - with the new road from Forfar, facilities at Ferryden could be extended.
Page 261 Alehouses.—There are thirteen and two soon to be licensed, which is far too many.
Fuel.—Coal from England and the Firth of Forth.

Description of the Parishes in Angus 1743

Vol.1, Page 273 Village of Ferrydon on South Esk opposite Montrose - passage boat.

Page 359 “The parish lies between the parishes of Brechin and Montrose. As these are connected by a fine high-road there is no need for a turnpike here.”
Page 360 There is a fine bridge built in 1787 over what was a very dangerous river where many drowned trying to cross it in flood or when it was covered with ice.

NSA 11/123
Page 127 Fairs.—Last year the two fairs were moved from Dun's Muir to some waste ground a mile to the north on the Strickathrow road.
Inns, etc.—Drink is sold at the toll-house on the turnpike, mainly to travellers.
Fuel.—English coal obtained at Montrose. 1833



Dundee docks - from Forfarshire Illustrated by Gershom Cumming

Page 242 Advantages and Disadvantages. Among the advantages are its situation on the Tay that gives easy inland access and access to London and European ports. It also benefits by the supply of agricultural produce from the surrounding district, and in turn supplies this with merchandise and products.
It must also benefit from the growing network of excellent turnpike roads throughout Angus and the neighbouring part of Perthshire. Even though the initiative for such roads has come from the country gentlemen, the town will benefit by the markets being accessible all year round, and those living in more remote areas will no longer have to go to “the less abundant markets of inferior towns.”

In this long account there are many incidental references with implications for roads and transport.

NSA 11/1
Page 25 He gives considerable details of imports and exports through the port of Dundee and of local industry etc .
Page 35 In addition to the coastal trade to Perth, Leith, London etc there are passage boats across the Tay to Newport. These are steam-driven and much safer and more comfortable than the sailing-boats they replaced. More than 90,000 people and many horses, carriages and cattle were carried in the past year.
Page 39 Parochial Economy. Dundee is well served by markets and these cater for the surrounding district, including parts of Fife, as well as the parish. Grain and produce are brought in, and these and various manufactures are available in the town. There is a fish market supplied by locally caught fish and some from the south coast of Fife brought in by cart. Women from Achmithie make a journey of 24 miles with crabs, lobsters and dried fish.
Means of Communication.
There is the coastal road to Aberdeen and turnpikes to Cupar Angus, Forfar, and Brechin. There are several coaches to Aberdeen, including the mail, one to Glasgow and several running through Fife to Edinburgh.
There are also leisure trips by steam-boats up the Tay to Perth and a “rumbling, though capacious vehicle” that goes to Broughty Ferry where sea bathing can be enjoyed. A steam-boat service to Leith has started but has not been successful.

Rail Road. “Eleven miles of rail road run to Newtyle. Goods can be carried at one-third of the cost of turnpikes.”
Page 52 Inns.—Three main inns and some good taverns as well as many whisky shops.
Fuel.—Coal from England and Alloa is used both in the factories and in homes as fuel.
Miscellaneous Observations. The former “rough pavement of our streets“ is being Macadamised.
In a footnote, he adds that the MP, Sir Henry Parnell, has written a book on road-making in which he disagrees with some of Macadam’s principles and advocates using Telford’s method used for the Holyhead road viz. "making a regular bottom of rough close-set pavement, and then a coating of broken stones added.” The writer suggests that Sir Henry’s recommendations would lead to a more solid road and hence better traction, as well as being drier. 1832. Revised 1833

Dundee, 1684-5
Vol.2, Page 30 Details of extensive trade.

Page 419 Mention of road over the Hill of Dunnichen.
There is ample peat, and coal is available at Arbroath.
In 1788 the farm of Lethem was laid out by the proprietor of Dunnichen with the intent of forming a village there. Streets have been laid out and a fair held each fortnight. There is an old-established fair in Dunnichen itself, called St Causnan’s fair but it is “a toy fair, at which neither horses, corn, nor cattle, are sold.”
Page 430 High Roads.-The turnpike act, passed two years ago, in which turnpike roads can be formed and the statute labour commuted, holds great promise. Commutation has “nearly quadrupled the effective labour applicable to the roads, and this must be employed within the parish where it is levied.” L.27 Sterling is raised here each year and more than L.2000 for the whole county. Just in this first year many roads have been formed or repaired.
Turnpike roads to Cupar of Angus, Forfar, Arbroath, Dundee, Cupar of Angus, and Meigle, and from Dundee to Montrose should be completed soon.
Page 432 He gives an interesting account of the various services that were sometimes required by landlords from their tenants. This was a major grievance at that time.
Page 434 A survey was made in 1788 for a canal between Arbroath and Forfar that would have allowed easy transport of coal, lime and wood to Forfar. As the expense was too great in relation to expected returns the plans had been laid aside for the meantime.

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Page 151 Parochial Economy.
Market-Towns, etc.
—Two markets are held in Letham, the principal village, and an annual fair at the Kirkton of Dunnichen, formerly very important but now much declined.
Means of Communication.—The old roads are generally inadequate. The main one on the estate of Dunnichen is too narrow and is very muddy in wet weather. However, a long-planned turnpike between Brechin and Dundee by Letham has been formed through the estate of Dunnichen and partly completed to the north of here. It will be very useful in giving easy access to Dundee.
There are 4 small bridges.
Page 157 Alehouses.—Several.
Fuel.—Coal brought from Arbroath or Dundee.

Eassie and Nevay
Page 214 Mention of a bridge recently built over the Dean, near Cookstown, and of a turnpike road to Glammiss.
Page 217 Marl from the mosses of Baikie and Meigle is used as a manure.
Page 218 Peat is available at the moss of Cookstown and coal from 12 miles away.
Antiquities. There is a large encampment on the north side of the turnpike that runs through the Strath. Some think it Roman but it is more likely to have been constructed by the English army at the time of Edward I. There is also an encampment at nearby Inglestown.
Page 219 Roads.—The Perth to Aberdeen turnpike passes through Essie parish and a toll-bar was erected a few years ago. However, part of this towards Meigle to the west is unfinished and almost impassable in winter. There is no direct road to Dundee but roads from Glammis and Newtyle were made recently and can be accessed from here.

NSA 11/475
Page 483 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.
—“The great northern road from Edinburgh to Aberdeen passes through the parish, and is kept in excellent repair in this neighbourhood.“
A railroad runs through the parish and joins the Dundee and Cupar-Angus line just north of Newtyle and ends at Glammis. It may eventually be extended to Forfar and Kirriemuir. The railroad has proved very important in allowing easy communication to Dundee.

Description of the Parishes of Eassie & Nevay
Vol.1, Page 277 Bridge of Cookstoun over the River of Dean.
Vol.1, Page 278 The Kings highway from Perth to Brechin goes by Newmiln, Castletown and Eassie. A higher road often taken by carriers between these two places goes by “Templetoun, Balkerie and the Chappel in the said parishes.”

Page 111 Disadvantages. Peat is obtained from distant mosses with much labour and coal is expensive as it has to be obtained from Montrose, 12 miles away, and has a tax placed on it. Turf and broom is also used but will eventually run out.

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Page 624 Parochial Economy. Last year a sub-post-office served by runner from Brechin was set up in the village. There is an inn there and one at the Cannachy Bridge, one mile to the north. The scenery near the river (North Esk) attracts many visitors.
Markets.—Three, one of which is long established.
1834. Revised 1842

Page 229 Fuel.—Turf used to come from Montrithmont Muir but that was stopped by the owners. Now some trimmings and broom and whins are used. The nearest peats are 12 or 14 miles away. Coal is available from Arbroath, 8 miles away, and is cheaper than Montrose as the coal tax is levied from a point just north of Arbroath.
Miscellaneous Observations. The statute labour was commuted last year and raised L31 Sterling.
No ale-houses.

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Page 112 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town, Means of Communication.—“The nearest post and market-town is Brechin, which is distant between three or four miles from the church. A turnpike road is at present in the course of being made between Montrose and Forfar, two miles of which lie in this parish.”
Page 122 Inns.—None.
Fuel.—Coals from Montrose and also from Old Montrose which saves two miles on the journey. Wood is sometimes available. 1833

Page 439 Fuel and Fossils.—“The tenants have peat and furze from the hills, and drive some coals from the nearest sea-port towns, Montrose and Arbroath.”

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Page 319 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.
— No turnpike or stage-coach in the parish. A new road to Brechin, 6 miles away, on a better more level line is needed given the amount of heavy carriages on the present old road and the conveniences that would result.


View of Forfar
View of Forfar

Page 510 Forfar is thought to be the ancient Or, and the Roman Orrea.
Page 520 Most of our trade is with Dundee but it is also carried on with Arbroath and Montrose. Travel to these places will be much improved when the turnpike roads are completed. The turnpike act was passed in 1789 and the roads to Dundee and Arbroath are nearly finished. Opinion was initially hostile but this has changed as it is seen that horses can draw nearly twice as much, and the toll is inexpensive. The road to Perth is also nearly complete and will benefit the estates it passes through and the towns it connects.
Fuel is very scarce; the peats obtained from the draining of the loch of Forfar are nearly exhausted as will be the case with Loch Restenet, recently drained. Coals can be used if they can be afforded.

Page 525 Weekly market at which a great deal of country business is carried out. There are several fairs throughout the year.
Page 527 Peat and marl are obtained from the partly drained Loch of Forfar.

NSA 11/691
Page 692 “Immense quantities of pavement are dug from the quarries to the south of Forfar, and are conveyed to Dundee and Arbroath, and thence to, different quarters of the kingdom.”
Page 693 Antiquities.—Near Forfar there are the remains of two Roman camps: one is at Black or Battle Dykes in Oathlaw parish, the other at Haerfaulds in the parish of Inverarity. A road ran between them and some remains can be seen today where the gound has not been cultivated. There is another camp between them, one and a half miles east of Forfar but some say it is Pictish rather than Roman.
“At Restennet there are the ruins of a priory. It stood on the west end of the lake. It must apparently have been originally wholly surrounded by water, and must have been approached by a bridge.”
There is a paved road or causeway in the Loch of Forfar on its north side running south-westerly from an artificially formed peninsula called the Inch. Queen Margaret, wife of Malcolm Canmore is said to have had a residence on it.
Page 697 Parochial Economy. Town.—There are two main streets in the town, one running east-west, the other northwards from the cross. The Perth to Aberdeen enters the town at the west and then runs to the north.

In the past 40 years the appearance of the town has improved - among the improvements are the rebuilding of the former mean houses and removing outside stairs and other projections to give wider streets.
Railway.—The main improvement of recent times is the opening of 15 miles of railway to Arbroath in 1839.

Page 700 "The state of this road (Forfar to Kirriemuir) was long a subject of complaint, but this ground of complaint has been removed. A good turnpike road has at length been formed; and the communication between Forfar and Kirriemuir has been rendered comfortable, and a wide Highland district thereby opened up."

Page 125 Fuel. Peats are available but expensive to dig and will soon run out. A few people bring coal in from Dundee, 12 miles away. There are, however, extensive woods recently planted which will supply the want of fuel.
Much marl and peat have been made available by the partial draining of the Loch of Forfar.

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Page 346 On top of Hayston hill there are some remains of what may have been a Roman signal station. There is another exactly the same in Airlie parish nearby.
When the Forfar Loch was drained, some Roman remains were found.
Page 348 Parochial Economy.
Villages, Means of Communication, etc.
—Glammiss is a post-town and stands on the great northern road between Aberdeen and Edinburgh. The Kirriemuir to Dundee turnpike crosses it there.

Glames, 1684-5

Vol.2, Page 26 Two great bridges on the Carbit, one of stone and one of timber. Sklait carried to Dundie on horseback


View Larger Map  Kirktown of Glenisla


OSA 6/390
Page 395 Miscellaneous Observations. The roads are very bad and will not improve until we have proper overseers and the road money is used for their repair.
There are only 2 bridges to cover 25 miles of river; a bridge built half way between them (they are 9 miles apart) would be a great help. Some funds are already available and a subscription could easily be set in motion.

Part of map by Keith Johnson, 1861, courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. The image is copyright Cartography Associates but has been made available under a Creative Commons license for non-commercial use.

NSA 11/421Page 422 Narrow passes lead past Mount Blair into Glenshee and the district of Blackwater.
Page 423 Bridge at Milna-Craig on the River Isla.Page 431 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.
—The nearest post-office is at Meigle, although there is a sub-office at Alyth, the market town. There are two roads kept in repair by the statute labour assessment: one to Alyth, the other communicating with Kirriemuir and Castletown of Braemar by the Spittal of Glenshee. Other roads are badly made and of little use. There are 4 bridges, 2 for foot-passengers only. Page 433 Fairs.—Two fairs for the sale of horses, sheep and cattle.
Inns.—Four small inns.
Fuel.—Mostly peat.

Miscellaneous Observations. Since the last Account, the statute labour has been converted which has led to improved roads, and a stone and an iron suspension bridge now cross the Isla.
It is unfortunate that there is no proper road connecting the upper and lower parts of the parish. The present road by the hill of Kilry is steep, inconvenient and in winter often impassable. Recently it was proposed to replace this with one that would communicate with Strathmore by the eastern base of Kilry and then by a bridge near the church with the Kirriemuir to Braemar road. This would not only benefit the parish but allow access from Newtyle to the north.

Page 333 Fuel.—The northern part of the parish uses coals from Arbroath, and the southern part uses peats.
Antiquities.—In the south of the parish, bordering with Inverarity, there are still obvious remains of a Roman camp.

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Page 471 Antiquities. He describes the remains of a temporary Roman camp, 5 miles south-east of Forfar.
Page 474 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town,Means of Communication.
—Forfar is the nearest post-town but most people go to Arbroath. A turnpike road and a railway between Arbroath and Forfar pass through here.
Fuel.—Coal brought in from Arbroath.
Revised 1842.

Inverarity & Methy
Page 129 Antiquities.—He refers to the Roman camp at Taerfauds (stet), in the moor of Lower and at Battledykes, 8 miles to the north, and the traces of a road supposed to connect them.

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Page 236 Antiquities.—He says that the Roman camp at Haer Faads can still be seen but that trees have now been planted.
Page 238 Parochial Economy.
—Forfar. The Forfar to Dundee turnpike road passes through the parish. The Aberdeen to Edinburgh and the Brechin to Dundee coaches run on this each day.

Page 282 Fuel
Mostly coal from the Firth of Forth, bought at Arbroath (Aberbrothock). Beyond the Red-head, north of Arbroath, a tax is levied on it. Agricultural improvements have led to whin and broom becoming very scarce.
Page 284 Roads.—“About two miles of the post-road, leading from Aberbrothock to Montrose, run through this parish. It has been hitherto kept tolerably well in repair by the statute labour. Two tolls have been lately erected on it, with a view to the alteration of its course. The turnpike road betwixt Aberbrothock and Forfar, passes, for about two miles, through the west part of the parish.”

NSA 11/239
Page 242 Cattle sent to the London market or driven to Glasgow.
Page 243 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.—The nearest is Arbroath. There is a post office at Chance inn.
Means of Communication.—The turnpike roads from Arbroath to Montrose by Chance inn, and to Forfar pass through. The mail coach, two other coaches and many carriers travel on the first of these roads. The Lunan is crossed by five bridges here.

Page 13 A turnpike road from Coupar to Dundee is in course of making, and passes through the parish. There is also a road to Perth by the foot of the Sidlaw hills but few use it.
Page 15 “There are a few dealers in cattle in the parish, who keep grass parks, and drive their fed cattle to Falkirk, or to England.”
Page 17 Three drovers, 5 public houses.

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Page 643 Antiquities. Vestiges of what may be a Roman camp at Camp-Muir.

Description of the Paroch of Kettins
Vol.1, Page 280 “A very patent road from the Burgh of Dundie, lies through this village to Coupar Angus, and thence to Dunkel and Strathardle, and another from Perth, by the foot of the said hills (Sidlaws) Eastward to Glamis and Forfar.”

Page 132 Grain etc carried to Kirriemuir and Dundee markets. No particular mention of roads.

NSA 11/611
Page 617 Cattle sold for the London, Glasgow and Edinburgh markets.
Parochial Economy. Market-Town, etc—Kirriemuir, four miles away, which has markets for sheep, horses and cattle. There is a reasonable network of roads but they are in a bad state, partly because of a lack of road money but mainly because of the system of management. It is hoped that measures will soon be adopted that will change this. There are insufficient bridges and some are very insecure.
Page 619 Fuel.—“Peat and wood constitute the principal fuel. Scotch and English coals are, however, becoming every year more common. The latter are obtained from the Newtyle, Glammis, and Forfar railway depots.”
Miscellaneous Observations.
If the roads (near impassable in winter) could be managed better it would be easier to transport farm produce, and to reach more favourable markets.

Page 494 Miscellaneous Observations.—“The roads are tolerable. The statute-labour is sometimes exacted in kind, and sometimes commuted. There are no stone bridges in the parish, no turnpikes, no services of any consequence; no post-office. The nearest is Aberbrothock, about 4 miles distant. No peat, some bad turfs; but plenty of coal, from Aberbrothock, for 6s the boll, which is 70 stones weight.”

NSA 11/393
Page 406 “The road money, or commutation for the statute labour, is at present L.33.3s., and is paid by forty-four tenants. Fourteen smaller tenants either pay no road money, or pay it through the landlord.”
Page 407 Parochial Economy. Means of Communication.—The Montrose to Forfar turnpike was completed in 1831 but has no public carriages. In 1819 a bridge was built at Kinnell’s Mills, over the Lunan, and several over the Gighty and lesser streams.
Another turnpike road was made in 1841.
Page 411 Markets.—Four cattle markets held at the Glesterlaw, on the estate of Bolshan.
Inns, etc.—One in the toll-house, established in 1831.
Fuel.—English coal from Arbroath, and a little wood when available.
1838. Revised 1842

Page 201 He makes some strong remarks about sturdy beggars.
Page 202 One coach and one two-wheeled chaise.
Page 205 Peat, broom and furze are generally used. Some use coal.
Page 209 Repairs are being made on the public road through Strathmore - these started in 1789 - and also on the Forfar to Dundee road and all the county roads in Angus. These are funded by a new plan of subscriptions.
The improvements on the above two roads here are under the direction of Mr Douglas of Brigton and consist of smoothing and widening where necessary, ensuring a gradient of no more than 1 in 20, and in places realigning it - this has been done on Mr Douglas’s land for some one and a half miles. These roads have turnpikes, and all the county roads have, or will have them. Farmers approve of them because of their benefits.
Statute labour is now commuted with the funds applied to the private roads. A bridge was built on the Forfar to Glammiss road about 11 years ago, and another on the Forfar to Dundee road is to be replaced by a new one nearby.
Page 214 He gives details of carriage services that have to be performed by tenants. Post town is Forfar. One ale-house.

NSA 11/206
Page 213 Cattle sold for the Edinburgh and Glasgow markets.
Page 221 In the parish there are 35 carts, 2 chaises, 3 gigs, 1 car.
Page 225 Parochial Economy.
.—Glammis and Forfar, both with several annual markets, and a weekly market for dairy produce at Forfar.
Means of Communication.—There is a postal service at the inn in Douglastown. The Strathmore and the Dundee to Forfar turnpikes pass through. The Defiance coach and a carrier to Glasgow travel on the first road, and the Union and Sir Henry Parnell coaches from Edinburgh to Aberdeen via Fife, and some others.
There are 5 stone bridges in the parish, and a chain-bridge. They cross the Kerbit and the Spittle-burn.
Page 229 Inns and Alehouses.—One inn on the Strathmore turnpike road.
Fuel.—With the peat mosses nearly exhausted and whins and broom unavailable, coal and wood is used. The coal, both English and Scotch comes from Dundee, 12 miles away, and the expense of carriage shows the need for a canal or railway from the ports to the inland parishes.
Page 231 Miscellaneous Observations. He remarks on the requirement on some tenants to perform services such as carrying goods over several days for their landlords.
Page 232 Obstacles to Improvement.— A major obstacle is that Dundee is 12 miles away which leads to considerable expense in carrying goods to and from that town. This could have been avoided if the canal between Arbroath and Forfar had been constructed. This plan however was obstructed by some gentlemen who wanted a railway between Dundee and Newtyle which would serve the interests of Dundee. This railway is now open but is of no benefit to this parish. Even if, as is proposed, it was extended through Strathmore to Glammiss, it would still be of no benefit to this parish as the distance involved would raise the cost of carriage to what it is at present on the roads. This could have been avoided if the canal or a railway between Arbroath and Forfar had been built.

Page 507 In talking about weaving he says: “Till lately, the manufacturers of this neighbourhood went to Forfar or Arbroath, for the stamping and sale of their webs ; but now there is a market, every fortnight, for these purposes, at the neighbouring village of Letham.”
Page 508 Division of the Inhabitants.—These include “2 cadgers (fish-carriers) and 2 creamers (persons who go through the parish, and neighbourhood, and buy butter, hens, eggs, &c. mostly for the Dundee market).”
Page 512 Stock and Produce.—Meal, barley and dairy produce are taken to neighbouring towns.
Most of the fuel is coal brought from Arbroath.
Roads and Bridges.
Up until last year, the roads have been made by statute labour, long found an inadequate system for making and maintaining roads. People often had to work in a parish not their own, while their own roads were neglected.
A turnpike act was obtained in 1790 allowing certain roads to be built and converting the statute labour into a monetary payment and stipulating that this money be applied only on a parish’s own roads. The act was met with resistance at first but many are now realising their advantages when the roads were so bad in the past, and in winter almost impassable.
Page 515 Miscellaneous Observations. “…many Randies (sturdy vagrants) infest this country, from the neighbouring towns, and the Highlands.”

NSA 11/383
Page 389 Parochial Economy. Market-Towns, etc.—Arbroath and Forfar.
The nearest Post-Offices are those of Forfar and Arbroath. A request was made some time ago for a letter-carrier between these towns via Letham. Although rejected it should have paid for itself as an individual runs a successful private business taking the post between Forfar and Letham.
Roads.—The Arbroath to Forfar turnpike passes though the parish. Parish roads are numerous but fairly indifferent. One goes between Dundee and Brechin and one between Forfar and Arbroath.
Rail-roads.—“A railway, which intersects the eastern division of this parish, was lately opened between Forfar and Arbroath, a distance of fifteen miles. It communicates with another, which was opened about the same time betwixt the last-mentioned town and Dundee, and proceeds thence over the Sidlaw Hills and along Strathmore to Glammis, within five miles of Forfar.”
Page 392 Inns, Alehouses, etc.—Six.
Fuel.—Newcastle coal obtained at Arbroath. The cost of carriage is expected to fall due to the railway opening.

Page 191 Marl from the Lake of Kinnordy and the meadows of Logie is used as manure. Manure is also available from the town.
Page 193 Kirriemuir is the market for the locality and nine carriers take the produce of the nearby parishes to Dundee and return with “flax, sugar, tea, porter, rum, and all kinds of merchant goods.” Two carriers come from Montrose. Coal is brought in by Dundee carriers, or by the farmers.
“Two annual fairs are held here, in July and October, for sheep, horses, and black cattle; and for flax, wool, labouring utensils, and household necessaries.”
Page 198 Mention of a turnpike road being made to Dundee.

NSA 11/158
Page 183 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.—Kirriemuir.
Page 185 Means of Communication.—“The north mail arrives at Kirriemuir every morning.”
There are three miles of turnpike in the parish, a bridge over the Esk at Shielhill and a bridge over the Prosen, recently widened.
Page 189 Fairs.—Two large and two smaller fairs held at the hill of Kirriemuir for sheep, cattle and horses.
Inns, etc.—“There are in the parish 6 brewers, 1 maltman, 1 chandler, 1 tobacco-manufacturer, 52 dealers in tea, 48 in tobacco, 4 in vinegar, 31 in beer, 31 in spirits, and 7 in wine.”

Fuel.—Coal from Dundee, peats from nearby mosses, and wood from Glammis, Lindertis, and Kinnordy.
Miscellaneous Observations. The situation of this parish is such that many things have to be brought some 20 miles from the coast and “the nearest road is across a range of hills, in many places steep, and difficult of access.” He notes how the parishioners have overcome many of the disadvantages so that for example the weavers compare very well with elsewhere despite having to carry the yarns “from the shores in carts and along roads constructed on the common principles” and return with the finished cloth. There is street lighting in the town.
For many who live on the north side of the Grampians, Kirriemuir would be a convenient market if only there was a road over the Capul Mount. Fortunately, landholders on both sides of the Grampians have had a survey for a road carried out.
He notes that since writing the above there is a definite possibility that the Newtile rail-road will be extended to Kirriemuir.
Revised. 1833

Lethnott and Navar

Page 1 Lethnott was once joined to Lochlee but as they were 10 computed miles apart and the road was bad and could be dangerous, they were disjoined in 1723.
Gannachy Bridge
Page 18 Eminent Persons.—James Black, born in 1677, arranged for the building of the Gannachy bridge on the North Esk and provided most of the funding for it, as well as a fund for its maintenance. He also put forward a sum for the building of a bridge at Balrownie.
Fuel.—Mostly turf, peat, and heath, obtained with difficulty from distant places with steep hills. Many are bringing coals in from Montrose or Arbroath, 10 and 14 miles away. Those sold in Montrose are dearer because of a tax on the coal
Roads and Bridges.—Although improved in the last 20 years the roads are still quite poor. The statute labour is used for the parish roads and also for the Brechin road, which is outwith the parishes. There are no turnpikes but there are seven bridges, four of them with spans of 50 feet or so.
Miscellaneous Observations. Fifty years ago there were very few carts and loads were carried on horseback.

NSA 11/687
Page 690 “The principal disadvantages of the place arise from the rugged and uneven nature of the roads, and its distance from market towns, the nearest, Brechin, being eight miles distant, and the road lying over a steep hill.”
Fuel.—Peat and turf, and some coal from Montrose.

Note: A J Warden in his Angus or Forfarshire (vol.4, page 162) says that: "The districts of Lethnot and Lochlee were in more modern times served by one minister, who preached twice at Lethnot for once at Lochlee. When Lethnot and Navar were united in 1723, Lochlee parish was erected into a separate charge. The road the clergyman took in going between his two churches was by the east side of the Westwater, past Finnoch and Achourie, and Clash of Wirran. It is still known as the priest's road. It is hilly and now lonely, but very direct. In former times it was the great road from Banffshire and the western part of Aberdeenshire to Brechin and the low country, and was kept in fair order. It was much frequented by smugglers, Highland shearers, and others up to the end of the first decade of this century. By this road Brechin and Ballater are within thirty miles of each other." See also Heritage Paths site.

Liff, Benvie
(& Invergowrie)

Page 107 Ten carters in the parish.
Page 109 Mention of recently made turnpike road.
Page 112 Market town is Dundee.
Page 115 The Roman camp said by Maitland in his history to have been at Catter Milly can no longer be seen because of ploughing.
Page 122 A pier at Invergourie to land lime and coal, the main fuel used here, would be very useful.

NSA 11/568 (Liff & Benvie)
Page 569 The Perth to Dundee turnpike and the road from Dundee to Meigle and Cupar-Angus pass through the parish.
Page 579 Roman Camp.—No trace remains of the Roman camp at Catter Milly.
Page 586 Parochial Economy.
Villages.—Mention of turnpike road from Dundee to Meigle and Cupar-Angus.
Page 590 Fairs.—None are held here.
Public-Houses.—Four in Liff and 12 in Lochee.

No particular mention of roads.

Page 640 Parochial Economy.
.—“Kirriemuir is the market-town for part of the produce. Forfar and Dundee are, however, frequently resorted to. These places are respectively seven, twelve, and twenty-one miles distant; but the journey to Dundee is facilitated by the Newtyle Railway.”
Means of Communication.—The roads are statute labour and are steadily improving.
.—Three public houses.
Fuel.—Peats are used but the mosses are becoming worked out.


Part of map by Keith Johnson, 1861, courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. The image is copyright Cartography Associates but has been made available under a Creative Commons license for non-commercial use.

Page 361 There are few beggars passing through except in June and July when 120 or so come from Dundee, Arbroath, Montrose, Brechin, Stonehaven and Aberdeen to ask for wool.

View Larger Map - Glen Isla - View north of Tarfside

Page 364 Roads and Bridges.—Before 1764 there were no roads suitable for wheeled carriages. Since that time, the statute labour has been used to make a “tolerable cart-road” that runs east to west through the parish. Only the east end can be accessed by wheeled carriages and it is unlikely this will change as the mountainous terrain makes it difficult to make a cart road to Glenmuick, Glentamir, Navar or Clova; and there is little communication with these places anyway.
Many tenants have made their own cart roads so that carts are used much more. Indeed before 1764, there were none.
There are 3 bridges, built since 1749 over the Tarf, the Mark, and a mile below the confluence of the two rivers.
Fuel.—As the mosses on the lower ground are being worked out, peat will have to be obtained with great difficulty from the hills which are inaccessible at present - if roads were built to them the cost would be considerable.
Page 367 “The only road for wheel carriages from Brechin to Lochlee, lies in a direction north from Brechin for about 7 miles, till it cross the Gannachy bridge, in the parish of Edzell; when, for several miles along the north side of the river North Esk, it takes a north westerly direction. It enters Lochlee at the east end, and from thence to the church. There are 6 miles in the direction of west, or rather W.S.W.”

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Page 196 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town and Means of Communication.
—The nearest is Brechin although it is 22 miles from the manse. Two carriers go there each week and bring letters and newspapers. In 1829 a new road of seven and a half miles length was made from the east end of the parish to the manse. There are 3 stone bridges, many wooden bridges, two over the North Esk, and several private bridges.
Inns, etc.—One.
Fuel.—Peat and turf.

Page 33 The old church of Pert is situated near the Old North-Water Bridge.
Page 36 Salmon sold at Montrose for the London market.
Page 37 A great deal of lime is produced locally. Coal from Inverkeithing and other ports on the Forth is landed at Montrose and brought to the quarries where the limestone is burnt.
Page 40 There is a ferry at the Boat of Craigo.

Page 46 Advantages and Disadvantages.—Although Montrose and Brechin are both 4 or 5 miles distant so that grain and dairy produce can be sold easily, the demand at these places for such items means that the price in this parish can be very high for those who need them.
Another problem is that turfs, broom and furze are now scarce and peat can only be had from Fettercairn about 6 miles away or 12 miles away in the hills partly by a “very steep and disagreeable road.” Wood also is scarce so that poorer people will have to use coal which is more expensive because of the coal tax.
Those with horses can earn some money by carting coal from Montrose to the lime works in this parish.
Page 53 Roads, Bridges, &c—There are 3 public roads and various private or bye-roads. Recently the statute labour has been converted into money, proprietors and tenants paying up to L1.14s Sterling for each L100 Scots valued rent.
Turnpikes are not thought necessary here, and would be unpopular.
Two bridges have been built in Logie parish on the Marykirk to Montrose road by subscription, and on the west public road 2 bridges were built some time ago. They are maintained by the converted statute labour.
The main bridge here, connecting it with the Mearns, is North Water Bridge. It is called the Old Bridge to distinguish it from the New Bridge, built a few years ago on the east coast road. The old bridge was built by John Erikine of Dun, superintendant of Angus and Mearns, some 200 years ago. A folktale says that he had a dream or vision saying that he would be unhappy in the afterlife unless he built a bridge over Stormy Grain, where three waters meet. Some time later he met an old woman near the North Esk and asking her the name of the spot was told it was Stormy Grain. Accordingly he started to make the bridge but the first two attempts failed. It was only after he observed a spider struggling to complete its web and succeeding on its third try, that he tried for a third time and was successful.

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Page 263 Mention of the old North-water bridge.
Page 268 Parochial Economy. Montrose is the nearest market town and there is much traffic there.
Means of Communication.—There is a daily post between Montrose and Lawrencekirk, and the Union and Defiance coaches between Edinburgh and Aberdeen also pass through. Short sections of the Brechin turnpike and the Marykirk to Montrose turnpike pass through; the second of these is being altered to avoid a long ascent at Rosemount.
The old North-Water Bridge was built about 300 years ago and has three arches. The Marykirk Bridge was built in 1814 and has 4 arches. It cost L7000 by shares of L25 each.
Page 270 Fairs.—Two cattle and horse fairs on the moor of Dun.
Alehouses, etc.—One at a mill and two at the toll-houses at the above bridges, mostly used by travellers.
Fuel—Coal from the shore at Montrose, and brushwood.
Miscellaneous Observations.
With regard to improvements much could be done with the roads which are extremely bad with insufficient funds spent on their improvement. If this was done communication would be much easier and the value of property increased.

Description of the Parishes in Angus 1743
Vol.1, Page 274 Church is 1/4mile from Northesk river bridge - this was built by Erskine of Dun who maintains it and in return receives customs from it.
Vol.1, Page 274 Mention of Northwater bridge.

Peart, 1684-5
Vol.2, Page 41 Bridge over the North Esk.

Page 443 The surplus of the parish is carried to market, easily reached by the high road.
This road and its bridges had been statute labour, sometimes in kind, sometimes commuted; but under an act of Parliament of 1790 is now a turnpike, a fact much resented by the farmers.
Page 448 Miscellaneous Observations. Turf and broom used as fuel in summer and coal from Arbroath in winter.

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Page 328 Parochial Economy.
—Montrose and Arbroath.
Means of Communication, etc.—Post-office at Chance Inn, in Inverkeilor parish. Three coaches run in either direction on the coast road to Edinburgh. The other roads are statute labour.
No public-house.

Note: Alex J Warden in his work Angus or Forfarshire published in 1880 (vol.4, page 253) says that Colonel Imrie had had the gardens in the Kirkton planted with flowers and the road into Montrose that led from his mansion "ornamented with rows of flowers, care being taken that their bloom contrast well with each other." He says: "There are few public roads so decorated, but the idea is excellent, the lines of flowers pleasing, and the effect upon the rustic inhabitants and wayfarers is instructive and humanizing."

Description of the Parishes in Angus 1743

Vol.1, Page 276 Ford near House of Lunan.

Lundie and Fowlis
Page 289 Miscellaneous Observations.—The roads are statute labour, now commuted. Turnpikes are being made and are generally approved of though “some of the inferior ranks are not yet reconciled to them.”
Coal and peat used as fuel. Being close to the Tay, lime and coals are easily obtained and agricultural produce exported.

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Page 465 Parochial Economy. Although the nearest market town is Cupar-Angus, Dundee is preferred both for buying and selling, as it is one of the best market towns in the kingdom.
The turnpike between Dundee and Cupar-Angus gives easy access to both towns, and the Carse of Gowrie turnpike runs near Fowlis.
The parish roads are indifferent - there are too many, particularly in Lundie and they have poor lines; however, improvements are anticipated.
The nearest post-office is Dundee, which is 9 miles away, which is very inconvenient.
Page 468 Fairs.— Two small fairs in Lundie. There is an ale-house there, and usually one at Lundie toll-house.
Fuel.—Only coal is used. It comes from the south coast of Fife or the north of England and is bought in Dundee. As the farmers drive both their own and their cottars' coal, this save poor people the cost of carriage.
1838. Revised 1842

Mains and Strathmartine
Mains of Fintry OSA
Page 224 Many resent paying a toll for a short distance and when their own roads are near impassable. It is hoped this will improve.

Strathmartin OSA
Page 97 “The manure used here, is lime from Fife, brought to Dundee by water, marl from the mires of Anchterhouse parish, and composts of dung and earth. There are some excellent stone quarries in the parish.”
Water, Bridges and Mills.—There are bridges over the Dighty on the Glammiss to Carse of Gowrie road, on the road from Sidlaw-hill to Dundee, and one to the east built by the corporation of bakers in Dundee.
Page 99 Antiquities.—“On the west side of Clatto-moor, are the traces of a camp. It is generally believed to have been occupied by a part of Agricola's army, and afterward by Alpin, Wallace, and Monk.”

Mains and Strathmartine NSA 11/54
Page 57 Vestiges of a Roman camp.
Page 62 Parochial Economy.
Market Town.
—As Dundee is so near, produce is taken there to market and items purchased in return. There is much going to and from Dundee. On the Dundee to Forfar road there are several coaches, and since 1825 there is a railway leading to Strathmore. Although it has opened up some quarries it will need to be extended to towns in Strathmore to gain further business in transporting their produce. There are nine bridges over the Dighty.
Page 64 Fairs.—Two fairs for sheep, cattle and horses, and hiring of servants.
Alehouses.—“There are six small alehouses in the parish, three of which are toll-houses.“
Fuel.—“Coals from Sunderland, imported at Dundee, are the only fuel used in the parish; and the carriage by water is not a heavy addition to the expense.”

Page 404 Advantages.—One advantage is being so near to Montrose where produce can be taken and various goods obtained. The closeness of Old Montrose is also advantageous as coal and lime can be landed there. A canal has been proposed and could eventually run between Brechin and Montrose.

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Page 120 Parochial Economy.
—There is a ready market in Montrose for the sale of produce, and where any goods can be bought.
Means of Communication.—It is a great advantage that coal and lime can be landed at Old Montrose, and grain and potatoes shipped from there.
The turnpike road, presently being made between Montrose and Forfar, besides being 4 miles shorter, will give easy access to Montrose for the delivery of grain, slates and pavement. It also shortens the distance between the towns by 4 miles.
Page 122 Alehouses, etc.—One sited on the Montrose to Arbroath road.
Fuel.—Mostly coal, brought from Montrose and Old Montrose. Firewood is also used.


View Larger Map Brown and White Catherun hillforts - looking north

Page 148 Disadvantages. He goes into detail about the difficulty caused by having to obtain lime and marl from up to 12 miles away. He also refers to the lack of peat and the problems in obtaining and preparing turf and other fuels. Coal is available at Arbroath and Montrose but it is expensive as is the carriage given the distance of these towns. In addition, there is a tax applied at Montrose. These are a burden on the poor, and a hinderance to the spirit of enterprise and improvement.
Page 150 Long description of the forts of Catherun.
Page 154 Miscellanous Observations. Yarn is carried to Montrose. The roads are statute labour, which is not commuted - they are improving. There are no tolls, and it is generally held that they would be oppressive.
There are 2 bridges over the Cruick, on the Brechin road. One was built 3 years ago, at a cost of L70, L30 coming from the county and the rest from subscriptions.
One ale-house.

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No particular mention of roads.

Page 482 Surface, rivulets etc. Mentions of the road from Dundee to Brechin, the old road from Dundee to Arbroath, and the new turnpike road from Dundee to Arbroath.
Page 488 Ancient state of rivulets, roads and hills etc. Roads have improved in the last few years - the Dundee to Brechin road has been widened and straightened some 12 years ago and the old road from Dundee to Arbroath made about 25 years ago with a new turnpike road just completed.
Page 490 Manure such as seaweed, marl and dung from Dundee are hard to obtain, although lime is brought in from the south coat of Fife and from Sunderland to the villages of Monifieth and East Ferry.

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Page 552 Parochial Economy.
The market-town is Dundee. There is a half-yearly market here for cattle, horses etc but it is much in decline.

Broughty Castle and village

Broughty-Ferry is a growing village of 2200 inhabitants. Although it has a clean and neat appearance the streets are not paved or macadamized which because of the sandy soil leads to sand being blown about. A considerable trade in fishing is carried on and it is much used as a bathing resort. However, in the summer steam boats “bring down an inundation of the worst population of Dundee on the Sabbath day” which leads to drunkenness and riot.
A foot-runner takes the post to and from Dundee and the mail coach runs on the Dundee to Arbroath turnpike each day. Three coaches used to run on this road but have been replaced by the railway. There is also a public road from Dundee to Brechin to the north-west of the parish, and about 20 miles of parish roads, some of them poor. The railway which runs between Dundee and Arbroath is very useful.
Page 557 Inns.—Five alehouses in the Monifieth part of the parish, but one hotel and 20 alehouses in Broughty Ferry.
Fuel.—"Coal, brushwood and burnt furze.”

Page 346 Miscellaneous Observations.—The roads are generally poor and that from Dundee to Arbroath almost impassable in bad weather. A turnpike road is being made, a mile to the south of the old road, yet because it is straighter, is shorter.
A road from Brechin to Dundee was made about 7 years ago. On this road a bridge was made 5 years ago over a precipice at Denfiend, or the Fiend’s Den.
“There are 2 considerable inns in this parish, and several petty ale-houses.”

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Page 487 Milk, butter and potatoes sold to the Dundee market.
Page 488 Alehouses.—Three small public-houses used mainly by travellers.


Montrose Basin

Page 25 Rivers. The North Esk separates Angus from Kincardineshire. The post-road from Aberdeen crossed this river near the sea at a ford at which many people were drowned. The town built a bridge of 7 arches in 1775 at this ford which makes the journey north much easier.

The South Esk runs into the Basin and passes to the sea about a mile south of the town. It is proposed to build a bridge here, firstly over to the island of Inchbrayock, and then a small one from the island over to Craig parish. Estimates for three types of bridge have been handed in: one with stone piers and a wooden superstructure; one entirely of wood; and one of stone. Subscriptions are well underway and an act of parliament obtained for an undertaking of far-reaching consequences.
Page 28 There are 5 four-wheeled carriages in the country part of the parish.
Page 36 Details of trade.
Page 40 Details of the coal tax levied north of the Red Head above Arbroath.

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Page 280 Details of manufactures, imports/exports etc.
Page 281 Parochial Economy. Markets.— Weekly market for the sale of grain and farm and garden produce. There are also two fairs mostly for the hiring of servants. Burgh.— Montrose is a royal burgh. There is gas lighting in the town. Since utilising the general Police Act for burghs, passed a few years ago, the paving and cleaning of the streets has greatly improved.

Suspension bridge at Montrose. It was replaced by an unusual reinforced concrete cantilever bridge (Canmore record with photos) in 1930, which in turn was replaced by a modern bridge in 2005.

282 Bridges.He refers to the former account and says that a wooden bridge over the northernmost channel to Inchbrayock was built and a stone bridge over the southernmost channel. The design of the wooden bridge was such that the channel was constricted and led to the bridge being undermined. Remedial work was ineffectual and it was eventually decided to remove the bridge and replace it with a suspension bridge. The work was completed to a design of Captain Samuel Brown of the Royal Navy at the end of 1829.
He gives considerable details of the bridge such as the distance between the towers being 432 feet, the height of the towers being 71 feet, and the width 26 feet. The cost was L20,000 and a pontage raised L1300 per annum.
At the same time the centre of the arch of the smaller bridge was replaced by a revolving drawbridge which allows vessels to pass in to the Basin.


Page 284 Post-Office.—There is a post office in the town.
Means of Communication.—“The north mail goes by Montrose; besides which, there is a daily coach to Edinburgh; and one which runs daily between Perth and Aberdeen passes through the town. During six or seven months of the year, the Aberdeen steam-boats take in and land goods and passengers.”
“There are three toll-roads in the parish;—the Aberdeen road, one to Marykirk bridge, and the Brechin road.”

Page 290 Inns.—One good inn as well as 130 licensed premises which are far too many and have the usual ill effect.
Fuel.—English coal is used in the home, and Scotch coal in the “public works“.


Page 162 The recently made Dundee to Brechin turnpike road passes through.

NSA 11/591
Page 594 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.—Dundee is 5 miles away and is the nearest market and post-town. It is of great benefit to this place because of the demand for agricultural produce and the availability of various products and manufactures.
Alehouses.—Two, used mostly by travellers.
Fuel.—Mostly English coal brought from Dundee or Broughty Ferry.

Page 404 Miscellaneous Observations.—Coal brought in from Dundee is the main fuel. The roads are adequate and the statute labour was commuted last year. Turnpikes are being made and some doubt their utility though this may change when the roads are completed.

NSA 11/558
Page 559 Antiquities.— Chesterpark, near the village of Hill of Keillor, may indicate a Roman camp.
Page 562 In 1832 a new village was erected. He says that the streets were formed on the principle advocated by the late Sir H. Parnell, viz. “putting the lower stratum of metal on end, breaking the tops to a uniform height, and overlaying with broken metal in the ordinary manner.”

Railway station at Newtyle

Page 565 Parochial Economy.
Market- Town.
—No fair or market but meat is available in the new village twice a week.
Means of Communication.—“A turnpike road from Dundee passes northward between the Kirkton and new village, eleven miles distant from Dundee, which is kept in excellent repair. Several other county or statute-labour roads cross and intersect the parish.”
He gives details of the growing railway network and of the Dundee and Newtyle Railway which was opened in 1832.
Page 567 Public Houses.—Five.
Fuel.—Mostly coal.

Page 466 Rivers. Some have suggested that the river Esk could be made navigable between the Kirktown of Tannadice and Montrose, 12 miles away.
Page 468 Antiquities.— He mentions a supposed Roman camp at Battledykes.

NSA 11/291
Page 295 Antiquities. The number of military remains, both Caledonian and Roman, suggests this area was populated by some powerful tribes.
Vitrified Forts. He gives a long description of the earliest and most conspicuous of these, the vitrified fort on the summit of the Hill of Finhaven. From it can be seen the two fortresses of the Catherun to the north-east, Dennon Castle to the west, and Barry Hill in the parish of Meigle. He suggests that these were the strongholds of a people living in the fertile lands nearby.
Roman Camp. Roman camps are found near these forts. Thus, near to the Hill of Finhaven is the large camp of Battledykes. Its situation allowed it to command the low country at the foot of the Grampians along Strathmore and to guard passes through Glen Isla, Glen Prosen, and Glen Clova. It was connected with the camp at Ardoch by a road. No traces of this road remain but in Maitland’s History of Scotland (1667) it is said that "John Webster, the farmer of Battledykes, turned up with the plough the foundation of the road in divers parts in its course through the camp." The road continued for 11 miles ENE to the south of the Esk,
passing the hill fort of Finhaven and crossing the moor of Brechin to Wardykes, which guarded the Catherun. Battledykes was also connected by a smaller iter with a camp at Haerfaulds, 8 miles away, that guarded the entrance to Forfarshire.

No mention of roads.

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Page 71 Parochial Economy.
.—The two main ones are East and West Haven, about a mile from each other.
Means of Communication.—Although there is no harbour at either village, coal and lime can be landed by small vessels except in winter. Muirdrum on the Dundee to Arbroath road has a post-office served daily by the mail coach. There are three other public coaches and regular carriers to both towns.
Page 73 Alehouses.—Five.

Page 599 Poor. He writes about the poor from outwith the parish, noting that in one day two dozen had called before noon, and 2 score in one day. He implies that many came from Perth and Aberdeen and that these towns should take more responsibility for their own poor rather than set them adrift into the countryside.

NSA 11/596
Page 609 Parochial Economy.
—Forfar, 3 miles away.
Means of Communication.—No post office. Two turnpike roads run west to east through the parish: Forfar to Arbroath on the south side of the loch and Forfar to Montrose on the north side. Other roads are the Forfar to Brechin turnpike and the Auldbar turnpike from Brechin. Bridges and fences are in good condition.
The Forfar and Arbroath railroad opened in December 1838.
Page 610 Fairs. St Triduane’s Fair used to be held here at a remote time but is now held in Forfar.
Fuel.—The main fuel is coal brought in from Arbroath.

Page 294 There is a bridge over the Isla on the Dunkeld and Blairgowrie to Kerriemuir and Brechin road. It appears very old. It was repaired recently and is very useful as there are only two other bridges on the Isla on a course of 40 miles.
One would hope that the many drownings at one of the fords on the river would encourage the building of at least one other bridge.
Page 300 Coal is brought in from Dundee.
Page 301 Dundee is 15 miles away, 12 miles of this is by a turnpike road.

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Page 420 Ale-houses.—None.
Fuel.—Wood and coal. The latter is obtained at the railway depot at Newtyle.

St. Vigeans
Page 169 There is one 2-wheeled carriage in the parish.
Page 171 A cart road down to the beach at Auchmethy has recently been made for the convenience of the fishermen, though it is rather steep.

Page 185 Under an act of 1789, turnpike roads from Arbroath to Forfar and Montrose are being made, and the statute labour has been commuted at a rate of 24 s Sterling for each 100L Scots valued rent. In this parish the sum raised is between 90L and 100L Sterling, and will be used on the private roads.
Coal are available in Arbroath.

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Page 499 “There are eleven miles of turnpike roads, five of railroads, and thirty miles of roads repaired by the commutation or parish road money.”
Page 512 He gives details of the railways opened in the 1830’s between Arbroath and Dundee and Arbroath and Forfar.
Page 517 At the time of the last account there were no four-wheeled carriages; now there are seven.

Page 211 Black cattle and grain are sold at Brechin and Montrose. Coal is used to burn lime and is obtained at Montrose.

Page 214 Roads.—The Brechin to Aberdeen and the Brechin to Glenesk roads are in reasonable order but the Montrose road and the private roads are “a disgrace to the country.” An act of 1789 to repair the roads of the county allowed conversion of the statute labour into money. It is felt that this is a good thing but that the rate is too high at present.
Antiquities, and Miscellaneous Observations.—He gives details of a camp at Blackdikes, or Battle-dykes, and of the forts at Caterthun and says many think this is the area where the battle of Mons Graupius was fought between Agricola and Galgacus.

NSA 11/662
Page 663 He refers to a location near the North Esk supposed to be the site of the Roman station Tima but notes that no remains have been found to confirm this. The remains of fortifications lie one mile to the north-west but are not Roman.
Page 668 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.
—The old and new turnpike roads between Aberdeen and Perth run through here. The Defiance coach and carriers to Brechin and Montrose use the new road. The commutation roads give access throughout the parish and are now much improved. They are managed by five of the principal rate-payers.

Description of the Parishes in Angus 1743
Page 274 Mention of northwater bridge (North Water of Esk).

Page 374 He refers to the Itinerary of Richard of Cirencester in which Aesica is mentioned and suggests that this is the south Esk and that the Roman camp at Battledykes (near Tannadice) rather than that at Kethick, near the North Esk is meant by Richard when he talks of ad Aesicam.
Page 380 Peat and turfs are used in the higher parts of the parish; coal, furze and broom in the lower. The coal has to be brought 20 miles from either Montrose or Arbroath.
The roads are much improved. L105 has been spent in making and repairing private roads that lead to the new turnpike road between Forfar and Brechin. There is general approval of turnpikes.
Page 382 Mention of bridge of Shealhill.

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Page 201 Nine licensed ale and whisky houses.
Page 202 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.
— In this parish, the turnpike from Dundee to the north runs from Finhaven bridge over the Esk to the bridge at Nether Careston over the Noran. It has a toll-bar on it. Two main lines of road intersect it and these are in poor condition due to the constant movement of carriages laden with coals, grain etc. There are many other roads but these are near impassable in winter. We have 4 bridges over the Esk.
Page 205 Fuel.—Anything that can burn is used as fuel. The lower part of the parish gets coal in Montrose and the upper part at the rail-road depot at Newtyle - in the past, it was near impossible for them to access coal.
Whereas 40 years ago there were no wheeled carriages (nor suitable roads for them) now there are 13 two and four wheeled taxable carriages.

Description of the Parochine of Tannadice, Angus 1744
Vol.1, Page 285 There is a passage boat over the Southesk, ¼ mile SE from the church and two others to the west as well as the North Bridge of Cortachie.
Vol.1, Page 287 There is a bridge over the Noran called the Courtfoord Bridge.

Page 102 Miscellaneous Observations. “The roads, in general, are bad, and have been much neglected. An act, however, has been lately obtained for turnpikes throughout the county, and is already begun to be put in execution, but many people think they will prove too expensive.”
Page 104 Fuel. Generally turf, but the use of coal from Dundee is increasing.

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Page 380 With Dundee only 5 or 6 miles away, agricultural produce finds a ready market there and manure from the town is easily obtained. Much pavement stone is quarried here and taken to Dundee.
Page 381 Parochial Economy.
Market Town.
Means of Communication.—The Dundee-Forfar-Aberdeen turnpike road passes at the east of the parish and the Dundee-Newtyle rail-road at the south-west corner. The parish roads have improved but further progress can be made.