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(174) Page 138 - BEI
design by Atkinson, erected at a cost of nearly £40,000 ;
and has splendid grounds, with an extensive deer-park.
It is a seat of Lady Mary Nisbet-Hamilton, owner in
the shire of 14,345 acres, valued at £24,537 per annum.
Beil-Grange, a hamlet in Stenton parish, Hadding-
tonshire, near the NW corner of Beil Park, and 1 mile
NNW of Stenton village.
Beinn. See Ben.
Beith (Gael. ' birch tree '), a market town of Cun-
ninghame, near the N border of Ayrshire, and a parish
partly also in Renfrewshire. The town stands high, at
343 feet above sea-level, 1 mile SE of Beith station on
the Glasgow and South- Western, this being 4f miles
NNE of Dairy Junction, lOf SW of Paisley, and 17 j
WSW of Glasgow ; whilst by a branch to it from the
Barrhead line it is 5 J miles W by N of Lugton Junction,
19 WSW of Glasgow, and 15J NNW of Kilmarnock.
Gas-lit, and well supplied with water, it is a clean and
healthy-looking place, possessing a post office, with
money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph
departments, branches of the Clydesdale, Union, and
Commercial banks, 12 insurance agencies, 2 hotels, a pub-
lic library, and a town-house (1817), used as a news
room and for the local courts. The parish church (re-
built 1807-10, at a cost of £2790) is a handsome edifice
with a tower and 1250 sittings. Other places of worship
are a new Free church (1883 ; 600 sittings), an Evangelical
Union church, and two U.P. churches — Head Street
(17S4 ; 849 sittings) and Mitchell Street (1816 ; 428
sittings). Friday is market-day ; and fairs are held on
the first Friday (old style) of January, February, and
November, and on the 30 Aug. (if not a Saturday), this
last being the Feast of St Inan or ' Tenant,' a Scottish
confessor said to have flourished here in 839. A sheriff
small debt court sits on the first Thursday of February,
May, August, and November, and a district small debt
court for Beith, Dairy, and Kilbirnie, on the first Monday
of every month. Beith at the Revolution was merely a
tiny hamlet, but rose to a considerable village with 700
examinable inhabitants in 1759, and nearly 1500 in
1788, this growth being due to the introduction of a
trade in woollen cloth about 1707, and about 1730 in
linen yarn, whose yearly sales amounted thirty years
later to £16,000. The manufacture of silk gauze was
extensively carried on from 1777 to 1789 ; and at pre-
sent there are a linen-thread factory, a silk printing
and dyeing establishment, 7 tanning and currying yards,
a flax-scutching mill, and 2 large cabinet and chair
works, many also of the inhabitants being employed in
cotton and woollen weaving for Glasgow and Paisley
houses. An Industrial Church of Scotland school and
3 public schools (the Academy, Greenhills, and New
Street), with respective accommodation for 129, 400, 90,
and 146 children, had (1879) an average attendance of
112, 329, 107, and 127, and grants of £70, 8s., £277,
14s. 4d., £90, 12s., and £62, 8s. 4d. Pop. (1851) 4012,
(1861) 3420, (1871)3707, (1881) 3921.
The parish contains, too, the villages of Gateside, 1
mile E by S of the town ; Barrmill, with a station, 2
miles SE ; and Burnhouse, 3i miles SE. Bounded NE
by Lochwinnoch and Neilston in Renfrewshire, SE by
Dunlop, SW by Kilwinning and Dairy, NW by Kilbir-
nie and Lochwinnoch, it has an extreme length from N
by E to S by W of 6J miles, an extreme breadth from E
to W of 5g miles, and an area of 11,2324, acres, of which
101 are water, and 543J (to the NE) are in Renfrew-
shire. Lugton Water traces all the south-eastern
boundary, and through the interior flow Dusk Water
and Powgreen Burn, all three running south-south-
westward or south-westward to the Garnock, in whose
low-lying strath, 1 mile to the W of the town, and just
beyond the western border, is Kilbirnie Loch (llf x 3-J
furl. ). The surface there is only some 90 feet above
sea-level, but has a general north-eastward rise, attain-
ing 475 feet at Blaelochhead, 689 at Lowes or Lochs
Hill, 675 at Cuff Hill, and 659 at Brownmuir— heights
that command a wide view southward and south-
westward to Carrick, Ailsa Craig, and Arran, north-
westward to Cowal's serrated ridges, and northward to
Ben Lomond ; but the parish itself presents no scenery
other than the simply beautiful, due to a varied contour
and to a fine well-cultivated soil. One colliery and two
clayband ironstone mines were active here in 1879, the
rocks being partly eruptive, in part belonging to the
Limestone Carboniferous series. Trap and sandstone
are quarried ; and an excellent limestone, containing
from 90 to 95 per cent, of pure carbonate, and com-
posed almost wholly of fossil shells, is worked both for
manure and as a building stone, its hardness and
compactness giving it the properties of coarse marble.
The flora is rich, especially in rare phanerogams.
Cheese is the staple rural product, and, possessing the
qualities of the best Dunlop, commands the highest
price in the Glasgow market. On Cuff Hill are a rock-
ing stone of trap, weighing 11 tons 7 cwt. , and a cairn,
165 feet long, 58J wide and 12 high (Procs. Soc. Ants.
Scot, 1876, pp. 272-283); other antiquities being the
Court-hill of the Abbots of Kilwinning and the ruins of
Hessilhead and Giflen Castles — the last, till its fall in
1838, a square tower 40 feet high. Both were seats of
cadet branches of the Eglinton line of Montgomerie ;
and Hessilhead is the traditional birthplace of Alexander
Montgomery, author of The Cherrie and the Slae (1597).
Glennie, in his Arthurian Localities (1869), refers the
' battle in the Wood of Beit at close of day,' men-
tioned by Taliessin, to this parish, among whose mini-
sters were Dr Wm. Leechman (1706-85), a Principal of
Glasgow University, and Dr Jn. Witherspoon (1722-94),
a president of Princetown College in New Jersey. Cald-
well, 4J miles E by N of the town, has for 500 years
been the seat of the Mures, and was rebuilt in last
century by Robert Adam ; the late Col. Wm. Mure, M. P.
(1830-80), held 1544 acres in Renfrew and Ayr shires of
an annual value of £7245. Two other proprietors, W.
Ralston Patrick of Trearne House (2 miles E by S of
Beith) and Rt. Wm. Cochran Patrick of Woodside (1
mile N), hold respectively 2506 and 1544 acres, of £5248
and £2030 yearly value ; and, in all, 8 landowners hold
each £500 and upwards per annum, 28 between £100
and £500, 33 from £50 to £100, and 81 from £20 to
£50. Beith is in the presbytery of Irvine and synod of
Glasgow and Ayr ; its minister's income is £498. Valua-
tion (1880) £31,667, 3s. 6d., of which £633 was in Ren-
frewshire, and £4574 for railways. Pop. (1755) 2064,
(1801) 3103, (1831) 5177, (1851) 6425, (1861) 5775,
(1871) 6233, (1881) 6555, of whom 41 were in Renfrew-
shire. — Ord, Sur., sh. 22, 1865.
Belchester, an estate, with a mansion, in Eccles parish,
Berwickshire, 5 miles NW of Coldstream. Its owner,
Lady Reginald Cathcart (Mrs Gordon of Cluny), holds
484 acres in the shire, valued at £1146 per annum.
Beld Craig, a romantic dell in Moffat parish, Dum-
friesshire, 3J miles SSE of Moffat town. It takes its
name from a magnificent overhanging rock ; and it is
traversed by a brook which makes a curious cataract.
Belhaven, a coast village and a quoad sacra parish in
Dunbar parish, Haddingtonshire. The village stands at
the SE corner of Belhaven Bay, 1 mile W by S of Dun-
bar, and is included in the parliamentary burgh. With
splendid sands and numerous handsome villas, it is
the watering place of Dunbar townsfolk ; at it are an
Established church (stipend, £120), a now neglected
sulphurous spring, and a public school, which, with ac-
commodation for 122 children, had (1879) an average at-
tendance of 59, and a grant of £45, 4s. It gives a title
in the Scottish peerage to James Hamilton, ninth Baron
Belhaven and Stenton, a title created in 1647, and dor-
mant from 1868 to 1875. Pop. of village (1861) 405,
(1871) 369, (1881) 420. Pop. of q. s. parish, in the
presbytery of Dunbar and synod of Lothian and Tweed-
dale, (1871) 1271, (1881) 1344.
Belhelvie, a post office hamlet and a coast parish of E
Aberdeenshire. The hamlet lies towards the middle of
the parish, 5J miles ESE of New Machar station, and 8
miles N of its post-town, Aberdeen.
The parish is bounded N by Foveran, E by the German
Ocean, S by Old Machar, W by New Machar and Udny.
It has an extreme length from N to S of 5$ miles, a

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