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TORPHICHEN
Macalister, Cornahenach, Macallister, and Pennygown.
The interior is mainly mountainous, yet contains
the three vales of Glenmore, Glen Forsa, and Glen
Cainail, and comprises a considerable aggregate of
low-lying land. A chain of peaked mountains ex-
tends along its centre from end to end, has mostly
a common base, and attains a maximum altitude
of 3185 feet in Benmore. Several minor chains strike
laterally from the main one, rise from common bases,
and run nearly parallel to one another ; and Ben Buy
(2352 feet), a splendid mountain, stands by itself at the
head of Loch Buy. A series of small lakes lies in Glen-
more, and several others are scattered over the rest of
the parish. One considerable rivulet issues from the
Glenmore lakes ; another issues from Loch Ba ; and
another traverses Glenforsa. The predominant rocks
are trap, sandstone, and a coarse limestone ; and the
most noted minerals are rock-crystals, calc-spar, and
fluor-spar. The soil of the arable lands is chiefly
gravelly or mossy, and partly sandy, loamy, or clayey.
Less than one-thirteenth of the entire area is in tillage,
but about one-twentieth move is capable of reclama-
tion. The chief mansions are Duart House, Glenforsa
House, and Lochbuy House. A principal antiquity is
Dcart Castle ; and other antiquities are a tower at
the head of Loch Buy, and ruins of three pre-Reforma-
tion chapels. Four proprietors hold each an annual
value of more than £500. Giving off all Kinloch-
spelvie and part of Salen quoad sacra parish, Torosay
is in the presbytery of Mull and the synod of Argyll ;
the living is worth £212. The parish church was built
in 17S3, and contains 280 sittings. There is a Free
church of Torosay : and four public schools — Crogan,
Kinlochspelvie, Lochdonhead, and Lochbuy — with re-
spective accommodation for 28, 39, 70, and 50 chil-
dren, had (1884) an average attendance of 14, 25, 33,
and » , and grants of £24, 10s., £20, 12s. 3d., £45,
14s. lid., and £ „ . Valuation (1860) £6871, (1885)
£8902, lis. lOd. Pop. (1801) 1764, (1831) 1889,
(1861) 1380, (1871) 1254, (1881) 1102, of whom 392
were Gaelic-speaking, and 396 were in Torosay ecclesi-
astical parish.
Torphichen (Gael, torr-fithiclican, 'the raven's hill'),
a village and a parish of W Linlithgowshire. The
village stands 1£ mile ENE of Westfield station, 4J
miles SSW of Linlithgow, and 2§ N by W of Bath-
gate, under which it has a post office. Pop. (1841)
397, (1861) 477, (1871) 406, (1881) 358.
The parish, containing also Blackridge village, 6J
miles to the SW, is bounded on the N and E by Lin-
lithgow, on the SE by Bathgate, at its SW extremity
by Shotts and New Monkland in Lanarkshire, and on
the NW by Slamannan and Muiravonside in Stirling-
shire. Its utmost length, from ENE to WSW, is 9|
miles ; its breadth varies between f mile and 2| miles ;
and its area is 15J square miles or 9956J acres, of which
17| are water. The river Avon or Aven winds 3J miles
east-north-eastward along all the Muiravonside boun-
dary ; and its affluent, Polness or Drumtassie Burn,
runs 4f miles north-eastward along nearly all the
Slamannan boundary. Barbauchlaw Burn, coming
in from Lanarkshire, runs 7f miles north-eastward
along the Shotts and Bathgate boundary, until it unites
with Couston or Ballencrieff Water to form Logie
Water, which, flowing 6J furlongs north-north-west-
ward across the narrowest" part of the parish, falls into
the Avon near Crawhill, and divides the parish into two
unequal portions, the smaller to the E, the larger to the
SW. Along the Avon the surface declines to 300 feet
above sea-level, and thence it rises eastward to 777 at the
Torphichen Hills, 749 at Bowden Hill, 912 at Cockle-
rue, and 1016 at Cairn-naple or Cairnpapple ; south-
westward to 648 feet near Wester Righead, 705 near
Canties, 824 at Eastcraigs Hill, and 759 near Bedlormie.
Torphichen thus sends up the highest points in West
Lothian, and, compared with the general aspect of that
fine champaign county, is markedly tumulated, and
boldly hilly at the NE end. The south-western district
is naturally moorish ; but, making abatements for cold
102
TORPHICHEN
wet moor towards the W, and some little extent of hill-
pasture on the E, the parish is generally fertile, and
has an enclosed, warm, wealthy appearance. A judicious
distribution of planted trees has materially served both
to shelter and to beautify. The summits of the hills
command a most magnificent prospect of the Lothians
and Fife, of the Ochils and the frontier Grampians,
and generally of the basin of the Forth, from the sources
of the river at Ben Lomond to the mouth of the Firth
at North Berwick Law. The rocks are partly eruptive,
partly carboniferous, and they exhibit in the eastern
group of hills a very interesting series of superpositions.
Trap, limestone, and sandstone are quarried ; coal is
mined ; ironstone also occurs ; and silver ore exists, but
in so small a quantity that an attempt to work it was
soon abandoned. The soil is very various, and ranges
from fertile alluvium to barren moor. Adjacent to the
village on the NE are some remains of the hospital or
preceptory of Torphichen, from 1153 the principal
Scottish residence of the Knights of St John of Jeru-
salem. Of the cruciform church of the preceptory,
the chancel and the nave are entirely gone, and there
only is left a portion of the transept or 'quier,'
which, measuring internally 66 feet by 20, is Early
Second Pointed in style. The nave appears to have
been 112 feet long ; but its site is now occupied by an
edifice of very different character from it — the plain
modern parish church. The traceried window of the
southern transept makes some pretensions to beauty,
and the four piers supporting the central tower display
some architectural grace ; but the other parts which
remain of the edifice do not prove it to have been con-
spicuous either for size or for beauty. The belfry or
steeple is ascended by a narrow spiral stair, and has
comparative meanness of altitude and aspect. Within
the choir are the baptismal font, a curious recess where
corpses were laid during the celebration of the burial
mass, and the monument (1538) of Sir Walter Lindsay,
the last preceptor but one. Fragments of massive old
buildings in the village, and the stones in the fences
over the face of the adjacent country, indicate how great
and magnificent a seat of population once surrounded
the church. A stone, resembling a common milestone,
but with a cross carved on its top, stands in the church-
yard, near the W end of the present church, and is
thought to mark the centre of a privileged sanctuary-
ground attached to the preceptory. Similar stones
marked the limits or corners of that ground, each 1 mile
distant from the centre ; and all the space within the
circle drawn round these outlying stones was as much a
legal sanctuary as the church at its centre, and afforded
protection against the law to every criminal or debtor
who entered and remained within its precincts. The
knights were introduced to this establishment by David
I., and had many possessions conferred on them by him
and his successors ; and after the suppression of the
Knights Templars in 1312, they inherited the extensive
property of that great rival Order. In 1291 and 1296,
Alexander de Wells, ' prior hospitalis Sancti Johannis
Hierusalemitani in Scotia, ' swore fealty to Edward I. ;
and in 1298 he was slain in the battle of Falkirk. From
precepts which Edward issued to the sheriffs to restore
the property of the Knights, the preceptory of the Order
seems, even at that early period, to have had estates in
almost every county except Argyll, Bute, and Orkney.
Radulph de Lindsay was preceptor uuder Robert I. Sir
Henry Livingston was preceptor under James II. , and
died in 1463. Sir Henry Knolls, the next preceptor,
governed the Order in Scotland during half a century,
and was commonly called Lord St John. Treasurer to
James III. from 1468 to 1470, he joined the party who
hunted down that monarch to his unhappy end ; in
1489-90 he was appointed to collect the royal revenues
in Linlithgowshire ; and after being much employed by
James IV. , he fell fighting by his side on the Field of
Flodden. Sir George Dundas, his successor in the pre-
ceptorship, was the school-fellow of Hector Boece, and
is praised for his learning. Sir Walter Lindsay, the
next preceptor, was a ' valient capitane by sea and land,'
445

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