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TYREE
tion above high-water mark of scarcely 20 feet ; and, as
it has no tree, and scarcely an enclosure, it is swept with
unrestrained violence by the westerly winds, and often
so scourged by gales that sown seed and loose dry soil
are dispersed, and matured crops of corn and potatoes
broken down. A remarkable plain, called the Reef,
near the centre of the island, and 1562 acres in area, is
as flat as the sea, and has scarcely a swell or even a
stone ; and, from dread of the effect of the winds should
the surface be once broken, it is kept in a state of per-
petual pasture, and offers a singular spectacle of rich
verdure. The soil is in general light, consisting of sand,
calcareous earth, and moss. The sand very greatly
predominates ; but, in its general diffusion, it is of a
calcareous nature, consisting, together with quartz, of a
large proportion of pulverised sea-shells. The island,
in consequence, is one of the most fertile tracts of land
in the Hebrides. Its fertility is greatly aided, too, by
a regular and constant moisture, occasioned partly by its
flatness and partly by its peculiar climate and exposure.
The regularity of the moisture is everywhere proved by the
flourishing growth in the corn-fields of the yellow iris,
the polygonum viviparum, and other aquatic plants.
Such natural pastures as, from their soil and position,
have least humidity are surprisingly rich, and produce
white clover in such abundance as almost to exclude the
grasses. Marshes are unknown ; and bogs are so limited
that the inhabitants are under the necessity of importing
their fuel from Mull, and in some instances have been
driven to the ruinous resource of paring the soil down
occasionally to the subjacent rock. So wondrously
destitute is the island of wood, that, excepting one
species of willow, it may be said not to possess a ligneous
fibre. Yet the total want of shelter, while in many
respects injurious to agriculture, combines with the level
nature of the surface to occasion so equable a distribu-
tion of sand-drift by the winds, that, instead of low lands
being overwhelmed as in many places throughout the
other Hebrides and the Shetland Islands, the drift
brings a perpetual renewal of calcareous manure, and
scarcely anywhere accumulates to such a degree as to
choke vegetation. At the northern extremity, how-
ever, as in the S end of Coll, protuberating rocks afford
local shelter, and occasion the sand to accumulate.
Agricultural practice has undergone some improve-
ments, but is still in a comparatively rude condition.
About 5850 acres are in tillage ; and about 10,725
are pastoral or waste. The produce of all kinds of
crops is comparatively small. The rearing of black
cattle is a chief employment ; and the exportation of
them a principal means of support. Poultry and eggs
also are largely exported. Fishing, contrary to the
prevailing practice in the Hebrides, engages compara-
tively little attention. Owing to a rapidity of increase
in the population, and to the ruin of the kelp manufac-
ture on which a large proportion of them depended
mainly for subsistence, Tyree has shared to a grievous
extent in the distress with which so many of the
Hebridean islands have of late years been visited. The
Duke of Argyll is the sole proprietor. The predomi-
nant rock of the island is gneiss ; but this abounds
with veins of granite, and imbeds masses of primitive
limestone. One of the limestone masses, long and
favourably known for the flesh-coloured marble into
which it has been cut for ornamental architecture, is
an irregular rock, 100 feet in diameter, lying among the
gneiss without stratification or continuity. In conse-
quence of its hardness, even though cheaper, in spite
of that inconvenience, than many foreign marbles of far
inferior beauty, it has lost the patronage of public
caprice, and ceased to be in request. Its very tint is
finely relieved by the dark green crystals of augite and
hornblende which are imbedded in it. The deposit is
quite unstratified. Another mass, ten times the size of
the former, and equally irregular, resembles the marble
of Iona in whiteness, texture, and fracture, yet is gene-
rally impure, and seems to have been quarried only for
TYRIE
building dikes. The Hill of Ceanmharra, situated
at the SW point of the island, and presenting a
mural face to the sea, is perforated with a great number
of caves, some of which are large and scoured by the
surge, while all are frequented by flocks of sea-fowls.
Remains of no fewer than 39 watch-towers or forts,
within view of one another, encircle the coast of Tyree
and Coll ; and there are 9 or 10 standing-stones, besides
minor antiquities. The inhabitants relate many Fin-
galian and other tales of battles and chieftains, and
even affect to point out the graves of the heroes of their
legends. On an islet, now converted into a peninsula,
anciently stood a square turreted castle, accessible only
by a drawbridge ; and on its ruins was erected, in 1748,
a house for the factor of the Duke of Argyll. Fairs are
held on the Wednesday in May before Mull, on the
Monday in August before Mull, and on the Wednesday
in October before Mull. The island has a post office
under Oban, with money order and savings' bank depart-
ments, and communicates weekly by steamer with the
Clyde. Tyree, to which Coll was annexed from 1618 to
1866, is now a separate parish, in the presbytery of Mull
and the synod of Argyll ; the living is worth £317. The
church was built in 1776, and enlarged in 1786, and
contains 475 sittings. There are Free and Congrega-
tional churches in Tyree ; and four new public schools —
Cornaigmore, Hillipol, Ruaig, and Scarnish — with respec-
tive accommodation for 130, 120, 105, and 70 children,
had (1884) an average attendance of 88, 73, 63, and 4S,
and grants of £93, 17s. 5d., £27, 12s. 5d., £58, Is. 4d.,
and £31, 14s. Valuation (1885) £6177, 16s. Pop.
(1831) 4453, (1861) 3201, (1871) 2834, (1881) 2730.
Tyrie, a parish of Buchan, N Aberdeenshire, whose
church stands close to the northern border, 3$ miles S
of Rosehearty and 5 SW of Fraserburgh, under which
there is a post office. Containing also the town of New
Pitsligo, the parish is bounded N by Aberdour and Pit-
sligo, E and SE by Rathen, Fraserburgh (detached),
Aberdour (detached), and Strichen, S by New Deer,
and W and M W by Aberdour. It utmost length, from
NE to SW, is 7§- miles ; its breadth varies between 1J
and 3 1 miles ; and its area is 17 J square miles or
11,193* acres, of which llf are water. Streams there
are none of any size ; but the drainage of the northern
district goes to the Water of Philorth, and of the rest
of the parish to either North or South Uuie Water.
The surface is somewhat hilly, declining near the parish
church to 148 feet above sea-level, and rising thence
to 411 feet near Blackrigg, 454 near Monkswell, and
651 at the Hill of Turlundie. Granite is the predomi-
nant rock ; and the soil on the hills is comparatively
shallow, in the valleys is generally deep, and, except
where mossy or moorish, is mostly a fertile reddish-
coloured loam. Great improvements have been effected
during the last sixty years in the way of draining, re-
claiming, fencing, and building. Several tumuli, cairns,
and Picts' houses have been demolished, as well as a
mote-hill near the parish church, in whose porch is the
'Raven Stone,' which formed the foundation stone of
the ancient church. That church, St Andrew's or the
White Kirk of Buchan, is said to have been founded
about the year 1004, when a Morniaer of Buchan had
routed a Danish host on the neighbouring hills. Boynd-
lie, noticed separately, is the only mansion ; and the
property is mostly divided among three. Giving off its
south-western portion to the quoad sacra parish of New
Pitsligo, Tyrie is in the presbytery of Deer and the
synod of Aberdeen ; the living is worth £203. The
present church, built in 1800, contains 400 sittings.
Tyrie public and Boyndlie Episcopalian schools, with
respective accommodation for 156 and 129 children,
had (1884) an average attendance of 89 and 68, and
grants of £87, 7s. 6d. and £58, 4s. Valuation (1S60)
£6206, (1885) £10,300, lis. 2d. Pop. (1801) 1044,
(1831) 1613, (1861) 3043, (1871) 3446, (1881) 3391, of
whom 871 were in the ecclesiastical parish. — Ord. Sur.,
shs. 97, 87, 1876.
464

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