Skip to main content

‹‹‹ prev (299) Page 477Page 477

(301) next ››› Page 479Page 479

(300) Page 478 -
The great western Roman road, or that which came
up Annandale, crossed into Crawford, and went down
the valley of the Clyde, is also in some localities called
Watling Street.
Watten, a parish, containing a hamlet of the same
name, near the centre of the eastern portion of Caith-
ness. It is bounded N by the parishes of Bower and
Wick, E by the parishes of Wick and Latheron, S by
the parishes of Latheron and Halkirk, W by the parish
of Halkirk, and NW by the parish of Bower. The
shape is an irregular oblong, measuring about 7 by 6\
miles, with a projection about 3 miles long and 1J mile
wide passing S from the S side, and another small foot-
shaped projection standing out for 1J mile at the SW
corner. The boundary line on the N is artificial, but
elsewhere it is largely natural, following from Wick
Water northward the high ground between the Achairn
and Strath Burns — two tributaries of the Wick — to the
Moss of Leanas, where it cuts across the Camster Burn,
curves round the high ground at Hill of Bigcus (628) and
Stemster Hill (S15) — this portion forming the southern
projection — and thence N by W to Spital Hill (577)
between Spital Quarries and Banniskirk Quarries, and
thereafter irregularlynorth-eastwardback to the northern
boundary W of Loch Watten. The extreme length of
the parish, from North Watten Moss on the N, 2 miles
N of Loch Watten, southward to Hill of Bigcus, is 11 1
miles ; the average breadth of the greater part of it is 6
miles ; and the total area is 31, 751 '549 acres, of which
1172-134 are water. The height of Loch Watten is 55
feet above sea-level, and from this the surface undulates
upward in all directions except due E, reaching a height
of 300 feet or over along the greater part of the western,
south-eastern, and eastern borders, and of from 70 to
200 feet on the NE. One-fourth part of the parish to
the N is mostly under cultivation, but the rest is moor
and rough grazing land. There are, what is rare in
Caithness, a few acres of woodland. The soil varies from
stiff friable clay and loam to moorish earth, the latter
being most abundant. The underlying rock is Old Bed
Sandstone, but in the form of flagstone, which is worked
on the NW at Spital Quarries. Near the N end of the
parish is the large Loch Watten (2f miles x | mile ; 55
feet) ; near the centre of the W side, 2| miles SW of
Loch Watten, is Loch of Toftingale (f x § mile ; 235
feet) ; and in the SW and S are the small lochans called
the Dubh Lochs of Shielton and the Dubh Lochs of
Munsary. The drainage of the northern part of the
parish is carried off by the streams flowing to Loch
Watten and the upper 1§ mile of Wick Water, which
issues from the E end of the loch ; in the SW the
drainage is carried off by the streams flowing to Loch of
Toftingale, by the Burn of Acharole issuing from it,
and smaller streams flowing to the latter ; and in the S
and E by the Strath Burn and the smaller streams flow-
ing to it. The Strath and Acharole Burns unite £ mile
S of the hamlet of Watten, and the joint stream enters
Wick Water immediately after it has left Loch Watten.
There is good fishing both in Loch Watten and in Loch of
Toftingale, the trout in the former being from J lb. to 3
lbs. , and in the latter about £ lb. Loch Watten is pre-
served, but the other is open to the public. There are
traces of stone circles at Halsary and Moss of Wester
AVatten, and of Picts' houses or weems ; and NW of the
church at Stonehone is a standing-stone, said to mark
the burial place of Skuli, Jarl of Orkney, who, accord-
ing to Torfaeus, was buried at Hofn, though Hofn is
more probably rather to be identified with Huna. Back-
lass, 2 miles W by S of the village, was in the end of
last century the dwelling-place of a noted robber, David
Marshall, who seems to have been a northern Rob Roy.
To the N of Loch Watten the parish is traversed for 4£
miles by the Georgemas and Wick portion of the High-
land Railway, with a station at the E end of the loch,
153| miles NE of Inverness, and 7J WNW of Wick.
Bower station also is close to the NW border of the parish.
To the S of the loch is one of the main lines of road from
Wick to Thurso, which passes through the parish for 5$
miles; and the road from Thurso to Latheron runs for 1
mile across the SW corner. There are also in the N a
number of good district roads. The hamlet, the old
name of which was Achingale, is near the E end of the
loch, and has a post office. There are fairs at the church
on the last Tuesday of October o. s. , and the first Tuesday
of November, and at Stonehone on the fourth Tuesday
of December. Watten is in the presbytery of Caithness
and synod of Sutherland and Caithness, and the living
is worth £311 a year. The parish church, a very old
building with 750 sittings, is near the station, a short
distance NE of the loch ; and there is a Free church at the
village. Under the school board Gersa, Lanergill, and
West Watten schools, with accommodation for 70, 110,
and 103 pupils respectively, had in 1884 attendances of
39, 49, and 67, and grants of £44, 6s. 9d., £41, 2s. 9d.,
and £74, lis. 6d. The chief proprietors are Sir Robert
Anstruther of Balcaskie, Bart., and Thomas Adam, Esq.
of Lynegar, and the rest of the land is almost entirely
in the hands of the Duke of Portland, E. W. Home,
Esq. of Stirkoke, and W. S. T. Sinclair of Freswick.
Valuation (I860) £5947, (1885) £8611, 14s., including
£503 for railway. Pop. (1801) 1246, (1831) 1234, (1861)
1491, (1871) 1453, (1881) 1406.— Ord. Sur., sh. 116,
Wattston, a village in New Monkland parish, Lanark-
shire, 3J miles N by E of Airdrie. Pop. (1881) 324.
Wauchope. See Langholm.
Wauchope, a mansion in Hobkirk parish, Roxburgh-
shire, 10 miles SE of Hawick. Its owner, Walter Mac-
Millan Scott, Esq. (b. 1848 ; sue. 1862), holds 3488
acres in the shire, valued at £2352 per annum. — Ord.
Sur., sh. 17, 1864.
Waulkmills, a village in St Vigeans parish, Forfar-
shire, 2 miles N by W of Arbroath.
Wedale. See Stow.
Wedderburn Castle, a Grecian mansion in Duns
parish, Berwickshire, 2 miles ESE of the town.
Weem (Gael, uaimh, ' a cave '), a village and a parish
of Perthshire. The village, on the N side of the Tay,
1 mile NW of Aberfeldy, has a good hotel and a public
The parish lies dispersed in separate and far distant
portions, over well-nigh a fourth of Perthshire, from
near the head of Glenlochy on the W, to the vicinity of
Loch Freuchie on the E, and from 3 miles S of Loch
Tummel on the N, to within 3J miles of Loch Earn on
the S. It claims, at 22 miles distance from its parish
church, the very nearest farm to the church of Killin ;
and it has other farms at a still greater distance, some
of them upwards of 30 miles, both in Glenlochy and
Glenlyon. With a total area of 67J square miles, its
districts are eleven in number, all mutually detached,
all intermixed with wings and detachments of Logierait,
Dull, Fortiugall, Kenmore, Killin, Comrie, and Little
Dunkeld, and several of them possessing a very irregular
outline ; so that any brief attempt at a topographical
description of them would either be abortive, or would
involve a miniature picture of nearly one-fourth of the
county. Enough that its principal features are noticed
in our articles on Achmoee, Castle-Menzies, Comrie,
Glassie, etc. The rocks are mainly metamorphic ;
and the soil is very various in the different districts,
and even in different parts of each of several of the
districts, but may be described, in general, as wet and
marshy in a few places, as light and gravelly in the
highest parts, and as a strong fertile loam through-
out much of Weem proper. The principal landowners
are Sir Robert Menzies, Bart., and the Earl of Breadal-
bane. Giving off portions to Innerwick and Amulree
quoad sacra parishes, Weem is the seat of a presbytery
in the synod of Perth and Stirling. The living is worth
£215. The parish church was built in 1835, and con-
tains 561 sittings. In the E end of the old church,
which is still standing, is a curiously sculptured
monument, with a Latin inscription, to Sir Alexander
Menzies, who died in 1624. The private Episcopal
chapel of St David was consecrated in 1878. The
public school, with accommodation for 67 children, had
{1884) an average attendance of 63, and a grant of

Images and transcriptions on this page, including medium image downloads, may be used under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence unless otherwise stated. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Licence