The Newport, Wormit & Forgan Archive

Barbieri's Descriptive and Historical Gazetteer of the Counties of Fife, Kinross and Clackmannan (1857)

pages 185-186

FORGAN: A parish in Fifeshire, anciently called St Phillans, from its church having been dedicated to that saint. Bounded on the N. by the Tay; on the S. by Kilmany, Logie, and Leuchars; on the E. by Ferry-Port-onCraig; and on the W. by Balmerino. Length from E. to W. is 4.5 miles by 2 in breadth. Area, 5000 acres. Under cultivation, 3900 acres under pasture, 470; unarable, 240; under wood, 370. The coast along the Tay is bold and rocky, rising from 30 to 50 feet; the brow of which is clad with elegant villas and gardens. The surface has an irregular, undulating, yet highly pleasing aspect. The only hills are those of St Fort and Newton, the highest rising 300 feet; from the summit of which we command a view of streams, and hills feathered with wood, and vales, that elicit thought, and give to the sublimity of nature a freshness that rouses the imaginings of the soul within. Besides having the Tay on one side, it is watered by burns, and innumerable springs. Most of the soil is good black loam and clayey earth; while a part of it is light and sandy, suited for sheep pasture. Rent of land runs from £1, to £3-5-0d., though some favoured parts bring £4-10-0d. Draining, and stone, hedge, and ditch inclosures, have progressed in the parish, though the fences are still deficient; there are 15 thrashing machines, with a meal and barley mill; the cattle are the Fife, Angus, and Ayrshire breeds; of late much attention has been bestowed on sheep husbandry, as it improves light lands. There are six heritors. Population in 1851 was 1125. Coals, unless brought from coal pits 10 miles distant, are usually imported. Lime and freestone have to be brought from quarries 9 and 12 miles distant. Patron, the Crown. Parish church stipend £230-19-8d.; glebe, £25; a Free church at Newport and a Congregational church. Parish schoolmaster's salary is the maximum, the fees averaging £25; and a female school. In 1849, on poor roll, 25. There are 2 inns, and five public houses in the parish. The nearest market town is Dundee, which is 1.5 miles from Newport; Cupar is also a market town, distant 11 miles; as also St Andrews,about the same distance. The post town is Newport. There are two harbours, one at Newport opposite to Dundee, distant 1.5 miles, with 800 inhabitants; and another at Woodhaven, 1 mile to the west, at which there is a brewery of strong ale. Both harbours admit vessels of nearly 150 tons. Coal, lime, freestone, wood, grain, potatoes, and other goods are imported and exported from these ports. From Newport steamers cross hourly to Dundee. The salmon fishery produces about £150 annually, by using the net and coble; when stakenets were used, 7000 salmon have been caught in a single net. The current at Newport is strong, particularly at ebb-tide, running nearly 4 miles an hour. The lands of Morton, Kirkton, Friarton, St Fort, Newton, Wormit, Tayfield formerly called Innerdovat, are all in the parish. The finest mansion is that of St Fort, which in 1458 belonged to a family called Nairn, as we find by Sibbald and Douglas' Peerage.

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