Set Your Boundaries


In the process of creating Newport as a Burgh in 1887 there was an argument about the boundaries which it should have.

Those in favour of creating the burgh wanted to use the existing boundary of the Newport Water Supply District, created in 1879 (in black), running from the coast at Northfield Farm, to Forgan School, to Woodhaven Pier.

But Mr Berry, the proprietor of Tayfield and on whose land Newport was built, had other ideas. He wanted a much smaller area to be included in the burgh. As far as we can tell, he wanted to constrain the town more or less within the area it covered at that time, and leave his home farm and grounds outside the burgh (in red) *.

The burgh-creators had to go to the Sheriff Court to resolve the matter. After visiting Newport, Sheriff Mackay set the boundary of the new burgh (in blue). In doing so, he gave the commissioners almost all the area they had asked for but the litigation had cost the new ratepayers £100.

If Mr Berry’s proposal had been accepted, there would have been no Craighead, Norwood, Linden Avenue, Waterstone Crook, Castle Bank, Netherlea or Woodhaven.

The litigation proved expensive for Mr Berry – since the Commissioners were now able to levy a burgh rate on Tayfield House and buildings he would have to pay his share of the ratepayers’ bill for the court case as well as paying his own legal costs.

Sources:
Dundee Courier, 17 September 1878
Dundee Advertiser, 23 May 1887; 18 July 1887
All newspapers available at British Newspaper Archive

* I have tentatively drawn the limits of Mr Berry’s area using the existing boundaries of his estate and the following limited description taken from the press: ‘ Mr Berry’s requested area was much more circumscribed: in the East, Taygrove was excluded, the railway line was excluded and a large piece of ground in the centre of the village was excluded, including the tennis courts, Tayfield mansion house and home farm of Tayfield; while in West Newport a small portion of railway was taken in, but only a very narrow strip of land to the south of the Kirk Road and the line was carried so closely down at the West end of the village that one or two houses already built were excluded. ‘ [Dundee Advertiser, 23 May 1887]

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