Parish of Stobo

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2022.

It has taken much time and money to make the six-volumes of Groome's text freely accessible. Please help us continue and develop by making a donation. If only one out of every ten people who view this page gave £5 or $10, the project would be self-sustaining. Sadly less than one in thirty-thousand contribute, so please give what you can.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry Arrow

Links to the Historical Statistical Accounts of Scotland are also available:
(Click on the link to the right, scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Browse scanned pages")

1791-99: Stobo
1834-45: Stobo

Stobo (anc. Stoboc, `the hollow of stobs or stumps'), a parish of central Peeblesshire, containing Stobo station (with a post and railway telegraph office) on the Peebles branch of the Caledonian, 12½ miles E by N of Symington Junction and 6½ WSW of Peebles. The present parish since 1742 has comprehended part of the ancient parish of Dawick. It is bounded N by Newlands, NE by Lyne and Peebles, E by Manor, S by Drummelzier, S W and W by Broughton, and NW by Kirkurd. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 5 ¼ miles; its utmost breadth, from N to S, is 4 7/8 miles; and its area is 1 0, 372 ¾ acres, of which 71 are water. From the influx of Biggar Water in the SW to the influx of Lyne Water in the E, the Tweed has here a north-easterly course of 6 ¾ miles-31/8 miles east-north-eastward along the Drummelzier border, 2 3/8 miles north-north-eastward across the interior, and 1 ¼ mile east-north-eastward along the Manor border. Biggar Water flows 1 ¼ mile eastward along the Broughton boundary, and Lyne Water 4 ¾ miles south-eastward along the Newlands, Lyne, and Peebles boundary; whilst the Tweed's chief affluents from Stobo itself are Hopehead or Weston Burn, rising on Broughton Heights at an altitude of 1550 feet, and running 4 7/8 miles south-eastward through the interior, and Harrow Burn, running 2¾ miles south-eastward to its month near the parish church. Sinking in the extreme E, at the confluence of Lyne Water with the Tweed, to close on 550 feet above sea-level, the surface thence rises to 1266 feet at Quarry Hill, 1495 at Torbank Hill, 1760 at Penvalla, and 1872 at Broughton Heights, which culminate on the meeting-point of Stobo, Broughton, and Kirkurd parishes. The valley of the Tweed here, whilst possessing much natural beauty, is rich in artificial embellishment; and some of the hills are green, but most are covered with heath, all those of the western district forming a continuous upland, fit only for sheep pasture. Greywacke, more or less schistose, is the prevailing rock; and coarse clay slate, of a dark blue colour, and well adapted to roofing purposes, was quarried so long ago as 1661. The soil on the hills is mostly moorish; and that in the vales presents no little variety, but is generally a light fertile loam, incumbent on gravel. Barely onesixth of the entire area is in tillage; about 500 acres are under wood; and nearly all the remainder is hillpasture. The ` Black Dwarf,' David Ritchie (17401811), was born at Slate Quarries (see Manor). Antiquities are two cairns and two Caledonian standing-stones on Sheriffmuir; the three hill-forts of Kerr's Knowe, Hog Hill, and Dreva Craig; and the site of a feudal keep, called the Lour, on the S side of the Tweed. Stobo Castle, near Stobo station and the Tweeds left bank, is a spacious castellated pile, with battlements and round flanking towers, erected in 1805-11 from plans by J. & A. Elliot. The grounds are well laid out and finely wooded, four of the trees (an oak, ash, sycamore, and beech) being described among the 'old and remarkable trees of Scotland' in Trans. Highl. and Ag. Soc. for 1880-81. The barony of Stanhope and Stobo, once the property of the Murrays, was purchased in 1767 for £40, 500 by James Montgomery, who, having in 1775 been created chief baron of the exchequer in Scotland, received a baronetcy in 1801. His grandson, Sir Graham Graham-Montgomery, third Bart. (b. 1823; suc. 1839), Conservative M.P. for Peeblesshire 1852-80, holds 18,172 acres in Peebles and 2336 in Kinross shire, valued at £6945 and £3130 per annum (see Kinross). Two other proprietors hold each an annual value of more than $500. Stobo is in the presbytery of Peebles and the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £244. The parish church, 9 furlongs NNE of the station, on a rising-ground beside the Tweed, is an interesting old edifice, consisting of chancel, nave, S porch, and square saddleroofed tower with a bell-cote. Portions of it are Norman or Romanesque, as old as or older than the 13th century; but the general features belong to the Pointed style of architecture. The jougs still hang on the porch; and in the N wall of the chancel is a canopied tomb, whose every stone has a ` W ' carved on it, and within which a skeleton, four German coins, and a Scottish one, apparently of James V. (1537), were found in 1863, when the church was well restored at the cost of Sir Graham Montgomery. Stobo church is an example of what is called a `plebania' or mother church, having subordinate churches or chapelries within its territory. These were Dawick, Drummelzier, Kingledoors, Tweedsmuir, Broughton, Glenholm, and Lyne. The parson was styled Dean, and in early times the office was hereditary. We find mention made of Stobo in reference to church matters in 1116, when the rectory of Stobo was converted into a prebend of Glasgow; and of all the prebends of Tweeddale, Stobo was the most valuable. ` The rights of the manor of Stobo,' says Chalmers in his Caledonia, `were as fiercely contested as the sovereignty of Scotland.' The public school, with accommodation for 54 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 47, and a grant of £42, 16s. 6d. Valuation (1857) £3803, 7s. 4d., (1884) £5066, 2s. Pop. (1801) 338, (1831) 440, (1861) 478, (1871) 459, (1881) 467.—Ord. Sur., sh. 24, 1864.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better