Parish of Manor

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.

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1791-99: Manner
1834-45: Manner (2nd entry)
1834-45: Manner

Manor (in 1186 Maineure; Cymric maenawr,' a manor or district enclosed in a stone boundary;' maen,' stone'), a parish of Peeblesshire, whose church stands on the left bank of Manor Water, 3 miles SW of the post-town, Peebles. It is bounded NW by Stobo, N and E by Peebles, SE by Yarrow in Selkirkshire, S by the Megget section of Lyne, and W by Drummelzier and Stobo. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 11 miles; its utmost breadth is 4½ miles; and its area is 16, 6712/3 acres, of which nearly 50 are water. Manor Water, rising in the extreme S at an altitude of 2000 feet above sea-level, runs 103/8 miles north-by-eastward-for the last 5½ furlongs along the Peebles boundary-till, after a total descent of 1400 feet, it falls into the Tweed at a point 1¾ mile WSW of Peebles, and 1 furlong below one-arch Manorfoot Bridge (1702). It is joined by Glenrath Burn and nearly a dozen more little affluents, most of which, like itself, afford capital trout-fishing. The Tweed curves 2¾ miles east-by-northward along all the north-western and northern boundary, and just above Manorfoot is spanned by a handsome five-arch stone bridge, 260 feet long, erected in 1881-83 at a cost of £3000. At the influx of Manor Water to the Tweed the surface declines to 600 feet above sea-level; and chief elevations to the W of the Manor, as one goes up the vale, are Whitelaw Hill (1521 feet), the *Scrape (2347), Posso Craigs (1817), *Pykestone Hill (2414), *Dollar Law (2680), and *Norman Law (2408); to the E, Canada Hill (l716), *Hundleshope Heights (2249), Glenrath Hill (2049), *Blackhouse Heights (2213), *Black Law (2285), and *Shielhope Head (2110), where asterisks mark those summits that culminate on the confines of the parish. The great green hills, their summits clothed with heather, have mostly a rapid ascent; beyond Posso they closely approach, and grow wild and towering. The rocks are Lower Silurian, and the soil is generally light. At an early period cultivation was carried far up the vale, perhaps to its very head; but later tillage was abandoned, especially in the upper reaches, which may account for the old rhyme-

' There stand three mills on Manor water,
A fourth at posso Cleugh;
Gin heather-bells were corn and bere,
They wad get grist eneugh.'

In the lower half of the parish the cultivation of cereals and green crops, always more or less followed, is now the principal industry. The parish is rich in antiquities and objects of interest, comprising hill-forts, of which there are several well defined; peel-towers, that of Castlehill being the most prominent, and that of Barns (1498) the best preserved; the site of' Macbeth's Castle;, the site of St Gordian's Kirk, far up the vale, in Kirkhope, marked by a granite runic cross, with the old font stone at its base; the Ship Stone, under Posso Craigs; a tumulus known as the' Giant's Grave,' in Glenrath Hope; a cup-marked fallen monolith, near Bellanridge (an old woman,'tis said, whom the devil turned into stone); and traces of the old' Thief's Road,' or freebooters' mountain bridle-way. One and all are surpassed in interest by the lowly cottage (1802) of the' Black Dwarf,"Bowed Davie' Ritchie (1740-1811), near Woodhouse farm, 1 mile SW of the Kirkton. Here in 1797 he received a visit from Sir Walter Scott, who was staying at Hallyards with Professor Ferguson. His chair, scarce as high as a hassock, is still kept at Woodhouse; and a tombstone in the churchyard, erected by Messrs Chambers in 1845, marks the spot where they laid him to rest. A rest soon broken, for his legs no longer than a two-year child's, and his ape-like arms, so marvellously strong, proved too strong a temptation to resurrectionists, as one learns from Dr John Brown's Horœ Subsecivœ Mansions, are Barns, Glenternie, and Hallyards; and 5 proprietors hold each an annual value of more, 2 of less, than £500. Manor is in the presbytery of Peebles and the synod of Lothian and Tweeddale; the living is worth £309. The parish church is a handsome Gothic edifice of 1873-74, with 188 sittings and two memorial windows. Within the vestry is a table made of oak that had been used for church building purposes not later than the 13th century; and a bell in the belfry bears the Latin inscription,' In honore Sanct. Gordiani, mcccclxxviii.' The public school, with accommodation for 59 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 46, and a grant of £60, 11s. Valuation (1860) £4201, (1884) £6109. 1s. 9d. Pop. (1801) 308, (1831) 254, (1861) 247, (1871) 271, (1881) 277.—Ord. Sur., shs. 24, 16, 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

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