- DULL, a parish, in the county of Perth, 4 miles (W. by N.) from Aberfeldy; containing, with parts of the late quoad sacra parishes of Foss and Tenandry, and part of the village of Aberfeldy, 3811 inhabitants, of whom 145 are in the village of Dull. This place, of which the name is descriptive of a plain, appears to have been celebrated for a monastery founded here at a very early period, and which formed one of the only three Abthaneries existing in the kingdom. These peculiar establishments, of which the superior had the title of Abthane, were at Dull, Kirkmichael, and Madderty; and Edgar, King of Scotland, conferred all of them upon his younger brother, Ethelred, then abbot of Dunkeld, whose successor, Hugh, granted the monastery of Dull to the priory of St. Andrew's. The parish, which comprises the districts of Appin, Grandtully, Amulrie, Foss, and Fincastle, is about thirty miles in length, but, from its intersection by other parishes, is of very irregular form, varying from four to twelve miles in breadth, and comprising about 135,000 acres, of which 19,000 are arable, pasture, and meadow, 3000 woodland and plantations, and the remainder moor and waste. The surface is divided throughout its whole length by several parallel ranges of hills, forming part of the Grampians, and gradually diminishing in height towards the north-east, and between which are the beautiful vales of Glenquaich, Appin, Foss, and Fincastle. Of these ranges the highest is the central range, dividing the vale of Appin from that of Foss, and containing a portion of the mountain Schiehallion, which has an elevation of 3564 feet, and is partly in the parish of Fortingal, and the hill of Farragon, which is wholly in this parish, and is 2535 feet above the level of the sea. In this range is the Craig of Dull, a lofty rock, commanding from its summit an extensive and diversified prospect, embracing the richly-cultivated vales of Appin and Fortingal, Loch Tay, the bridge of Kenmore, the noble mansion and wooded grounds of Taymouth, and a great variety of picturesque Highland scenery.The principal river is the Tay, which, after flowing through the grounds of Taymouth, in the parish of Kenmore, enters this parish, and, pursuing its course along the vale of Appin, which it sometimes partially inundates, runs north of the village of Aberfeldy into the parish of Logierait. The river Lyon, which has its source in Loch Lyon, in the parish of Fortingal, enters this parish at Coshieville, and, taking a south-easterly direction, separates Dull from Weem, and flows into the Tay at the eastern base of the hill of Drummond. The Quaich, rising among the hills in Kenmore, expands, after a course of nearly eight miles, into the Loch Fraochy, in the valley of Glenquaich, on the southern border of the parish. The river Tummel, issuing from Loch Rannoch, flows in an easterly course into Loch Tummel, forming the northern boundary of the parish; and the Garry, which has its source in Loch Garry, in the parish of Blair-Atholl, intersects the north-eastern portion of the lands. These rivers form several interesting and highly picturesque cascades, of which the chief are the falls of Keltnie, Camserney, Tummel, and Moness; and in the Lyon and Tummel are found pearl-muscles, some containing pearls of large size and of brilliant lustre. There are likewise numerous lakes in the parish, of which one of the principal is Loch Tummel, described under the head of Blair-Atholl, on the boundary of which it is situated. Loch Fraochy is about two and a half miles in length, and half a mile in breadth; on the south bank is a shooting-seat, the property of the Marquess of Breadalbane, the demesne attached to which is embellished with plantations. Trout of small size, but of excellent flavour, afford sport to the angler, for whose accommodation there is an excellent inn about half a mile distant. Loch Ceannard, situated in the hills of Grandtully, is nearly a mile in length, and a quarter of a mile wide, and is surrounded with bleak and barren mountains. Nearly in its centre is a small islet, on which are the ruins of an ancient shooting-lodge, almost surrounded with plantations of larch, affording shelter to flocks of black-game; and on the north bank of the loch is a neat modern villa in the cottage style. There are many small lakes in the immediate vicinity, all of which abound with trout, pike, and perch.The soil in several parts is a rich loam alternated with clay, and in others light and gravelly; in some of the districts is found a thin brownish loam mixed with sand, and in others a wet moss. The chief crops are, oats, barley, potatoes, and turnips; the system of husbandry in the vale of Appin is in a highly advanced state, and elsewhere has been much improved under the auspices of the Highland Society. Great attention is paid to the improvement of live stock, and to dairy-farming. The cattle, of which about 5000 are reared, are generally of the West Highland breed, with a few of the Ayrshire on the dairy-farms; and the sheep, of which more than 18,000 are fed, are of the black-faced breed, with some of the Cheviot and Leicestershire on the lower grounds. The rateable annual value of the parish is £11,649. There are considerable remains of natural wood, consisting of birch, interspersed with oak, ash, hazel, willow, alder, and mountain-ash; and very extensive plantations of beech, ash, plane, elm, oak, Scotch and spruce firs, and larch, which last is predominant, are under careful management, and in a thriving state. The rocks are chiefly of mica-slate, intermixed with quartz, granite, and hornblende; and the principal substrata are whinstone and limestone, the former used for the roads, and the latter, of which a quarry has been opened at Tomphobuil, for manure. An attempt for the discovery of coal has been made, but without success.Grandtully Castle, the baronial seat for many generations of a branch of the ancient Stewart family, and now the residence of Sir William D. Stewart, Bart., is a venerable turreted mansion on the south bank of the river Tay; and Cluny, Derculich, Foss, and Moness, are all handsome houses, finely situated. In the village of Aberfeldy the woollen manufacture is carried on to a moderate extent, there being a dye-mill, with machinery for carding and spinning; and at the hamlet of Camserney, a carpet manufactory was established by Sir Niel Menzies, Bart., which affords employment to about thirty persons. There are likewise a saw-mill and a wheelwright's establishment, in which latter bobbins are also made, for the Dundee market. Fairs are held at Aberfeldy, for cattle, sheep, and horses, on the first Thursday in January, the Tuesday before Kenmore fair in March, the last Thursday in May, the last Friday in July, the last Thursday in October, and the first Thursday in November (all O. S.). Fairs for cattle and sheep are also held at Amulrie, on the first Tuesday and Wednesday in May and the Friday before the first Wednesday in November; at Coshieville on the last Thursday in October and the day before Fortingal fair in December; at Tummel-Bridge on the last Friday in October; and at Foss on the first Tuesday in March, for horses and general business. A sheriff's court for small debts, which has jurisdiction also over the parishes of Kenmore, Killin, Fortingal, Weem, and part of the parishes of Logierait and Little Dunkeld, is held quarterly at Aberfeldy, and has nearly superseded the justice-of-peace courts at Weem, within which district Dull is comprehended. There is a post-office at Aberfeldy, and a branch office has been opened at Amulrie; facility of communication is maintained by good turnpike-roads.The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Weem and synod of Perth and Stirling. The minister's stipend is £257. 18., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £40 per annum; patron, the Crown. The church, situated in the village of Dull, is an ancient structure, repaired and reseated in 1840, and contains 600 sittings, all free. A church to which a quoad sacra district was for a short time assigned, has been erected at Foss by parliamentary grant. There are also chapels in connexion with the Established Church at Amulrie and Grandtully, under the patronage of the General Assembly, The minister of the former has a stipend of £65, wholly from the Royal Bounty, and the minister of the latter has £90, of which £40 are paid by Sir William D. Stewart, and the remainder from the Royal Bounty; each minister has also a manse, and about five acres of arable land rent free from the proprietors. At Tummel Bridge is an episcopal chapel. The parochial school is well attended; the master has a salary of £34, with a house and garden, and the fees average £14. Of the monastery no vestiges remain, with the exception of a heap of shapeless rubbish near the village of Dull, supposed to be the ruins of the abbey church. The ancient cross, around which was a sanctuary, whose limits were marked out by three crosses of similar form, but recently removed, is still remaining; and there are numerous barrows and tumuli, of which one, at the bridge of Keltnie, now covered with plantations, has every appearance of an artificial intrenchment, and is supposed to have been the site of a battle between the Fingalians and Picts. In 1836, on removing a large barrow of stones between the inn at Coshieville and the river Lyon, Mr. Menzies discovered about twelve stone coffins, rudely formed of slabs, in some of which were found urns containing ashes, and in others ashes and human bones only. In the lands of Croftmoraig are the remains of a Druidical circle, nearly complete; and in the vale of Appin are several upright stones, of which some are in groups, and others standing alone.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.