DUNNING, a parish, in the county of Perth; including the village of Newtown of Pitcairns, and containing 2128 inhabitants, of whom 1068 are in the village of Dunning, 9 miles (W. S. W.) from Perth. This parish, supposed to take its name from the Gaelic term dun, signifying a hill or fort, contains the remains of three military stations called Ardargie, Rossie Law, and Ternavie, which are thought to have belonged to a line of forts constructed by Agricola along the northern base of the Ochil hills, where the parish lies, and stretching to Ardoch, and thence to the wall of Antoninus. This supposition is corroborated by the circumstance of Roman armour and numerous human bones having been dug up in the locality; and the proximity of the Pictish station Forteviot, and the traces of many fortifications, lead to the conclusion that this was subsequently the arena of several sanguinary conflicts. The family of Rollo, descended from Eric de Rollo, who came over with William the Conqueror as secretary, were first located in this place, where they have since remained, in the time of David I., who gave considerable possessions to Richard de Rollo, a son or grandson of Eric: the estate in 1512 was erected into a free barony, and in 1651 Sir Andrew Rollo, Knt., was created by Charles II. Baron Rollo, of Duncruib, the name of the property belonging to this ancient family. The village of Dunning was burnt to the ground in January, 1716, with many others, by the Earl of Mar, in order to arrest the progress of the royal troops; and to perpetuate the remembrance of this a thorn-tree was planted, which is still in a flourishing condition, and an object of curiosity and veneration.
   The parish extends in length about seven miles, from north to south, and four in breadth, comprehending an extensive tract of cultivated land, and 200 acres of plantations: one-third of the whole lies among the Ochil hills, in which rises the Dunning, a stream that falls, after a rapid course over a gravelly bed, into the river Earn. A lake called the White Moss, situated in the western portion, containing many small fish, and frequented by large flocks of wild ducks, covers about eleven acres of ground, and forms, with the lively burn, a pleasing and interesting object in the general scenery; and the lofty Ochils, depastured by numerous flocks of sheep, and here stretching along the south-eastern boundary of the county, exhibit a bold and striking outline, replete with romantic features which can scarcely fail to captivate the admirer of the beauties of nature. The soil along the banks of the Earn is light and sandy, but in the other parts generally clayey or gravelly, and the crops are raised under the rotation system. The farm-houses are commodious, and roofed with slate; among the improvements carried on, that of draining marshy grounds has been extensively practised, and several tracts, especially one called the White Bog, have been converted into good arable land. The rateable annual value of the parish is £9000. Quarries of common stone, of firm texture, are open in several parts, and a bed of white freestone has been lately discovered; whinstone is abundant in the Ochils, and fragments of quartz are carried along the streams. The plantations are detached and of small extent, and consist of oak, fir, ash, elm, and poplar: the garden belonging to the mansion of Duncruib, the seat of Lord Rollo, is ornamented with a fine spruce-tree, planted in 1707, of great bulk, elevation, and beauty. The modern residences are the houses of Pitcairns and Garvock. The village of Dunning is held in feu from Lord Rollo, and is governed by a baron-bailie; it has many good houses, a public reading-room, and a post-office, and in place of a gaol there is an instrument of punishment called the jougs. A large proportion of the population of the parish are cotton-weavers, and obtain work from Glasgow; a wool-mill employs many hands, and there are three corn-mills, a flour-mill, a saw-mill, two malt-mills, a distillery, and a brewery. Three fairs are annually held. The parish is in the presbytery of Auchterarder and synod of Perth and Stirling, and in the patronage of the Earl of Kinnoull; the minister's stipend is £239, with a manse, and a glebe of eight and a quarter acres, valued at £20 per annum. The church, which was rebuilt in 1810, is conveniently situated in the village, and contains 1000 sittings, all free. The members of the Free Church have a place of worship; and there are two meeting-houses belonging to the United Associate Synod, one to Original Seceders, and one to the Relief persuasion. The parochial school affords instruction in Latin and the ordinary branches; the master has the maximum salary, with about £50 fees.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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