« AnteriorContinuar »
STATISTICS OF SCOTLAND.
SCOTLAND, the northern division of the island of Great Britain, is situate between 54° 37' and 58° 42' north latitude, and between 1° 47' and 6° 7' west longitude from Greenwich, and is surrounded by the sea on all sides except on the south, which is separated from England, partly by the Tweed and other streams, and partly by a supposed line along the high grounds in that quarter. From the Mull of Galloway on the south, to the Farouthead in Strathnaver on the north, its length is about 275 miles, while its breadth, from east to west, varies from 36 to 147 miles; and its area, computed from Arrowsmith's map, not including the islands, contains about 25,520 square miles of land, and 494 square miles of fresh water lakes. The outline on the sea-coast is
irregular, arms of the sea penetrating in some places to a great extent.
Of these inland seas, or firths as they are called, the most considerable are the Firths of Forth and Tay, and the Moray Firth on the east; and the Firth of Clyde and the Bays of Glenluce and Wigton on the west. Besides these, the northern and north-western coasts are indented with Lochs in all directions.
The surface of the country is varied and unequal. In that portion of it usually termed the Lowlands, the hills are of moderate height, and afford pasture for numerous flocks of sheep ; while in the Highlands, or that division which is separated by the Grampians from the more southerly parts, every variety of mountain scenery is to be found. The Grampian mountains extend from sea to sea with a breadth of from forty to sixty miles, and among them is found the most elevated land in Britain. Bennevis in Inverness-shire rises to the height of 4380 feet; Benlawers in Perthshire to 4015; Benmacdowie in Aberdeenshire, and Cairngorum in Banffshire, to upwards of 4000 feet each above the level of the sea. Parallel to the Grampian range on the southward is a lower chain of hills, called the Sidlaw, Ochil, and Campsie Hills, and between these two lines lies the fertile valley of Strathmore. In the Lowland division, Hartfell in Dumfries-shire, and Lowthers in Lanarkshire, rise upwards of 3000 feet above the level of the sea ; and the land round the village of Leadhills in Lanarkshire, at the height of 1564 feet, is the highest ground cultivated in Scotland. An elevation of 600 feet above the level of the sea seems nearly the limit of profitable tillage, though in Aberdeenshire the plough sometimes reaches to an elevation of 1300 feet.
The chief rivers in Scotland are the Forth, the Tweed, the Clyde, the Tay, and the Spey. The Forth rises on the south side of Benlomond in Dumbartonshire, and, running from west to east, discharges itself into that firth or arm of the German Ocean which goes by its
The Tweed has its source in Tweedsmuir, near where the counties of Peebles, Dumfries, and Lanark join. It issues from the same mountain out of which the Clyde and Annan take their rise.
It takes a course nearly north-east till it reaches the royal burgh of Peebles, where, turning nearly east, its stream is aug
mented by the Ettrick, near Selkirk--the Gala below Galashiels--the Leader at old Melrose--and the Teviot at Kelso. A few miles below this it forms the boundary between England and Scotland, until it falls into the German Ocean at the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed. The Clyde takes its rise in the same mountain with the Tweed and the Annan, and, dividing the county of Lanark through its whole length, falls into the Firth of Clyde, opposite to the district of Argyllshire named Cowal, and the Island of Bute. Next to the Tay it is the largest river in Scotland, and is navigable for vessels of considerable tonnage as far as Glasgow. The Tay, which
pours into the ocean a greater quantity of water than
any other river in Britain, rises in Breadalbane, on the frontiers of Lorn in Argyllshire. Here it is named the Fillan. About ten miles from its source, it diffuses itself into Loch Dochart, and gives the name of Glendochart to the vale through which it runs. At the eastern extremity of this valley it receives the waters of the Lochy, and shortly after the united stream is lost in Loch Tay. About two miles after leaving this lake, it is joined by the Lyon, and at Logierait by the united streams of the Garry and Tummel, which almost rival it in size. Here it turns southward, and, receiving various other streams in its course, it advances to Perth, and is soon after lost in the arm of the German Ocean, to which it gives its name. The Spey rises in Badenoch in Inverness-shire. A few miles from its source it spreads out into a small lake, from which, resuming its course, it proceeds with great rapidity towards the east; on reaching the village of Rothes, it directs its course northward, and falls into the Moray Firth at Garmouth. The direct length of its course is about ninety miles; but following its windings, it is estimated at 120 miles. It flows through the large fir woods of Glenmore and Strathspey; and large quantities of timber are annually floated on its waters down to Garmouth. The Spey is the most rapid river in Scotland.
Besides these rivers, numerous streams water the country in all directions, and add to its riches by their aid in moving machinery.
The chief lakes of Scotland are Loch Lomond in Dumbartonshire; Loch Awe in Argyllshire ; Loch Tay, Loch Katrine, and Loch Earn in Perthshire; Loch Ness in Inverness-shire ; and Loch Leven in Kinross-shire, celebrated for the fine trouts it produces, and on account of the castle on one of its islands having been for some time the prison of Queen Mary.
The climate of Scotland, compared with that of the greater part of England, is cold, cloudy, and wet; and corn, fruits, and vegetables, common to both divisions of the island, in general reach maturity a month sooner in England than in Scotland. The annual mean temperature is between 45o and 47° Fahr. ; the average fall of rain about thirty-one inches, though the difference between the east and west coasts has been estimated at one-fifth more in the latter than in the former. The number of days on the west coast in which no rain falls has been estimated at 160, while on the east coast 230 have been given as the average. The winds which generally prevail are westerly for about two-thirds of the year, and easterly gales, chiefly in spring and the early part of summer, for about one-third.
Agriculture.-That part of Scotland chiefly cultivated lies along the banks of the rivers and shores of the sea, and the heaviest crops are procured from the valleys or alluvial lands called Carses. In some of these, as in the Carse of Gowrie, the land lets high in proportion to other parts of the country. Of the computed area of Scotland, amounting to 18,944,000 English acres, exclusive of lakes, little more than a fourth, or five millions of acres, are regularly or occasionally cultivated ; and about two-thirds even of this is employed in grazing, in raising crops for live stock, or is under fallow. The remainder, about fourteen millions of acres, deducting about 900,000 acres as the estimated extent of the natural and planted wood, is only adapted for the pasturage of sheep. The smallest proportion of cultivated land is in the counties of Selkirk, Sutherland and Orkney, averaging only about six acres in the hundred; the greatest is in the counties of East, West, and Mid-Lothian. Including mines and fisheries, the medium rent of the land may be estimated at about five shillings per acre.
The mineral productions of Scotland are numerous and valuable. The great coal field, stretching across the country in a diagonal line from west to east, or from the Firth of Clyde at Dumbarton to St Andrews in Fife, and Haddington in East Lothian, is about ninety-eight miles long, with an average breadth of thirty-three miles, and estimated to extend over 600,000 acres. Coal has also been found in the county of Sutherland in the north, and in Dumfries-shire and Roxburghshire in the south, but has not been worked to any extent. Lime is very generally diffused, and is wrought in the neighbour- ! hood of the collieries. It is extensively used for the amelioration of the land. Iron is also found very generally in the coal districts, and is wrought to a considerable extent, though some is still imported from Wales. Lead occurs in many parts of Scotland, and is wrought to a great extent at Leadhills and Wanlockhead, in the county of Dumfries. Marble is found in the Hebrides, Argyllshire, and Sutherland; granite and sandstone in the line of the Grampians. Greenstone and other species are abundant over all the country. The fine freestone, of which the greater part of the buildings in the New Town of Edinburgh are specimens, was chiefly taken from Craigleith and Hailes quarries, about two miles to the westward of the city. Plumbago is found in Dum