More Historical Information

Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, Francis H Groome, 1885

Ballingry (popularly Bingry: Gael. baile-na-greig, ‘ town of the flock’)

A hamlet and a parish of West Fife. The hamlet stands in the NE, 1 1/2 mile SSE of Loch Leven, and 2 1/8 miles N by W of the station, 3 of the post town of Lochgelly, which partly lies within the SE border; at it are the parish church (1831; renovated 1876) and the public school (1874).

image Rudely resembling a top heavy hour-glass in outline, the parish is bounded N by Kinross, E and SE by Auchterarder, SW by Beath, and W by Beath and Cleish, Kinross-shire. It has an extreme length from N to S of 4 miles, a width from E to W of from 1/4 mile to 2 1/2, and a area of 4621 1/2 acres. The Ore has an eastward course here of 2 7/8 miles, along the Cleish border and through the interior ; and from its right bank the surface rises to 531 feet above sealevel near South Lumphinnans, from its left bank to 621 feet near Benarty House, 1167 on flat-topped Benarty Hill in the NW, and 721 on Navity Hill in the NE. The rocks belong to the limestone carboniferous series, and two collieries were at work in 1879, Lumphinnans and Lochore; the soil, by nature cold and stiff, has been greatly improved, and the bed of Loch Ore (drained towards the close of last century) yields capital crops, but Lumphinnans farm, of 803 acres, let for only £693 in 1875. About a third of the whole area is under tillage, and plantations cover some 250 acres. Ptolemy’s Victoria, a town of the Damnonii, was situated at Loch Ore, and near it was a Roman station (Skene, Celt. Scot, i.74), whilst an islet on it was crowned by a fortress, founded in the latter half of the 11th century by Duncan de Loch Orr, from whose descendants the domain came to the Wardlaws of Torry, to Sir John Malcolm (c1630), and to Miss Jobson, who married the 2nd Sir Walter Scott. At present the mansions are Benarty (Wm B Constable) and Lochore (Alex. Burns), and the property is divided among 4 holding each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 8 of between £100 and £500, 2 of from £50 to £100, and 1 of from £20 to £50. For school and church purposes the southern portion of Ballingry is included in the quoad sacra parish of Lochgelly; the rest forms a parish in the presbytery of Kinross and synod of Fife, its ministers income being £375. The school, with accommodation for 250 children had (1879) an average attendance of 86, and a grant of £34 13s 9d. Valuation (1881) £8035 14s 9d. Population of quoad sacra parish (1881) 605; of civil parish (1801) 277, (1831) 392, (1851) 568, (1861) 736, (1871) 982, (1881) 1065,113 of whom were in Lochgelly burgh – Ord. Su., sh40,1867.



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