All Their Good Friends and Neighbours: The Story of a Vanished Hamlet in Angus
Catherine Rice (2014)
The hamlet of Burnside of Dun whose story this book tells was once a thriving little community of agricultural labourers and linen hand-loom weavers making a bare living alongside a well-used drove road. Today only its evocative memorial and rickles of stones marking the foundations of the cottages remain, lost in the wooded hills of North Angus and barely remembered. Parish registers, estate papers, church records, private family papers, and 19th century census reports and government commissions of inquiry have been searched to uncover the lives of the families and individuals who lived and worked there: in damp loomsheds, the tattie fields and at the harvest. They flocked to the churches and chapels of the district, drank in the little pub and cared for the surprising number of illegitimate children produced by their daughters. By the end of the 19th century, the disappearance of cattle droving and handloom weaving combined with the drying up of casual farm labouring led to the settlement being abandoned by all but the very old.
Catherine Rice began to investigate the deserted village of Burnside of Dun while teaching History at Montrose Academy in the 1970s, and after working as a local history researcher at the University of Dundee. Moving away from the area and a career change meant the project was abandoned until her retirement in 2009, when a return visit to the site inspired her to take up the work again.
113 pages, 14 colour and b/w illustrations