FORFAR, a county in Scotland, bounded by the shires of Aberdeen and Kincardine on the north, the German Ocean on the east, the Frith of Tay, which separates it from Fife, on the south, and the county of Perth on the west. It is situated between 27' and 57° north latitude, and between ;-2° 28' and 3° 22' west longitude from Greenwich; and extends from north to south from twenty-six to thirty-four miles, and twenty-three to thirty from west to east. It contains, by the lowest computation, 832 square miles, or 532,480 English acres, without including portions of the parishes of Lundie, Cupar, and Alyth, the greater part of which belong to the county of Perth.
More than a third of its area is occupied by the Grampians, here called the Binchinnin hills, on which it meets the Braes of Marr in Aberdeenshire. The surface of this division of the county, or the Braes of Angus, with the exception of the mountains at the head of Glen Clove, is not in gene ral so bold and abrupt as many other Alpine districts of Scotland; the hills are for the most part rounded, and rather tame, and covered with a thin coat of moorish soil, carrying stunted heath. Catlaw, the highest, is 2264 feet above the level of the sea. There are several considerable vallies in this district, the principal of which are Glen Isla, Glen Prosen, Clove, Lethnot, and Glen Esk, which are watered by streams that rise in the west and north, and com monly flow south-east, receiving innumerable tor rents from the mountains in their progress. South from the Grampians, and parallel to them, is another but lower range, called the Sidlaw hills, supposed to be a continuation of the Ochills ; some of these hills are 1400 feet high. Between these two grand divisions lies Strathmore, the Great Valley, as the name denotes in Gaelic, or, as it is commonly called, the How of Angus; extending about thirty-three miles in length, and from foiir to six in breadth,—a district beautifully diversified by gentle eminences, fertile fields, plantations, villages, and gentlemen's seats,— very little of it 200 feet above sea level. It has been proposed to carry a canal through this valley, which might be extended to Dunbarton, and thus connect the three great rivers of Scotland, the Clyde, the Forth, and the Tay ; a canal from Arbroath to For far has been under consideration very recently. The fourth, and remaining division, extends from the Sidlaw hills to the German Ocean on the east, and the Frith of Tay on the south, and is, with a few ex ceptions, a rich and well cultivated tract, varying in breadth from three to eight miles, and comprising about a fourth of the whole county.
The woods and plantations have been computed to extend to 35,000 acres, of which about 5000 may be coppice and natural wood. Several of the Gram pian glens are sprinkled with birches, oak, and ha zels. The botany and zoology of the county have been explored with great industry by the late Mr George Don of Forfar, who has presented a very ample enumeration in both departments, in a paper subjoined to Mr Headrick's late Survey for the Board of Agriculture.
The general colour of the soils is red, but often inclining to dark brown or black. In the Grampians the soil is often moorish, over whitish retentive clay, but loose and friable in the glens. Over the pud
dingstone or graveistone rock in the lower grounds, it is sometimes thin, mossy, and encumbered with stones ; and over the sandstone, a tenacious clay oc curs. The soil above whinstone is fertile, though sometimes shallow. In Strathmore it is often gra velly, in other parts a dead sand. There is no great extent of moss ; what there is, is of much value for fuel.
The mineralogy of a considerable portion of For farshire was examined by Colonel Imrie, who has given a minute description of it in a paper published in the sixth volume of the Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. In the Grampian district, towards the summit of the county, on the confines of Aberdeenshire, the prevailing rock is granite, some of it very beautiful, with topazes or rock crys tals in its cavities or fissures, known by the name of Cairn gorillas, from a mountain of that name in Aber deenshire ; also micaceous schistus, and porphyry ; dikes of the latter, in some places, intersecting the former. Laminated talc or mica, called by the shepherds sheep's siller, from its silvery lustre, which is sometimes thickly studded with small garnets, is found in irregular veins, and siliceous spar in jutting or detached hills. Lead was wrought at Gilfianan, above the old castle of Innermark, in the upper part of the parish of Lochlee, and also at A rdoch, near Mill-den, on the Esk. At the former place, according to Ed ward, in his Description of Angus, published in 1678, it yielded one-sixty-fourth part of silver ; but both mines have been long since abandoned. Limestone in small quantities frequently occurs, and is wrought in several parts ; there are also broad veins of slate, but which, it is said, does not come off in plates of sufficient size for use. In descending the Grampians to Strathmore, gravelstone prevails, and afterwards, on the lower grounds, sandstone. Clay marl is found both in Strathmore and the Sidlaw hills, but is little used. Shell marl is in more request, and abounds in different parts, particularly in the lochs of Kinordie near the bottom of the Grampians, Lundie in the Sidlaw hills, Logie in the parish of Kirriemuir, and Restennet near Forfar. These lochs have been drained and rendered of easy access. It is also found in the lochs of Forfar, Rescobie, and Balgavies, where it is raised by scoops, and conveyed to the shore in boats. The Sidlaw hills are chiefly com posed of sandstone of various colours, some of it sus ceptible of a high polish. Sandstone flags, which arc much used instead of slate for covering roofs, are raised in great quantities on the bill of Balnaahader, and in the moor to the south of Forfar ; but the moat extensive range of these flags is in the parish of Car mylie, and along the southern declivity of the Sidlaw hills. The principal lime-works are in the mari time division, at Hedderwick near Montrose, and in the parish of Craig on the sea-shore. The only mi neral springs are chalybeate, one of which is near Montrose, another to the west of Arbroath, two in the side of a rivulet about a mile farther west, and one in the north-west corner of Dumbarrow in Duni chen parish.