Patrick Reid (Pàdhraig, his local name in Gaelic was anglicised to Patrick or Peter) came from the south in the 1770s to manage the local Tulloch Estate lands. He was an ‘improving’ farmer, keen to develop new ways of managing the thousands of farmed acres of land. He built his reputation among the improving landlords of his day by persuading (or coercing!) the Estate tenants to improve their outputs with fertiliser and crop rotation.
His own new house on Kinnairdie Brae had a fine view of his own land down to the sea. He joined the Council and was involved in such ‘Town Operations’ as improving the drinking water supply by laying wooden pipes from Blackwells and paving the High Street.
Patrick Reid died in 1816 and is buried in St Clements churchyard.
In 1788 Duncan Davidson’s map of his Tulloch estate shows plans for adding terraces of houses north of the Peffery by a new road going up the hill to Tulloch Castle. He commissioned a bridge over the Peffery to improve access to the town. The bridge was built, managed by Reid and has been called Peter’s Bridge after him ever since.
The mile-long Canal was opened in 1819 to bring shipped materials closer to the town than the mud flats and beaches. This was designed by engineer Thomas Telford and some old maps show the temporary channels through which the Peffery was diverted while the construction went on.
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