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Udny Castle

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Udny, a village and a parish of Aberdeenshire. The village stands 283 feet above sea-level and 2¼ miles NW of Udny station on the Formartine and Buchan section (1861) of the Great North of Scotland railway, this being 5 miles SSW of Ellon, 8¼ N by E of Dyce Junction, and 14½ NNW of Aberdeen, under which there is a post and railway telegraph office. There is also a branch (1875) of the Aberdeen Town and County Bank; the Formartine Agricultural Association (1829) holds an annual show of live-stock at the Green of Udny; and horse, cattle, and sheep markets are held at Udny station on the last Thursday of every month.

The parish, formed in 1597 out of portions of Ellon, Tarves, Logie-Buchan, and Foveran, is bounded N by Tarves, E by Ellon, Logie-Buchan, Foveran, and Belhelvie, S by New Machar, SW by Fintray, the Banffshire (detached) section of New Machar and Keithhall, and NW by Bourtie and Tarves. Its utmost length, from N by E to S by W, is 65/8 miles; its breadth varies between 1¼ and 65/8 miles; and its area is 18 square miles or 11,5547/8 acres, of which only 6½ are water. Streams there are none of any size; but the drainage is carried eastward and north-eastward to the Ythan by four or five little rivulets. In the N, at the Mill of Dumbreck, the surface declines to 83 feet above sea-level; and thence it rises very gently to 309 feet at Newseat, 310 at West Coullie, and 620 at the Changehill on the south-western border. Granite, of a pale greyish hue, has been largely quarried; and an inferior limestone was at one time worked. The soil, in most parts a deep loam incumbent on granite or clay, is here and there naturally marshy, but has been greatly improved by draining. About one-fifteenth is either pastoral or waste; nearly one-thirtieth is under wood; and almost all the remainder is in tillage. Udny Castle, 3 furlongs NNE of the village, is a massive three-storied tower, 46 feet long, 35 broad, and 71 high, with walls 9 feet in thickness. It is supposed to have been founded about the beginning of the 14th century; but a large and handsome addition has been made by the present proprietor, John Henry Fullarton Udny, Esq. (b. 1853; suc. 1861), the descendant of a long line of lairds, who holds 9225 acres in the shire, valued at £9041, 7s. per annum. The mansions of Pitmedden and Pittrichie are noticed separately; and, in all, 10 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 6 of between £100 and £500. Udny is in the presbytery of Ellon and the synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £360. The parish church, built in 1821, contains 750 sittings. There is also a Free church; and two public schools, Pitmedden and Udny Green, with respective accommodation for 125 and 185 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 110 and 81, and grants of £102, 19s. and £67, 18s. Valuation (1860) £10,063, (1885) £13,840, 16s. 11d., plus £998 for railway. Pop. (1801) 1242, (1831) 1309, (1861) 1668, (1871) 1663, (1881) 1638.—Ord. Sur., shs. 77, 87, 1873-76.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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