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Parish of Lonmay

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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1791-99: Lonmay
1834-45: Lonmay

Lonmay, a parish in Buchan district, NE Aberdeenshire, with a station on the Formartine and Buchan section of the Great North of Scotland railway, 5¼ miles S by E of Fraserburgh and 42 N by E of Aberdeen, under which there is a post office of Lonmay, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments. Fairs are held near the station on the second Monday of every month.

Containing also the fishing village of St Combs, 4½ miles NNE of Lonmay station, the parish is bounded NE by the German Ocean, SE and E by Crimond, St Fergus, and Longside, S by Old Deer, W by Strichen and Rathen, and NW by Rathen. With a very irregular outline, it has an utmost length from NNE to SSW of 81/8 miles, a varying width of 11/3 furlong and 4 miles, and an area of 12,0001/3 acres, of which 528 are foreshore and 397 water. The coast, 4 miles in extent, has a sandy beach, bordered by low and bent-covered sandhills. Bleak, shallow Loch Strathbeg, 23/8 miles long, and from 2 to 4½ furlongs broad, lies partly in Crimond but mainly in Lonmay, within ¼ mile of the sea-shore. Formed by sand drifts blocking the outlet of a stream, it contains three islets, and is bounded on the N by a fine grassy extent of downs or links, affording pasturage for cattle and sheep. Several burns run in different directions across the parish, and after making a confluence, pass into Loch Strathbeg; whilst North Ugie Water, at two different points, traces 1¼ and ½ mile of the southern boundary. The highest point in the parish-270 feet above sea-level-is near Kinninmonth church. One or two green braes skirt the links near the beach; two or three unimportant ridges extend westward through the interior; a plain, comprising the estates of Lonmay, Cairness, Craigellie, Blairmormond, Park, and parts of Inverallochy and Crimonmogate, constitutes the northern district; and the southern consists of another plain, somewhat more elevated, broken by rising-grounds, and containing two extensive peat mosses. Syenite and greenstone are the predominant rocks; and limestone occurs on the northern border. The soil, in some parts clay, is elsewhere chiefly light, dry, and sandy. About one-fifth of the entire area is still moss or moor; plantations cover some 400 acres; and all the rest of the land is either cultivated or in pasture. Lonmay Castle, on the coast, 1½ mile SSE of St Combs village, is scarcely known to record, and has utterly disappeared. An ancient Caledonian stone circle, in pretty entire condition, is at Newark. The principal mansions are Cairness, Craigellie, and Crimonmogate; and 5 proprietors hold each an annual value of more, 6 of less, than £500. Since 1874 giving off its southern division to the quoad sacra parish of Kinninmontih, Lonmay is in the presbytery of Deer and the synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £375. The parish church, 2¼ miles NE of Lonmay station, is a neat edifice of 1787, containing 649 sittings. Near it is St Columba's Episcopal church (1797), which, as reconstructed in 1862, is seated for 160, and comprises nave, chancel, and organ-chamber. Three public schools -Blackhills, Lonmay, and St Combs-with respective accommodation for 70, 120, and 130 children, had (1882) an average attendance of 63, 87, and 119, and grants of £48, 18s., £77, 14s., and £94, 10s. Valuation (1860) £7892, (1884) £11, 727, 14s. 1d., plus £547 for railway. Pop. (1801) 1607, (1831) 1798, (1861) 2142, (1871) 2245, (1881) 2393, of whom 1767 were in the ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., shs. 97, 87, 1876.

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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