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Parish of Longside

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: Longside
1834-45: Longside

Longside, a village and a parish in Buchan district, NE Aberdeenshire. The village lies at an altitude of from 66 to 107 feet above sea-level, near the right bank of South Ugie Water, 3 furlongs S of Longside station on the Peterhead branch of the Great North of Scotland railway, this being 6 miles W by N of Peterhead, 7¼ E of Maud Junction, and 38½ N by E of Aberdeen. It stands on an eminence, sloping gently on every side, and was founded in 1801 by Mr Ferguson of Pitfour. Its growth was rapid till the stoppage of a woollen factory at Millbank in 1828, since which year very few houses have been built; but it presents a pleasant appearance, and has a post office under Aberdeen, with money order, savings' bank, and railway telegraph departments, a branch of the North of Scotland Bank, one of the oldest savings' banks (1815) in the north of Scotland, fairs on the Thursday after the third Tuesday of every month, and hiring fairs on the Tuesday after 7 May and 7 Nov. The old parish church, on the summit of the eminence, was built in 1620, and down to 1801 was the only edifice on the site of the village, excepting a farm-house and an ale-house. Becoming too small for the greatly increased population, it was then abandoned, but still remains standing in the churchyard, the entrance to which is by an old lychgate, one of the few in Scotland. The new parish church, beside the old one, was built in 1836, and is a plain but well-proportioned edifice, with a steeple and 1350 sittings. The Free church, erected soon after the Disruption, has a tall slender spire; and St John's Episcopal church, on Cairngall estate, to the E of the village, was built in 1853, after designs by W. Hay. First Pointed in style, it consists of nave, aisles, and chancel, with a central saddle-roofed tower 90 feet high. Burns's correspondent, the Rev. John Skinner (17211807), author of an Ecclesiastical History of Scotland, and of Tullochgorum, John o' Badenyon, Ewie wi' the Crooked Horn, and other popular songs, for 64 years was Episcopal minister of Longside. Linshart, his low thatched cottage, is still standing, where, after his church had been burned by the Hanoverians in 1746, he preached from the window to the little flock gathered outside. A handsome monument marks his grave in the parish churchyard; and an interesting Life of him was published in 1883 by the Rev. W. Walker. A monument, too, was erected in 1861 over the grave of Jamie Fleeman (1713-78), the ` Laird of Udny's fool, ' who was born at Longside, and died at Kinmundy. Pop. (1831) 316, (1861) 447, (1871) 584, (1881) 474.

The parish of Longside, containing also Mintlaw village, was disjoined from Peterhead parish in 1620. It is bounded NE by St Fergus, E by Peterhead, S by Cruden, W by Old Deer, and NW by Old Deer and Strichen. Its utmost length, from N by E to S by W, is 8¼ miles; its breadth varies between 3 and 51/8 miles; and its area is 16, 8941/3 acres, of which 583/5 are water. North and South Ugie Waters wind 2¾ miles east-south-eastward and 4¾ east-north-eastward, and unite in the Haughs of Rora to form the river Ugie, which itself has an east-north-easterly course of 21/8 miles, till it passes off from the parish. North Ugie Water used often to flood a considerable extent of adjacent land, but now is restrained within embankments. Several burns run to one or other of these streams; and springs are abundant and generally pure. Two, 400 yards S of the village, though within 18 inches of each other, differ so remarkably that the one has very soft water, while the other is a strong chalybeate. The surface for the most part is either level or gently undulating, and rises to a low watershed at the Cruden boundary, attaining there a maximum altitude of 447 feet above sea-level, and at Rora Moss of 189, whilst along the U e it declines to close upon 40 feet. Granite of different colours and excellent quality is worked in the Cairngall and other quarries, both for ordinary building and for ornamental purposes. The soil is in most parts light, comparatively shallow, and incumbent on a ferruginous stratum or ` pan.' About one-fifth of the entire area is moss, pasture, or waste; nearly 400 acres are under wood; and all the rest of the land is in tillage. Estates, noticed separately, are Cairngall, Faichfield, Inverquhomery, and Kinmundy; and 7 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards. Giving off three portions to the quoad sacra parishes of Blackhill, Ardallie, and Kinninmonth, Longside is in the presbytery of Deer and synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £389. In 1882 there were the following seven schools, with their accommodation, average attendance, and Government grant:-Kinmundy (130, 127, £109, 14s.), Longside (135, 107, £93, 2s.), Longside girls' (120, 96, £84), Mintlaw (84, 78, £72, 13s.), Rora (75, 68, £57, 13s.), Mintlaw Mitchel (57, 36, £25, 4s.), and Rora Mitchel (40, 32, £15, 6s.). Valuation (1860) £11,745, (1884) £17, 288, plus £1177 for railway. Pop. (1801) 1825, (1831) 2479, (1861) 3008, (1871) 3321, (1881) 3222, of whom 2835 were in the ecclesiastical parish.—Ord. Sur., sh. 87, 1876.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available.

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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