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Arbuthnott


Aberdeenshire

A small village in a parish of the same name in SE Aberdeenshire, Arbuthnott lies to the east of the Highland boundary fault, between the Howe of the Mearns and the North Sea. It is traversed by the Bervie Water and has a landscape of rolling farmland which rises to 216m (710 feet) at Bruxie Hill. Close to the Bervie Water and 2 miles (3 km) northwest of Inverbervie is St Ternan's Church, a red sandstone building, the oldest part of which dates from the 13th Century. Restored in 1896 by A. Marshall Mackenzie, with stained glass windows by Daniel Cottier, St Ternan's is one of the few parish churches in Scotland that dates from pre-Reformation times and is still in use for public worship. The church is dedicated to St Ternan who is believed to have been born to a Pictish family in the Mearns during the 5th century AD. He went on to become abbot of a monastic settlement in Leinster in Ireland before returning to northeast Scotland where he established a religious community in Banchory. James Sibbald, Vicar of Arbuthnott, completed a famous religious book known as the Missal of Arbuthnott in 1492 and Alexander Arbuthnott, the first Protestant minister of the parish, went on to become Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and first Protestant Principal of King's College, Aberdeen. The church incorporates the Lady Chapel, which is the burial aisle of the Arbuthnott family, and a bell tower built in 1500 by Sir Robert Arbuthnott of that ilk. The novelist of the Mearns James Leslie Mitchell (d.1935), better known by his pen name Lewis Grassic Gibbon, is buried in the churchyard and nearby is the family croft of Bloomfield. Attached to the Parish Hall in the village of Arbuthnott is the Grassic Gibbon Centre, a visitor centre dedicated to the life and times of this famous Scottish writer built by the community in 1991. To the west is Arbuthnott House, home of the Arbuthnott family which has been associated with this area for over 800 years.


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