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Laurencekirk

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.

This edition is copyright © The Editors of the Gazetteer for Scotland, 2002-2016.

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Laurencekirk, the only village in the parish noticed above, stretches for nearly a mile along the highway between Edinburgh and Aberdeen, at a distance from these cities of 93 and 30 miles respectively. Its distance from Montrose and Brechin is respectively 10 and 12 miles. The markets (cattle, grain, and hiring) are the principal in the district; and adjoining the market stance is a station of the Caledonian railway, at which there is a large amount of traffic. Besides the churches referred to in the notice of the parish, the principal buildings are the Town Hall and Masons' Lodge (built in 1779), the St Lawrence Hall (1866), Town and County Bank (1854; established 1839), and North of Scotland Bank (1872; established 1857). The principal streets are High Street, extending the whole length of the village; Johnston Street, formed about 1820; and Garvock Street, soon after. There are large and well-replenished shops, at which all the varieties of merchandise may be procured. The principal inns are the Gardenstone Arms, Royal, Western, and Crown Hotels; and there is the utmost facility for hiring in all its branches. Pop. (1841) 1365, (1851) 1611, (1871) 1521, (1881) 1454, of whom 790 were females. Of houses in 1881 there were 376 inhabited, 18 vacant, and 1 building. The houses generally present a comfortable appearance, and a number of them are handsome and commodious. The village was long noted for the manufacture of snuff-boxes, the peculiarity of the 'Laurencekirk snuff-box' being a concealed hinge and wooden pin, the invention about 1783 of Charles Stiven. The name of Laurencekirk was first applied to a village on the Haulkerton estate, which was erected a burgh of barony early in the 17th century. By and by it was amalgamated with the Kirkton of Conveth, and the two extended to the present site on the estate of Johnston. Under the fostering care of Lord Gardenstone the new portion came to be a considerable village, while the original burgh of Haulkerton dwindled away, a few relics only surviving till about 1820 or 1830. Under the old name the village was erected into a burgh of barony, under the administration of a bailie and 4 councillors, with all the usual privileges. The charter is dated 27 Aug. 1779.

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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