River Deveron

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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Deveron or Doveran (Gael. da - abhuinn, 'double River'), a river of Aberdeen and Banff shires, rising in two main head-streams-whence the name-among the mountains of Cabrach, the longer of the two having its source on the mutual border of Cabrach and Glenbucket parishes, 3 miles SW of the summit of the Buck of Cabrach (2368 feet). Thence it has a total course of 615/8 miles, viz., 25¼ from its source to the Bridge of Gibston near Huntly, 24 thence to Eastside Bridge near Turriff, and 123/8 thence to its mouth; and during this course it descends from 1847 feet above sea-level at its source to 414 near Huntly and 114 near Turriff. It partly winds along in serpentine folds, but, on the whole, goes north-eastward to the influx of the Bogie below Huntly, northward thence to Rothiemay, eastward or east-north-eastward thence to the vicinity of Turriff, and northward thence to the Moray Firth. Its connections with respectively Aberdeenshire and Banffshire are so fitful, leading it now into the one county, now into the other, now along the boundary between the two, as to render it more a puzzler than an expounder in political topography; yet, in one long sweep, from above Glass church to the vicinity of Rothiemay church, it runs entirely within Aberdeenshire; and over another long sweep, from a point 4 miles WSW of Turriff to its month at the Moray Firth, it roughly traces the boundary line between the shires. The parishes immediately watered by it, whether through their interior or along their confines, are Cabrach, Glass, Huntly, Cairnie, Fordyce, Rothiemay, Marnoch, Inverkeithny, Turriff, Forglen, Alvah, King-Edward, Banff, and Gamrie- The river, in the upper part of its course, is a mountain stream, careering along a series of glens, always rapid, sometimes impetuous, and occasionally subject to tremendous freshets. All the bridges on it above Huntly were swept away by the great flood of Aug. 1829, when at Huntly it rose 22 feet above its ordinary level. But its march, in the middle and lower parts of its course, is tranquil and beautiful, through fertile plains, amid brilliant embellishments of wood and mansion, with several stretches of close scenery as exquisitely fine, in both nature and art, as almost any in Great Britain. The fertility of its banks, like that of the banks of the Don, is celebrated in both proverb and song. Its chief tributary, besides the Blackwater and Bogie, is the Isla, which joins it a little above Rothiemay. The Deveron, thence to the sea, is about two-thirds the size of the Don. Well stocked with salmon and trout, it is mostly preserved, except about Huntly; and it has bag-net fisheries on either side of its mouth, extending into the sea. A shifting bar here varies with gales of wind, and underwent such change in 1834 as first to close entirely the former mouth, and next to lay open a new one 600 yards further to the E; hence disputes have arisen among the cruive owners as to the line of the river's bed. The salmon fishings up the river belong chiefly to the Earl of Fife, partly also to Abercromby of Forglen and Gordon of Mayen ; those at its mouth belong partly to the Earl, partly to the town of Banff.—Ord. Sur., shs. 75,85,86,96,1876. See chap. xxi. of Sir Thomas Dick Lander's Moray Floods (Elgin, 1830; 3d ed. 18 73).

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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