River North Esk

(North Water)

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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Esk, North (the Leva of Ptolemy), a river of Forfar and Kincardine shires, formed, at an altitude of 820 feet above sea-level, by the confluence of Lee and Mark Waters at lnvermark, near Lochlee church, 17 miles NW of Edzell. Thence it winds 29 miles south-eastward, till, at a point 4¼ miles N NE of Montrose, it enters the North Sea. During the last 15 miles of its course it roughly traces the boundary between Kincardine and Forfar shires; and from head to mouth it traverses or bounds the parishes of Lochlee, Edzell, Fettercairn, Stracathro, Logiepert, Marykirk, Montrose, and St Cyrus. Its upper tributaries are, on the right, the Effock, the Keeny, and the Mooran, the water of the last of which supplies the town of Brechin with 500,000 gallons a day. The works, constructed in 1874, cost over £15,000, and the supply is conveyed 10 miles. On the left bank the Esk receives the Tarf at Tarfside, the Turret at Millden, between Lochlee and Edzell, and lower down the Burns of Meallie and Auchmull. The course of the North Esk where it leaves the Grampians is rugged, wooded, and picturesque, and that part which forms the county boundary pierces for a number of miles through a red sandstone gorge. It is crossed by the ` Loups Bridge ' and Gannochy Bridge, the latter erected in 1732 by James Black, a farmer in the district. Passing the village of Edzell, it receives West and Cruick Waters at Stracathro, and Luther Water at Balmakewan, all from the Howe of the Mearns; then after passing Craigo, Logie, Montrose Water-works, and Kinnaber Mills on the right, and Marykirk village on the left, it loses itself at length in the ocean. On 20 Sept. 1861 the Queen and the Priuce Consort, with Princess Alice and Prince Louis of Hesse, drove down Glenesk from Invermark to The Burn, in the course of their Fettercairn or ` second great ' expedition. The river gives a title to a branch of the Carnegie family. Sir John, younger brother to the first Earl of Southesk, was created Lord Lour in 1639, Earl of Ethie in 1647, and in 1662 received the titles of Earl of Northesk and Lord Rosehill, the latter from an eminence on the banks of the river. (See Ethie.) The river offers good sport, containing as it does, salmon, sea trout, and common trout. The net fishings are valuable, 700 to 800 salmon having been taken on the opening day of the season below Marykirk Bridge.—Ord. Sur., shs. 66, 57, 1871-68.

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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