Ury House

(Urie House)

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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Urie, a mansion in Fetteresso parish, Kincardineshire, on the left bank of Cowie Water, 2 miles NNW of Stonéhaven. It is an Elizabethan edifice of 1855; and the addition of a wing in 1883-84 at a cost of over £10,000 has made it the largest mansion in the county. The grounds are very extensive, including 700 acres within the walls in permanent pasture and 5 miles of picturesque drives within the gates. On the principal approach there is a high-level bridge over -the Cowie, which cost upwards of £2000. The first known possessors of the estate were the Frasers, a family of renown in early Scottish history, whose chief was designated Thane of Cowie. Through the marriage of Margaret Fraser with Sir William Keith, it passed to the Marischal family. The barony of Urie, which then included the lands of Elsick and Muchalls, was sold in 1413, along with other possessions, to William de Hay, Lord of Errol. It remained in the possession of the Hay family till 1640, when the estate of Urie was purchased by William, Earl Marischal, Elsick and Muchalls having in the interval passed into other hands. About 1647 it was sold to Col. David Barclay, third son of Barclay of Mathers, the representative of the ancient De Berkeleys. Col. Barclay, 'having religiously abdicated the world in 1666 and joined the Quakers,' at his death in 1686 was succeeded by his son, Robert Barclay (1648-90), the famous Quaker apologist. His great-grandson and namesake (1751-97) in 1777 married the heiress of Allardice (see Arbuthnott), and improved the estate, granting feus, from which the New Town of Stonehaven has arisen. His son, Capt. Rt. Barclay-Allardice (1779-1854), was famous as an agriculturist, and still more for his pedestrian feats, having in 1809 walked 1000 miles in 1000 consecutive hours. At his death the estate was purchased by the late Alex. Baird, Esq., ironmaster at Gartsherrie, who was succeeded in 1862 by his brother, John Baird, the father of the present laird, Alex. Baird, Esq. (b. 1849; suc. 1870). With the adjacent estate of Rickarton, purchased in 1875, the lands extend to about 10,000 acres, and yield a rental of about £7500. Other estates owned by Mr Baird are Drumkilbo in Perth and Forfar shires (1400 acres; rental £2000), and Inshes in Inverness-shire (2000; £3000).—Ord. Sur., sh. 67, 1871. See W. R. Fraser's History of Laurencekirk (Edinb. 1880).

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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