Parish of Drainie

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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1791-99: Drainie
1834-45: Drainie

Drainie, a coast parish of Elginshire, comprising the ancient parishes of Kinneddar and Ogstonn, and containing the villages of Branderburgh and Stotfield, and the post-town and station of Lossiemouth, 5¾ miles N by E of Elgin. It is bounded N by the Moray Firth, NE and E by Urquhart, SE by St Andrews-Lhanbryd, S by Spynie, and SW by Duffus. Its length, from E to W, varies between 3¼ and 47/8 miles; its utmost breadth, from N to S, is 31/8 miles; and its area is 7254¼ acres, of which 2732/3 are foreshore and 161/3 water. The coast-line, 5 miles long, is partly low and flat, partly an intricate series of cavernous rocks, noticed under Covesea. On the Duffus border, ¼ mile inland, the surface attains 241 feet above sea-level, at Covesea 195, near Lossiemouth 124; but to the S it everywhere is low and flat, ranging between 43 feet at the parish church and only 9 at Watery Mains. The river Lossie curves 2 miles northward, north-westward, and north-eastward, along all the Urquhart border, and just above its month receives the Spynie Canal, bending 3¼ miles northward from the former bed of Loch Spynie, which, lying upon the southern boundary, was originally about 3 miles long and 1 mile broad, but by drainage operations, carried out about 1807, and again in 1860-70, has been reduced to a sheet of water in St Andrews-Lhanbryd parish of only 5 by 1½ furlongs. Low tracts along the Lossie were formerly subject to inundation, and suffered much damage from the flood of 1829, but now are protected by embankments. A white and yellow sandstone quarried here is in great request, both for local building and for exportation; and a vein of limestone lies between Lossiemouth and Stotfield, where surface lead ore also has thrice been the object of fruitless operations-during last century, in 1853, and in 1879-81. The soil is so various that scarcely 20 acres of any one same quality can be found together, and it often passes with sudden transition from good to bad. Rich loam or marly clay lies on the low drained fields, elsewhere is mostly a lighter soil, incumbent on gravel or on pure white sand; and about a square mile of thin heathy earth, in the middle of the parish, having resisted every effort to render it arable, was at last converted into a small pine forest. Kinneddar Castle, a strong occasional residence of the Bishops of Moray, stood by Kinneddar churchyard, whilst the first church of Drainie (1673) exists still in a state of ruin. Gerardine's Cave or Holy-Manhead, near Lossiemouth, was probably the abode of a hermit, and, measuring 12 feet square, had a Gothic doorway and window, which commanded a long view of the eastern coast, but in the course of working the quarries it was totally destroyed. Gordonstown is the only mansion; and 2 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 2 of between £100 and £500,4 of from £50 to £100, and 30 of from £20 to £50. Drainie is in the presbytery of Elgin and synod of Moray; the living is worth -£327. The parish church, 2¼ miles SW of Lossiemouth, was built in 1823, and contains 700 sittings. A chapel of ease and a Free church are at Lossiemouth; U.P. and Baptist churches at Brandenburgh; and three public schools -Drainie, Kinneddar, and Lossiemouth - with respective accommodation for 85,246, and 400 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 61,199, and 293, and grants of £41,6s., £133,15s., and £253,16s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £7565, (1881) £12,099,19s. Pop. (1801) 1057, (1831) 1206, (1861) 3028, (1871) 3293, (1881) 3988.—Ord. Sur., sh. 95,1876.

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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