Parish of Newhills

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: Newhills
1834-45: Newhills

Newhills, a parish of SE Aberdeenshire, containing Auchmill and Stoneywood villages, with Buxburn station on the Great North of Scotland railway, 4 miles NW of the post-town, Aberdeen. It anciently formed the SE corner of the extensive parish of Old Machar, but having acquired a chapel in 1663 on the lands of Keppelhills, with mortification of those lands for maintaining a minister, it was constituted a parish in 1666, and took the name of Newhills in allusion to the changed status of Keppelhills. It is bounded N by Dyce, E by Old Machar and Woodside, S by Banchory-Devenick, SW by Peterculter, and W by Skene and Kinnellar. Its length, from N to S, varies between 25/8 and 5 miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 45/8 miles; and its area is 10, 321¾ acres, of which 39 are water. The river Don winds 23/8 miles south-south-eastward along the Old Machar boundary; and six burns drain the interior, either to the Don or towards the Dee. The surface, in the vicinity of the Don, is low and flat, sinking to 50 feet above sea-level; elsewhere it rises westward to 403 feet near Craibstone House, 604 near Kingswells manse, 578 at Cloghill, and 870 at Brimmond Hill. Granite is the prevailing rock, and is extensively quarried, both for home use and for exportation. The soil, in the low level tract, is a deep rich mould; elsewhere is mostly black, light, shallow, and spongy. Nearly one-ninth of the entire areas pastoral or waste; 400 acres are under wood; and the rest of the land is in tillage. Antiquities are a large cairn, several tumuli, remains of a Caledonian stone circle, and vestiges of an old chapel; whilst a chief curiosity is a cavern in a ravine of Elrickhill, supposed by the vulgar to penetrate for miles under ground, and celebrated in legend as the retreat of a noted robber and his gang. The granite quarries and extensive paper works employ a large number of the population. Oldmill Reformatory (1857), near the eastern border, 2¼ miles W of Aberdeen, is a large building, occupied by about 100 boys. A cottage home for convalescents, with accommodation for from 12 to 15 patients, was opened in July 1882, the work having been started eight years before by Mrs Smith of the Manse. Mansions are Cloghill, Craibstone, Fairley, Hazlehead, Kingswells, Springhill, Stoneywood, and Waterton; and 7 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 19 of between £100 and £500, 10 of from £50 to £100, and 24 of from £20 to £50. Newhills is in the presbytery and synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £709. The parish church, 1¼ mile W by S of Auchmill, is a good building of 1830, with 1100 sittings. Other places of worship are Stoneywood Established chapel of ease (1879; 800 sittings), Newhills Free church at Auchmill, Kingswells Free church (4 miles W of Aberdeen), and St Machar's Episcopal church (1880) at Buxburn. Six public schools-Blackburn, Buxburn, Keppelhills, Kingswells, Stoneywood, and Stoneywood infant-with respective accommodation for 87, 480, 96, 141, 411, and 120 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 83, 395, 51, 101, 174, and 85, and grants of £69, 8s., £349, 9s. 6d., £44, 14s. 6d., £95, 0s. 6d., £156, 15s., and £73, 4s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £14, 789, (1884) £24, 453, plus £677 for railway. Pop. (1801) 1305, (1831) 2552, (1861) 3463, (1871) 4210, (1881) 5480.—Ord. Sur., sh. 77, 1873.

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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