Parish of Peterculter

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: Peterculter
1834-45: Peterculter

Peterculter, a parish of SE Aberdeenshire, containing Murtle, Milltimber, and Culter stations on the Deeside branch (1853) of the Great North of Scotland railway, 5½, 6½, and 7¾ miles WSW of Aberdeen, under which there is a post and telegraph office of Peterculter. It is bounded N by Skene and Newhills, E by Newhills and Banchory-Devenick, S by Maryculter, SW by Drumoak, and W by Echt. Its utmost length, from ENE to WSW, is 6½ miles; its utmost breadth is 5 miles; and its area is 16 square miles, or 10, 288¼. acres, of which 100 are water, and 267 belong to the small Bieldside detached portion almost surrounded by Banchory-Devenick.* The Dee, curving 4¾ miles east-north-eastward along or near to all the Maryculter boundary, is joined at the parish church by Leuchar Burn, which flows 61/4. miles south-eastward along the Skene border and across the interior. The Leuchar itself is fed by Gormack Burn, tracing 3 miles of the Drumoak boundary, and below its influx is often known as the Burn of Culter. The surface declines along the Dee to 50 feet above sea-level, and rises thence to 322 feet at Eddieston Hill, 450 at Beins Hill or the Weather Craig, and 706 at Kingshill Wood. Gneiss is the predominant rock in the eastern and northern -portions of the parish, granite in the western; and the latter has been largely quarried at Anguston. In the E the soil is sandy or gravelly, with a mixture of vegetable earth; whilst in the arable parts of the other districts it is variously a red earth or clay, a thin sandy soil on gravel and rock, and a mixture of black earth or reclaimed moss and clay. Nearly onesixth of the entire area is under wood, plantations chiefly of larch and Scotch firs; and about two-thirds are in tillage, a good deal of swampy and moorish land having been reclaimed in the course of the last half century. Employment, other than agriculture, is furnished by the Culter Paper Mill (1751) and by a flock factory (183l). Normandykes, the chief antiquity, is noticed separately, as also are the mansions of Binghill, Countesswells, Culter, and Murtle. Five proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, and five of between £100 and £500. Peterculter is in the presbytery and synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £241, 11s. The parish church, originally dedicated to St Peter, stands close to the Dee's-left bank, near Culter station. It was built in 1779, and contains 550 sittings. Nearly 2 miles to the N is Peterculter Free church; and two public schools, Countesswells and Craigton, with respective accommodation for 57 and 180 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 37 and l27, and grants of £32, 11s. and £117, 9s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £7879, (l884) £12, 312, 15s. 7d., plus £956 for the railway, and £500 for the aqueduct. Pop. (1801) 871, (183l) 1223, (1861) 1410, (1871) l668, (1881) 1908.—Ord. Sur., shs. 77, 76, 67, 1871-74.

* According, however, to a decision of 1867, the Deebank detached portion of Banchory-Devenick belongs now to Peterculter. which thus has a total land area of 10,547 acres.

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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