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Parish of Banchory-Devenick

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: Banchory-Devenick
1834-45: Banchory-Devenick

Banchory-Devenick, a Deeside parish of Kincardine and Aberdeen shires, bounded N by Newhills, NE by Old Machar, E by Nigg and the German Ocean, SW by Fetteresso, W by Maryculter and Peterculter. Its Aberdeenshire section, curtailed in 1867 by the annexation of the lands of Bieldside to Peterculter, is traversed by 2¾ miles of the Deeside branch of the Great North of Scotland, with Cults station thereon, 4 miles SW of Aberdeen; and its Kincardineshire section by 3¾ miles of the Caledonian, with Portlethen station, 8 miles S by W of Aberdeen. From NNW to SSE it has an extreme length of 65/8 miles; its breadth from E to W varies between 1¾ and 3¼ miles; and its area is 10,040 acres, of which 2301 belong to Aberdeenshire, and include 33 acres of Aberdeen's parliamentary burgh. The Dee, which divides the two shires, has a course here of fully 4 miles, and is some 250 feet wide, being spanned near Cults station by a suspension-bridge (1838), and in the furthest east by the ancient Bridge of Dee. (See Aberdeen, p. 12.) The coast line, 4 miles long, is rocky and indented, rapidly rising to 200 feet; along it stand the three small fishing hamlets of Findon, Portlethen, and Downies, the first of which gave name to ` Finnan haddocks. ' Inland the surface, though generally stony and rugged, at no point much exceeds 400 feet above sea-level, Sunnyside (545 feet) falling just within the Maryculter border. The prevailing rock is a granite so hard as to be little quarried; and the soils are of all kinds, from pure alluvium to hard till, and from rich loam to deep moss. Antiquities are four stone circles in the S, and in the NW three large cairns, near which two stone coffins were fond in 1850. The Deeside portion of the parish has been divided into many small suburban estates, with handsome residences and fine plantations; among larger mansions are Ards and Banchory House (where Prince Albert lodged, 14 Sept. 1859) to the S, and Murtle, Cults, Woodland, Craigiebuckler, and Norwood, to the N of the river. Thirteen proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 21 of between £100 and £500,20 of from £50 to £100, and 19 of from £20 to £50. In the presbytery and synod of Aberdeen, this parish is divided into the quoad sacra parishes of Banchory Devenick (living, £240) and Portlethen; the latter, constituted in 1856, having 1610 inhabitants in 1881. Its church (460 sittings) is close to Portlethen station, whilst the church of Banchory (rebuilt 1822; 900 sittings) stands on the Dee's right bank, 7 furlongs ESE of Cults. There are also an Established mission church (1873) at Craigiebuckler in the N, and the Free churches of Cults and Banchory-Devenick. Cults endowed school and the 4 public schools of Badentoy (female), Banchory-Devenick, Findon, and Portlethen, with respective accommodation for 154,32,170,160, and 171 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 90,23,106,73, and 135, and grants of £80,9s., £10,6s., £91,15s., £75,9s., and £90,12s. Valuation (1881) of Kincardineshire section, £14,411,12s. 6d., including £1745 for railway; of Aberdeenshire section, £10,722. Pop. (1801) 1557, (1821) 2232, (1841) 2736, (1861) 2846, (1871) 3052, (1881) 3322, of whom 1712 were in the q. s. parish of Banchory-Devenick.—Ord. Sur., shs. 67,77,1871-73.

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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