Parish of Bervie

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: Bervie
1834-45: Bervie

Bervie, a coast town and parish of Kincardineshire. The town, called sometimes Inverbervie, stands on the southern bank of Bervie Water, 3 furlongs from its mouth in Bervie Bay, and at the terminus of a section of the North British railway, 13¼ miles NNE of Montrose; while a good bridge across the river, 80 feet high and of 103 feet span, leads 10 miles north-north-eastward to Stonehaven. A royal and parliamentary burgh, a market town, and nominally a seaport, it mainly consists of three small irregular streets, forming three sides of a rectangle; and it has a post office under Fordoun, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments; branches of the Aberdeen Town and County Bank, the North of Scotland Banking Company, and the Stonehaven Savings' Bank; gas-works; three principal inns; a market cross; a town-house (1720) surmounted by a belfry; a public hall (1874), with accommodation for over 400 persons, being 82 feet long, 33 wide, and 27 high; the parish church, a handsome Gothic edifice (1837; 900 sittings), with a square tower more than 100 feet high; a Free church; and a public school- Wednesday is market-day, and cattle and grain markets are held on the second Wednesday of the six winter months, October to March, and on the Thursday before 19 May. A machine for spinning linen yarn- the first in Scotland-was set up on the Haughs of Bervie in 1788; and now along the river there are four flax and tow mills, besides a woollen mill, a chemical works, and wincey and sacking factories. Some little commerce is carried on, but the harbour is at the fishing village of Gourdon, 1 mile to the S, though the inner basin of Bervie Bay might itself be easily rendered a safe and commodious haven. A Carmelite friary stood upon Friar's Dubb, near Bervie Bridge; and near the station is Hallgreen Castle, a picturesque stronghold still in fair preservation, which, founded in 1376 by the Dunnets, passed to the Raits in the 15th century. Young David II., with Johanna, his English queen, landed at Bervie from France, 4 May 1341; and from him the town got its first charter, renewed by James VI. in 1595. It is governed by a provost, 3 bailies, a dean of guild, a treasurer, a town-clerk, and 9 councillors; and, with Montrose, Brechin, Arbroath, and Forfar, it sends one member to parliament, the parliamentary and municipal constituency numbering 169 in 1881, when the annual value of real property amounted to £2877,3s. 10d., while the corporation revenue for 1880 was £191. The school, in the latter year, with accommodation for 124 children, had an average attendance of 94, and a grant of £56,4s. Pop. of parliamentary burgh * (1831) 757, (1851) 934, (1871) 1013, (1881) 1094.

Bounded NW by Arbuthnott, NE by Arbuthnott and Kinneff, E by the German Ocean, and S by Benholm, the parish has an extreme length from E to W of 3 miles, an extreme width from N to S of 2 miles, and a land area of 2332 acres. The coast, about 2 miles long, is low but rocky; inland the surface rises southwards and south-westwards from the Bervie, which traces 3½ miles of the northern boundary, to Gourdon Hill (436 feet), Knox Hill (523), and Kenshot Hill (618), the two first culminating on, and the last just within, the Benholm border. Peattie Burn runs through the middle of the parish to the Bervie, opposite Allardice Castle. The prevailing rock is Devonian sandstone and conglomerate, and has been extensively quarried; the soil of the low grounds is a deep fertile loam, incumbent upon gravel; and fully two-thirds of the whole area are cultivated, besides some 100 acres under wood. Two proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 1 also holding between £100 and £500,2 between £50 and £100, and 6 between £20 and £50. Bervie, disjoined from Kinneff in 1618, is in the presbytery of Fordoun and synod of Angus and Mearns; its minister's income is £285. Valuation of landward portion (1881) £3745, 15s., including £282 for the railway. Pop. (1801) 1068, (1841) 1342, (1861) 1561, (1871) 1843, (1881) 2106.—Ord. Sur., shs. 66, 67, 1871.

* The royal burgh includes the whole parish of Bervie and small portions of Benholm and Kinneff.

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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