Parish of Keithhall and Kinkell

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: Keithhall
1834-45: Keithhall

Keithhall (Monkegy prior to 1700), a Donside parish of central Aberdeenshire, whose church stands 2 miles E by S of the post-town, Inverurie. Since 1754 comprising two-thirds of the ancient parish of Kinkell, it is bounded N by Bourtie, NE by Udny, E by the Banffshire or detached portion of New Machar and by Fintray, SE by Fintray, SW by Kintore, and W by Kintore, Inverurie, and Chapel of Garioch. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 4¼ miles; its breadth, from E to W, tapering southward, varies between 1 furlong and 41/8 miles; and its area is 7639 acres, of which 38½ are water. The Ury winds 27/8 miles south-south-eastward along all the Inverurie boundary till it falls into the Don, which itself flows 3 miles south-south-eastward along all the Kintore boundary. Where it passes off from this parish, the surface declines to 153 feet above sea-level, thence rising to 395 feet at Cairn More near Balbithan, 458 near Cairnhill, and 616 at Selbie Hill on the northern border. The rocks include granite, trap, and gneiss; and the soil along the streams is a fertile alluvial mixture of clay, loam, and sand, but elsewhere is mostly light and gravelly. Nearly two-thirds of the entire area are in tillage; woods and plantations cover 410 acres; and the rest is either pastoral or waste. Antiquities, other than those noticed under Balbithan and Kinkell, are vestiges of three large cairns and of two or more stone circles; and Kinmuck Moor, according to tradition, was the scene of a great encounter between the Scots and the Danes. Natives were Arthur Johnston (1587-1641), the eminent Latin poet, whose ancestors had held the estate of Caskieben for many generations, and Alexander Keith, D.D. (1791-1880), the well-known writer on prophecy; but the historian, Bishop Gilbert Burnet (1643-1715), was born at Edinburgh, though his father possessed the lands of Crimond. The estate of Caskieben (thereafter called Keithhall) was purchased from the Johnstons about 1662 by Sir John Keith, third son of the sixth Earl Marischal, who in 1677 was created Earl of Kintore and Baron Keith of Inverurie and Keithhall. By the addition about 1700 of a front and E wing to the older house, he rendered it a large and stately mansion, which stands near the Ury's left bank, amidst a nobly-wooded park, 1 mile E of Inverurie. His ninth descendant, Algernon-Hawkins-Thomond Keith-Falconer, tenth Earl of Kintore and thirteenth Lord Falconer of Halkertotjn (b. 1852; sue. 1880), owns 17,021 acres in Aberdeenshire, 1053 in Forfarshire, and 17,370 in Kincardineshire, valued at £15,802, £1562, and £16,909 per annum. (See Inglismaldie.) Two lesser proprietors hold an annual value of more, and 5 of less, than £100. Keithhall is in the presbytery of Garioch and synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £348. The parish church, built in 1772, and repaired in 1875, contains 500 sittings; and the public school, with accommodation for 140 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 86, and a grant of £75, 5s. Valuation (1860) £4618, (1882) £8551, plus £59 for railway. Pop. (1801) 853, (1831) 877, (1861) 933, (1871) 874, (1881) 880.—Ord. Sur., shs. 76, 77, 1874-73.

Kinkell, a former parish in Garioch district, Aberdeenshire. It took its name of Kinkell (Gael. ` head church ') from the circumstance that six subordinate churches anciently belonged to its parsonage. The Lords Commissioners for the plantation of kirks in 1754 annexed one-third of it to Kintore, and the remainder to Keithhall or Monkegy, ordaining that the latter should thenceforth be called the united parish of Keithhall and Kinkell. A cattle and horse fair is held at Kinkell on the Wednesday after the last Tuesday of September o. s. The church, near the left bank of the Don, 2 miles SSE of lnverurie, was unroofed in 1771 to furnish materials for Keithhall church, and now is an utter ruin. Third Pointed in style, it seems to have been rebuilt in 1528 by Alexander Galloway, rector of Kinkell, who was also architect of the first Bridge of Dee at Aberdeen. It retains a sculptured tabernacle or aumbry for the Blessed Sacrament, a bas-relief of a crucifix and the celebration of Mass, and two-thirds of an incised slab, representing a knight in armour-Sir Gilbert de Greenlaw presumably, who fell at the battle of Harlaw (1411). Its carved font, however, after lying for many years exposed to wind and weather at Rubislaw Den, in 1851 was restored and placed in St John's Episcopal church, Aberdeen.—Ord. Sur., sh. 76, 1874. See vol. ii., pp. 776-779, of Alex. Smith's History of Aberdeenshire (Ab. 1875).

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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