Parish of Kinneff and Catterline

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: Kinneff
1834-45: Kinneff

Kinneff, a hamlet and a parish on the coast of Kincardineshire. The hamlet lies 2¾ miles NNE of Bervie station and 7¾ S by W of Stonehaven, under which it has a post office.

The parish, containing also the fishing village of Caterline and a minute part of Bervie royal burgh, comprises the ancient parishes of Kinneff and Caterline, and once comprehended also what now is Bervie parish. It is bounded N by Dunnottar, E by the German Ocean, S by Bervie, and W by Arbuthnott. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 5¾¾ miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 4 miles; and its area is 72451/3acres, of which 103 are foreshore and 5¾ water. The river Bervie flows ½ mile along the southern border to its mouth in Bervie Bay; and three burns rise in the interior, and run to the sea. The coast, 6 miles in length, presents along its whole extent a range of cliffs over 100 feet high, pierced with caves, and boldly picturesque; and, except where here and there it recedes into little bays, it leaves no beach between the base of the cliffs and the deep sea water. Inland the surface rises to 451 feet at Bervie Brow, 477 at Corbicknowe, 495 at Leys Hill, and 710 at Bruxie Hill on the Arbuthnott border. The predominant rock is Old Red sandstone conglomerate, traversed by long veins of calcareous spar, and occasionally intersected or overlaid by claystone porphyry, with embedded crystals of felspar. Hornblende, crystallised quartz, heavy spar, asbestos, zeolites, and agates have also been found. The conglomerate is quarried for building and for millstones; the claystone porphyry for dyke material. The soil of the seaboard tract is a deep loam, elsewhere is of inferior quality. Rather more than five-sevenths of the entire area are in tillage; barely 60 acres are under wood; and the rest of the land is either pastoral or waste. Kinneff Castle, at Kinne hamlet, was garrisoned by the English when they overran Scotland during David Bruce's minority; went gradually to ruin till only one high, strongly-cemented wall remained standing in the early part of last century; and now is represented by nothing but a fragment of its foundations. Two other old castles stood on the coast-Cadden or Whistleberry Castle, ½ mile NE of Kinneff hamlet, and Adams Castle, ¼ mile further N. They have left some remains, but are not known to history. Several tumuli were on the coast; an urn, containing a number of bronze rings, was found near the site of Kinneff Castle; a monastic house, now utterly extinct, stood between that castle and the parish church; and an earthen pot, containing a number of old silver coins, and supposed to have been deposited by the English garrison of Kinneff Castle, was exhumed about 1837 in the churchyard. The story of the preservation of the Regalia in the parish church has been already told under Dunnottar. The celebrated Dr John Arbuthnot, the intimate friend of Pope and Swift, and physician to Queen Anne, lived as a young man for some time at Kinghornie. Four proprietors hold each an annual value of more, and 7 of less, than £500. Kinneff is in the presbytery of Fordoun and synod of Angus and Mearns; the living is worth £243. The parish church was rebuilt in 1738, and, as restored in 1876, contains 424 sittings. Of several old monuments, the most interesting are those to Graham of Largie (1597), to Governor Sir George Ogilvy of Barras, to Mr and Mrs Grangcr, and to the Honeymans, who, for four generations, from 1663 till 1781, were ministers of Kinneff. There are also a Free church and Caterline Episcopal church, St Paul's, the latter an Early English edifice of 1848. Barras public, Kinneff public, and Caterline Episcopal schools, with respective accommodation for 72, 145, and 71 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 52, 81, and 46, and grants of £36, 1s., £68, 1s., and £34, 10s. Valuation (1856) £6760, (1883) £8394. Pop. (1801) 937, (1831) 1006, (1861) 1054, (1871) 1062, (1881) 997.—Ord. Sur., sh. 67, 1871. See pp. 396-399 of Andrew Jervise's Land of the Lindsays (2d ed. 1882).

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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