Western Inn, Laurencekirk
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Western Inn, Laurencekirk

The principal town of the Howe of the Mearns in S Aberdeenshire, situated amidst rich agricultural land in the valley of the Luther, 30 miles (48 km) south of Aberdeen. The original Kirkton of Conveth or St Laurence, with its church dedicated to St Laurence of Canterbury, was transformed into a planned village in the 1770s following the purchase of the estate of Johnston by Francis Garden, Lord Gardenstone, a successful lawyer, Sheriff of the Mearns and Court of Session judge. Lord Gardenstone introduced handloom weaving and the manufacture of snuff boxes to the town and built an inn, the Gardenstone Arms, which he furnished with a library that impressed Samuel Johnson who passed this way in 1773. The status of the town was raised to that of a burgh of barony in 1779.

Today Laurencekirk has a large cattle market in addition to agricultural engineering, handloom weaving and craft industries. Located on the east coast mainline railway, its station closed in 1967 but was restored and re-opened in 2009 at a cost of £3 million.

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