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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Tarves, a village and a parish of central Aberdeenshire. The village, standing 274 feet above sea-level, is 53/8 miles NE of Old Meldrum, 6¾ W by N of Ellon, and 5½ NNW of Udny station. It has a post office under Aberdeen and a branch of the Aberdeen Town and County Bank.

The parish, very irregular in outline, is bounded N by Methlick, NE by New Deer, E by Ellon and Methlick (detached), SE by Udny, SW by Bourtie and Meldrum, and NW by Fyvie. Its utmost length, from NNE to SSW, is 85/8 miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 7¾ miles; and its area is 25½ square miles or 16,3332/3 acres, of which 30½ are water. The only stream of any size is the Ythan, which here has a south-south-easterly course of nearly 2¾ miles, viz., 1¼ mile along the boundary with Methlick proper, then 1½ furlong along the base of the Schivas or north-eastern wing of the parish, and lastly 1¼ mile along the boundary with the detached portion of Methlick. The triangular Upper Lake (22/3 x 1 furl.) in the Haddo grounds lies on the Methlick boundary, 2½ miles N by E of the village. In the extreme E the surface declines to 48 feet above sea-level; and thence it rises gently to 578 feet at the Hill of Skilmafilly on the New Deer boundary, 389 at the Earl of Aberdeen's monument on the Hill of Ythsie, 458 near Tolquhon, 363 near Courtstone, and 476 at Couchercairn near the western border. The rocks include granite, gneiss, and limestone; and the soil for the most part is a fertile loam, incumbent on clay drift. Except in the vicinity of Haddo House, the parish is rather bare of trees. Cattle-breeding is largely carried on; and an old established cattle, horse, and sheep fair is held on the Friday after 28 August at Bartol or Bartle (Bartholomew) Chapel, 45/8 miles WNW of the village and 5 N of Old Meldrum. Schivas, now a farmhouse, 43/8 miles NNE of the village, was built about 1640, and was the seat of a Roman Catholic branch of the Grays. The ruined castle of Tolquhon, 2½ miles S by E of the village, with the exception of an older tower, was built by William Forbes n 1584-89. Held first by the Prestons, and then, from 1420, by the Forbeses, the Tolquhon estate was purchased in 1716 by Lieut.-Col. Francis Farquhar, and from him it passed to the second Earl of Aberdeen. The remains of Tillyhilt Castle (1583) are 1½ mile WNW of the village. The Earl of Aberdeen is sole proprietor, and one of his titles is Baron Tarves. Giving off portions to the quoad sacra parishes of Savoch and Barthol Chapel, Tarves is in the presbytery of Ellon and the synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £280. The parish church, at the village, was built in 1798, and contains 870 sittings. At Craigdam, 1½ mile WSW, is a U.P. church (1806; 600 sittings); and three public schools-Barthol Chapel, Craigdam female, and Tarves-with respective accommodation for 132, 80, and 261 children, had (1884) an average attendance of 99, 60, and 171, and grants of £96, 4s., £54, 19s., and £156, 13s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £9310, (1885) £15,109, 5s. 10d. Pop. (1801) 1756, (1831) 2232, (1861) 2509, (1871) 2443, (1881) 2558, of whom, quoad sacra, 1827 belonged to Tarves, 169 to Savoch, and 562 to Barthol Chapel.- shs. 87, 77, 86, 1874-76.

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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