New Deer

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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Deer, an ancient parish and a presbytery, partly in Banffshire, but chiefly in Aberdeenshire. The ancient parish was divided, about the year 1694, into the present parishes of New Deer and Old Deer. The presbytery, meeting at Mand, is in the synod of Aberdeen, and comprises the old parishes of Aberdour, Crimond, New Deer, Old Deer, St Fergus, Fraserburgh, Longside, Lonmay, Peterhead, Pitsligo, Rathen, Strichen, and Tyrie; the quoad sacra parishes of Ardallie, Blackhill, Boddam, Fraserburgh West Church, Inverallochy, Kininmonth, New Pitsligo, Peterhead East Church, and Savoch; and the chapelries of New Mand, Techmuiry, and Peterhead Robertson Memorial Mission Church. Pop. (1871) 49,199, (1881) 54,420, of whom 14,052 were communicants of the Church of Scotland in 1878.-The Free Church also has a presbytery of Deer, with 2 churches at Peterhead, and 11 at respectively Aberdour, Clola, Fraserburgh, Longside, New Deer, New Pitsligo, Old Deer, Pitsligo, Rathen, Strichen, and St Fergus, which together had 2832 communicants in 1881.

Deer, New, a village and a parish in Buchan district, NE Aberdeenshire. The village stands towards the middle of the parish, 25/8 miles WSW of Maud Junction, this being 13 miles W by N of Peterhead, 16 SSW of Fraserburgh, and 31¼ N by E of Aberdeen, under which New Deer has a post office, with money order and savings' bank departments. Anciently called Auchreddie, it includes at its south-eastern cutskirt a suburb retaining that name; and it straggles for over a mile along the ascending ridge of a steepish hill. Within recent years it has undergone great improvement, good new dwelling-houses having taken the place of low old huts; and it has branches of the North -of Scotland and Aberdeen Town and County banks, 11 insurance agencies, 2 local savings' banks, 2 hotels. a market-place, a public hall (1864), a children's library, agricultural and horticultural societies, and fairs on the third Wednesday of January, the Wednesday after 12 April, the Thursday before 26 May, the Wednesday after 19 June, the second Tuesday of August, the Wednesday after 19 October, and the Thursday after 22 November. A public school, with accommodation for 240 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 163, and a grant of £139,17s. Pop. (1861) 475, (1871) 643, (1881) 753.

The parish, containing also part of New Mand, is bounded N by Tyrie, NE by Strichen, E by Old Deer, SE and S by Ellon, SW by Tarves and Methlick, W by Fyvie and Monquhitter, and NW by King-Edward. In outline rudely resembling a triangle with south-south-eastward apex, it has an utmost length from NNW to SSE of 12¼ miles, an utmost breadth from E to W of 5¾ miles, and an area of 26,765 acres. The drainage is mainly carried eastward by head-streams of South Ugie Water; but the Burns of Elrick or Nethermuir and Allathan or Asleed, flowing southward to the Ythan, trace much of the eastern and western borders. The surface, sinking to 197 feet above sea-level near Tillysnaught at the south-eastern angle of the parish, and to 196 near New Mand on the eastern boundary, thence rises gently north-north-westward and north-westward to 440 feet near Muckle Clofrickford, 540 near Barrack, 503 at the Hill of Culsh, 529 near Corsehill, 619 at the Hill of Corsegight, 487 at Whin Hill, and 630 at Bonnykelly; of which the Hill of Culsh, ¼ mile beyond the Free church, so far overlooks the surrounding country as on a clear day to command a view to Peterhead, Bennochie, the Bin of Cullen, and Ben Rinnes. The district toward the NE and the SE, to the extent of 7 or 8 miles, looks almost like one continuous cornfield, dotted with green crops, and terminated by a gentle rising-ground in the form of an amphitheatre. Granite is the prevailing rock; but limestone, of coarse quality, has been worked on the lands of Barrack- Moss covers an inconsiderable area, which yearly grows less and less, owing to planting, reclamation, or consumption as fuel- The soil, with few exceptions, is light and shallow, and over a great proportion of the land rests on an iron-bound pan from 6 inches to 2 feet thick. Remains in the mosses indicate the existence of a primeval forest; but now, except at Brucklay, Artamford, and Nethermuir, the parish is rather poorly off for trees. Fedderat Castle, 23/8 miles NNE of the village, was anciently a strong six-storied structure, surrounded partly by a morass, partly by a fosse, and approachable only by a causeway and a drawbridge; but is now an utter ruin. Ancient Caledonian standing stones, a rocking-stone, and stone circles, in various places, have nearly all been destroyed; soine tumuli have yielded urns and sarcophagi. At Brucehill, 2 miles W of the village, Edward Bruce is said to have encamped, before he defeated the Comyns at Aikey Brae (1308). Brucklay Castle and Nethermuir House are the chief mansions; and 10 proprietors hold each an annual value of more, 93 of less, than £100. In the presbytery of Deer and synod of Aberdeen, New Deer gives off portions to the quoad sacra parishes of Savoch, Newbyth, and New Pitsligo; the living is worth £380. The parish church, built at the village in 1838, in place of an earlier one of 1622, is a Third Pointed edifice, with 1500 sittings, and a tower, completed in 1865. A neat Free church stands 3 furlongs NNW of the parish church, and Artamford U.P. church ½ mile NE; the latter, rebuilt in 1876 at a cost of £1400, is Gothic in style, and contains 420 sittings. There are also another U.P. church at Whitehill (3¼ miles N), a Congregational chapel, and a few Plymouth Brethren. Eight schools-Brucklay, Cairnbanno, New Deer, Knaven, Oldwhat, -Whitehill, Bonnykelly, and Honeynook-with total accommodation for 1029 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 569, and grants amounting to £525,6s. 6d. Valuation (1843) £10,905, (1881) £23,211,4s. 7d. Pop. of parish (1801) 2984, (1831) 3525, (1861) 4385, (1871) 4853; of registration district (1871) 4147, (1881) 4097.—Ord. Sur., sh. 87,1876.

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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