Kirkton of Durris

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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Durris, a Deeside village and parish of N Kincardineshire. The village, Kirkton of Durris, stands on the right bank of the Burn of Sheeoch, immediately above its confluence with the Dee, 1¾ mile E of Crathes station, this being 3 miles E by N of Banchory, and 14 WSW of Aberdeen, under which Durris has a post office. Fairs are held on the third Tuesday of January, February, March, and April, the second Tuesday of May, the Saturday before the second Wednesday of June, the Monday in July before Paldy fair, the last Wednesday of September, the third Tuesday of October, o. s., and the third Tuesday of December. The parish is bounded N by Banchory-Ternan and the Aberdeenshire portion of Drumoak, E by Maryculter, SE by Fetteresso and Glenbervie, W by Strachan and Banchory-Ternan. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 61/8 miles; its breadth, from N to S, varies between 31/8 and 47/8 miles; and its area is 15, 435 acres. of which 141 are water. The Dee winds 6 miles east-north-eastward along all the northern border; and its impetuous affluent, the Burn of Sheeoch, rising 1¾ mile beyond the south-western extremity of the parish, runs 8½ miles north-north-eastward through the interior. In the NE the surface sinks along the Dee to 82 feet above sea-level, thence rising south -westward to 570 feet near Corsehill, 865 at Brunt Yairds, 975 at Strathgyle, 1245 at Cairn-mon-earn, 1054 at Craigbeg, 1232 at Mongour, 725 at Cairnshee, 829 at Mulloch Hill, 578 at the Ord, 1207 at Shillofad, and 1231 at Monluth Hill, the last two culminating on the borders of the parish. Gneiss, the predominant rock, often shows bare on the hill-sides, and forms, too, great detached blocks upon the cultivated lands. The soil of the low grounds is mostly a fertile loam, of the higher grounds either clayey or gravelly, the subsoil being generally cold damp clay; but great improvements have been effected in the way of drainage and reclamation within the last 40 years. Nearly four-fifteenths of the entire area are in tillage; rather more than another fifteenth is under wood; and the rest is either pasture, moss, moor, or waste. Castle Hill, a knoll by the Dee, 5 furlongs NE of the village, is engirt by a ditch, and seems to have been a military post; in various parts are remains of cairns, tumuli, and stone circles, which form the subject of an article in Procs. Soc. Ants. Scotl. (vol. ii., new series, 1880). The eminent antiquary, Cosmo Innes (1798-1874), was a native. Excepting Corsehill farm, the whole parish is comprised in the Durris estate, which, held from the 13th century by a branch of the Frasers, went by marriage to the celebrated Charles Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough (1658=1735). His daughter in 1706 married the second Duke of Gordon, and in 1824 the estate devolved upon the fourth Duke as heir of entail. In 1834 it was purchased by Anthony Mactier, late of Calcutta; and in 1871 it was sold once more, for £300, 000, to James Young, Esq., F.R. S., of Kelly in Renfrewshire (b. 1811), who owns in Kincardineshire 16,659 acres, valued at £10, 104. His seat, Durris House, stands 1¾ mile E of the village and 1½ SSE of Park station, and, built in the 17th century, was enlarged both by Mr Innes' father and by Mr Mactier; not far from it is Durris Tower, erected in 1825 to commemorate the winning of a lawsuit by the Duke of Gordon. Durris is in the presbytery and synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £197. The parish church, at the village, was built in 1822, and contains 550 sittings. There is also a Free church; and two public schools, Dhualt and Woodlands, with respective accommodation for 100 and 130 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 79 and 92, and grants of £64, 9s. 6d. and £75, 15s. Valuation (1856) £6370, (1882) £9834, 0s. 11d. Pop. (1801) 605, (1831) 1035, (1861) 1109, (1871) 1021, (1881) 1014.—Ord. Sur., sh. 66, 1871.

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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