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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Gartly, a parish of NW Aberdeenshire, comprising a detached portion of Banffshire, and, near its southern border, containing Gartly station on the Great North of Scotland railway, 5 miles S of Huntly and 35¼ NW of Aberdeen, with a post and railway telegraph office. Bounded NE by Drumblade, SE by Insch, S by Kennethmont and Rhynie, W by Cabrach and Glass in Banffshire, and NW and N by Huntly, it has an utmost length from E to W of 10½ miles, an utmost breadth from N to S of 4½ miles, and an area of 18,1261/3 acres, of which 38¼ are water, and 63481/6 belong to the Banffshire section. The Bogie winds 3¾ miles northward through the interior, having the Barony or Banffshire section to the E and the Braes or Aberdeenshire section to the W, and then proceeds 1¼ mile north-north-westward along the Drumblade border. The Ury has its source in the E of the Barony; and the Braes is drained to the Bogie by Kirkney Burn and by Lag Burn and Priest's Water, uniting to form Ness Bogie, whose lateral vales, as also Strathbogie itself, abound in charming scenes of quiet pastoral beauty. The surface is hilly, sinking along the Bogie to 386 feet above sea-level, and thence ascending in the Barony section to 632 feet at Birkenhill, 1029 at Wind's Eye, 1375 at Wishach Hill, and 1369 at the Hill of Corskie; in the Braes, to 1148 at the * southern shoulder of Clashmach Hill, 1069 at the Hill of Collithie, 1495 at the * Hill of Kirkney, 1263 at the *Hill of Bogairdy, 1248 at Slough Hill, 1086 at the Hill of Drumfergue, and 1724 at * Grumack Hill, where asterisks mark those summits that culminate right on the borders of the parish. Basalt or greenstone appears along Kirkney Burn, but the rocks are mainly Silurian- greywacke, with strata of limestone and laminate clay slate, which, grey or bluish-green in hue, has been largely quarried at Corskie. The soil in Strathbogie and in the transverse vales is for the most part a fertile clay loam; that of the Barony is light and sandy, incumbent on a hard retentive subsoil. A good many acres have been reclaimed since 1841, but barely a third of the entire area is in tillage, the rest being either pasture, moor, moss, or a scanty proportion of wood. From the 12th to the 16th century, the Barony of Gartly belonged to a branch of the Barclays, who, as hereditary high sheriffs of Banffshire, procured its annexation to that county; at their castle here (now in ruins) Queen Mary spent a night of October 1562, the month of the Battle of Corrichie. A number of cairns that formerly stood on Millhill farm, near the parish church, are believed to have been sepulchral monuments of a skirmish fought there after the Battle of Harlaw, and, being opened and removed about the year 1801, were found to contain some broken fragments of armour. Of other and more ancient cairns on Faichhill and Riskhouse farm, one was found to contain a funereal urn; in the Braes were four pre-Reformation chapels. John Barclay (1546-1605), jurist and satirist, was probably a native. The Duke of Richmond and Gordon is sole proprietor. Gartly is in the presbytery of Strathbogie and synod of Moray; the living is worth £361. The parish church, near the right bank of the Bogie, 2 miles N by E of Gartly station, is a handsome Gothic edifice of 1880, with 400 sittings and E and W gable rose-windows filled, like the rest, with cathedral glass. Its predecessor was a plain old building of 1621, originally dedicated to St Andrew. A Free church stands, across the river, 9 furlongs to the NW; and Barony public, Braes public, and Gartly female schools, with respective accommodation for 82, 60, and 50 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 42, 21, and 32, and grants of £33, 3s., £28, 10s., and £28, 1s. Valuation (1860) £5165, (1883) £6301, 6s. 10d. Pop. (1801) 958, (1831) 1127, (1861) 1029, (1871) 972, (1881) 890, of whom 476 were in Aberdeenshire, and 414 in Banffshire.—Ord. Sur., sh. 86, 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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