Parish of Inverurie

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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1791-99: Inverury
1834-45: Inverury

Inverurie, a town and a parish in Garioch district, Aberdeenshire. The town, standing 195 feet above sea-level at the confluence of the rivers Ury and Don, has a station on the Great North of Scotland railway, 4 ¼ miles SE of Inveramsay Junction, 3 N by W of Kintore, and 16 ¼ NW of Aberdeen. It occupies the low peninsula between the confluence of the two rivers, and includes the suburb of Port Elphinstone on the right or Kintore bank of the Don, with which it is connected by a three-arch bridge erected in 1791 at a cost of £2000, whilst three bridges over the Ury were built between 1809 and 1839. So straggling is its alignment, that it looks more like a village than a town; yet it possesses far greater importance than many a place of more pretentions appearance, and it dates from remote antiquity. Robert Bruce lay sick here on the eve of his victory of Barra in Bourtie parish, 22 May 1308; and here, on 23 Dec. 1745, Lord Lewis Gordon, with 1200 Jacobites, surprised and defeated 700 loyalists under the Laird of Macleod. The importance, however, of the place originated in the opening (1807) of the quondam Aberdeen Canal, whose terminus here presented scenes not dissimilar to those of the quays of Aberdeen, with sometimes hundreds of carts in a day delivering grain, and carrying away coals, lime, bones, iron, timber, and building materials. Now, since the canal was superseded by the railway (l854), Inverurie serves as a point of concentration and a seat of miscellaneous trade for a pretty wide extent of surrounding country; and it has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, insurance, and telegraph departments, branches of the Union, Aberdeen Town and County, and North of Scotland Banks, a National Security savings' bank (1837), 11 insurance agencies, 2 hotels, a gas-light company, a water supply of 1876, a masonic lodge, a Young Men's Christian Association, A temperance society, a Bible Association, a volunteer Corps, a curling club, a tannery, a brewery, Meal and paper mills, Tuesday cattle markets once or twice a Month, and feeing-markets in MAY, July, and november. The town hall was built in 1863 at a cost of £2500, and is A neat Italian edifice with a clock-tower. The parish church (1842; 1330 sittings) is a beautiful Gothic granite structure, repaired and altered in 1876; And the Free church (1876; 800 sittings) is an Early english building, with a NE spire 107 feet high. Other places of worship are a Congregational church (1822; 360 sittings), a Wesleyan chapel(1819; 200 sittings), St Mary's episcopal church (1843-57; 200 sittings), and the roman Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (1852; 200 sittings). A conical mound, the Bass of Inverurie, at the S end of the town, has been noticed separately; Another smaller one, to the w of the main street, bears the name of Coning Hillock, and is supposed to mark the grave of Aedh, King of the Picts, who ' in 878 was slain at Nrurim by his own people.' William Thom (17991848), the ' weaver poet of Inverurie,' was for nearly ten Years a resident; and the memoir prefixed to the Paisley edition of his Poems (1880) has much of interest rel1ting to the place. Inverurie claims to have been made a royal burgh by William the Lyon or Robert Bruce; and under a charter of novodamus, granted by Queen Mary in 1558, is governed by a provost, 3 bailies, a dean of guild, a treasurer, and 3 common councillors, who also act as police commissioners. With Elgin, Kintore, Peterhead, Banff, and Cullen, it unites to send a member to parliament. The municipal and the parliamentary constituency numbered 490 and 429 in 1883, when the annual value of real property amounted to £9055 (£7712 in 1873), whilst the corporation revenue was £384. Pop. of parliamentary burgh (1841) 1731, (1861) 2520, (1871) 2856, (1881) 2931; of royal burgh (1881) 2669; of police burgh (1881) 2575; and of entire town (1871) 2959, (1881) 3048, of whom 473 were in Port Elphinstone, and 1614 were females. Houses (1881) 566 in. habited, 18 vacant, 4 building.

The parish of Inverurie is bounded E by Keithhall, S by Kintore and Kemnay, and W and N by Chapel of Garioch. Its utmost length, from E to W, is 4 5/8 miles; its utmost breadth is 2¾ miles; and its area is 4995½ aícres, of which 49 are water. The Don winds 4 miles north-by-eastward along all the southern border, and the Ury 5 ¼ south-eastward along the northern and eastern. At their confluence the surface declines to 170 feet above sea-level, thence rising westward to 524 feet at Ardtannies Hill, 400 at Dilly Hill, and 780 at Knockinglew Hill. The tract around the town, to the extent of 850 acres, is low and flat; and the Ury's valley is broader than the Don's. Granite prevails in the S, trap in the W; and the soil of the low ground is light yellow fertile loam, mostly incumbent on sand, whilst that of the high grounds is various, and shades away into moor. About three-fifths of the entire area are in tillage, one-fifth is under wood, and the rest is pastoral or waste. Antiquities are two stone circles, the supposed site of a ' Roman road, ' and remains of St Apolinarius' chapel. The principal mansion is Manar, situated among wellwooded grounds on the southern slope of a hill, 3½ miles W by S of the town. Its owner, Henry Gordon, Esq. (b. 1848; suc. 1874), holds 2260 acres in the shire, valued at £2115 per annum. Aquhorthies, 1 mile further W, was from 1799 till 1829 the seat of the Roman Catholic college, transferred in the latter year to Blairs. Four proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 5 of between £100 and £500, 18 of from £50 to £100, and 56 of from £20 to £50. íInverurie is in the presbytery of Garioch and synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £430. Market Place public, West High Street public, a Free Church infant, and an Episcopal school, with respective accommodation for 3l7, 200, 102, and 82 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 222, 136, 61, and 59, and grants of £191, 18s., £130, 3s., £45, 6s., and £41, 9s. 6d. Valuation (1860) £8169, (1883) £11, 466, plus £1237 for railway. Pop. (1801) 783, (1831) l419, (1861) 2668, (1871) 2970, (1881) 3038.—Ord. Sur., sh. 76, 1874. See John Davidson's Inverurie and the Earldom of the Garioch (Edinb. 1878).

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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