Parish of New Machar

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: New Machar
1834-45: New Machar

Machar, New, a parish of SE Aberdeenshire, to the N containing Summerhill village, which stands, 310 feet above sea-level, 5 furlongs SSW of New Machar station on the Formartine and Buchan section of the Great North of Scotland railway, this being 5 ¼ miles N of Dyce Junction and 11½ NNW of Aberdeen. Summerhill has a post office under Aberdeen, with money order and savings' bank departments; and close to the station is New Machar Inn, where cattle and horse fairs are held on the third Thursday of January, March, May, and November, and the second Thursday of July. Containing also Parkhill station, 4 miles S of that of New Machar, the parish is bounded NW and NE by Udny, E by Belhevie, SE and S by Old Machar, SW by Dyce, and W by Fintray. Till 1621 it formed part of Old Machar parish, and, after being disjoined, was known successively as the Upper Parochine of St Machar, Upper Machar, and, finally, New Machar. Its utmost length, from N by W to S by E, is 51/8 miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 31/8 miles; and its area is 9047 acres, of which 45 are water, and 2088 ¼ belong to the Straloch or north-western detached portion (2¾ e 1½ mile), separated from the main body by a strip of Udny, 300 yards wide at the narrowest, and also bounded by Kinkell and Fintray. This Straloch portion belongs politically to Banffshire (detached), but ecclesiastically ranks as part of New Machar, and for rating and other purposes is treated as part of Aberdeenshire. The Don flows 17/8 mile south-south-eastward along all the Dyce border; and Elrick Burn, rising in the Straloch section, runs 7½ miles south-south-eastward, partly along the Fintray border, but mainly through the interior, till it falls into the Don at a point 22/3 furlongs SW of Parkhill station. Corby Loch (2¾ x 2 furl.; 251 feet) lies mostly beyond the south-eastern boundary, near which are Lily Loch (1 x ¾ furl.) and Bishop's Loch (2 x ¾ furl.). At the Bridge of Dyce the surface declines to 128 feet above sea-level; and thence it rises gently to 299 feet at Highlands, 400 at Rosemount, 500 at Upper Rannieshill, 620 at Changehill, and 543 at the Hill of Clyne. Granite abounds in the southern district, and limestone is found on the estate of North Kinmundy. The soil of the southern district, near the Don, is a gravelly loam; of the middle district, is a good loam; and of the northern district, is very various, and much of it poor. About two-thirds of the entire area are in tillage; nearly one-tenth is under wood; and the rest is either pastoral or waste. Antiquities, other than those noticed under Bishop's Loch, are remains of three pre-Reformation chapels-St Colm's at Monykebbock, St Mary's at Clubsgoval, and St Mary's at Straloch-the first of which is mentioned as early as 1256, and still is represented by a fine old buryingground. At Parkhill, in 1864, was found a silver chain of double rings, 17½ inches in length and 44 oz. in weight, with a penannular terminal ring, engraved with one of the symbols of the sculptured stones. It is now in the Edinburgh Antiquarian Museum. A moor within the parish was the scene, in 1647, of a defeat of the Royalists by the Covenanters. Robert Gordon of Straloch (1580-1661), the distinguished geographer and antiquary, was born at Kinmundy; and Dr Thomas Reid (1710-96), the eminent moral philosopher, was minister from 1737 till 1752. Mansions, noticed separately, are Elrick, Parkhill, and Straloch; and 6 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 2 of between £100 and £500, and 3 of from £20 to £50. New Machar is in the presbytery and synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £335. The parish church at Summerhill was built in 1791, and contains 650 sittings. There is also a Free church; and three public schools-Parkhill girls', Summerhill boys', and Whiterashes-with respective accommodation for 95, 205, and 90 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 51, 146, and 76, and grants of £47, 5s 6d., £115, 10s., and £71, 13s. Valuation (1860) £6963, (1884) £10,752, of which £1928 was for the Straloch portion, and £1227 for the railway. Pop. (1801) 925, (1831) 1246, (1861) 1511, (1871) 1483, (1881) 1505, of whom 238 were in the Straloch or Banffshire section.—Ord. Sur., sh. 77, 1873.

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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