Kirkton of Auchterless

(Kirktown of Auchterless)

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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Auchterless (Gael. uachdar-shlios, 'upper side ), a village and a parish on the NW border of Aberdeenshire. The village or Kirktown has a central position upon the left bank of the Ythan, 3 miles SW of Auchterless station on the Inveramsay-Banff branch of the Great North of Scotland railway; which station, lying just beyond the NE angle of the parish, 4 miles S by E of Turriff, and 34½ miles NNW of Aberdeen, has a telegraph office. At the village are a post office under Turriff, the manse (1867), and the parish church (1780; wing added, 1835; 650 seats); the Free church stands ¾ mile SSW.

The parish contains also the hamlet of Badenscoth, 2 miles SSW of Kirktown of Auchterless and 3 NNW of Rothie Norman station, with a post office under Aberdeen. It is bounded N by Turriff, E and SE by Fyvie, S by Rayne and Culsalmond, W by Forgue, and NW by Banffshire. It has an extreme length from N to S of 6½ miles, a breadth from E to W of 5¾ miles, and a land area of 16,826 acres. The Ythan, entering the parish 1½ mile from its source in Forgue, flows 2¾ miles eastward, next strikes 5 miles north-north-eastward to tho old castle of Towie, and, thence bending southward, forms for 2 miles the eastern boundary, descending in this course from about 500 to 134 feet above sea-level. One affluent, Pitdoulsie Burn, traces the northern boundary; another, Rothie Burn, the southern; and a third, Garries Burn, flows through the north-western half of the parish to Knockleith. On either side of the Howe of Auchterless the surface rises into rounded hills, rarely too steep for cultivation; and points of altitude from E to W are Seggat (420 feet) Thomastown (490), Gordonstown Hill (582), Blackford or Drumsinnie Hill (649), Braestairie (678), and Berryhill of Logie (850). Everywhere resting on greywacke, the soil of the uplands is a thin slaty clay, better for cereals and roots than for grass; but on the lower slopes and along the howe are clay loams of considerable fertility. Plantations cover some 500 acres, and are mostly young upon Seggat, Thomastown, and Knockleith; but the firs and larches of Hatton, Templand, and Badenscoth, and tho ash trees by the church, are of older growth. Antiquities are Glenmellan camp at the western border, a parallelogram of nearly 130 acres, and probably of Roman construction (Roy's Mil. Ants-, pl. li.); a triple stone circle on the Kirkhill or Berryhill of Logie; remains of three ` Picts' houses; ' the ` Cumines trench ' or camp (A.D.1308); the artificial Moat Head, seat of the old baronial courts; a Gallows Hill; and, at Seggat, a ruined chapel and well of Our Lady. The chief residences are Knockleith, Badenscoth, Hatton, and Templand; and 6 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 1 holds between £100 and £500, and 1 between £20 and £50. Auchterless is in the presbytery of Turriff and synod of Aberdeen; its minister's income is £410. There are 5 schools under the board-2 apiece for boys and girls at Badenscoth and the Kirktown, and one at Backhill on the eastern border. With a total accommodation for 470 children, these had (1879) an average attendance of 322, and grants amounting to £277,6s. 9d. Valuation (1881) £14,771,13s. 5d. Pop. (1831) 1701, (1871) 1971, (1881) 1948.—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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