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The New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Volume XII - Aberdeen
Parish of Kildrummy


PRESBYTERY OF ALFORD, SYNOD OF ABERDEEN.
THE REV. ALEXANDER REID, MINISTER.

I.—Topography and Natural History.

Name.—The name is of Gaelic origin, signifying the little burial mount.

Boundaries.—The parish is bounded on the north, by Achen-doir; on the south, by Towie and Leochel Cushnie; on the, east, by Tullynessle and Alford; on the west, by Towie and Strathdon.

II. Civil History.

Parochial Registers.—A register of discipline, marriages, and baptisms, with an account of the poor's money, was begun in 1675, and has been kept irregularly, blanks occurring occasionally for several years.

Land-owners.—These, with their rentals, are the following:

Mansion-houses.—There is a mansion-house at Clova, built in the modern style; also a cottage, built by Colonel Gordon, brother to the laird of Wardhouse, in the immediate neighbourhood of the castle, and separated from it by a beautiful ravine, built in the Elizabethan style.

Antiquities.—The castle among the objects of antiquity claims the first regard. Tradition bears, that it originally consisted but of one great circular tower, of five stories or floors; distinguished by the appellation of the Snow Tower, in the western corner of the present fabric, which was afterwards carried round a pretty spacious court, forming an unequal pentagon, in which six other towers, differing in magnitude and form, rose for the protection of the intervening buildings, which appear to have been but two stories in height. Two of these towers were for the security alone, of the only gate placed in the western wall, occupying the whole space between them; the walls were four feet thick, built of run-lime, and the outside courses of freestone, regularly squared; the western wall was reared on the verge of the acclivity at first described, which rose, however, in such a gentle slope, as to afford space for the garden, which, though warm and finely sheltered, would, in the present age, be accounted too small. The northern side was secured by the steep banks of the brook, and round the east and south were deep artificial ditches, the whole fortification occupying nearly three Scots acres; besides a draw-well. There may be still traced from the interior of the fortress, a subterranean vaulted passage, of height sufficient for horses, opening in the bank, now much above the present bed of the brook, although it is believed, its channel was then on a level with the exterior opening of this covered way. In the middle of the eastern wall, the chapel may be still distinguished by the peculiar form of the window above the altar, consisting of three very long and very narrow slits. Tradition reports, that the chapel was occupied as a magazine of forage, during the noted siege by the forces of Edward I. in the year 1306; that when Robert I. and his wife and daughter, were understood to have made their escape, by means of the covered way to the county of Ross, the besiegers despaired of success, when a piece of red hot iron thrown through this window into the forage, occasioned such distraction by the conflagration, that the castle was won by surprise and storm. (Vide Old Account.)

III,—Population.

Number of illegitimate births within the last three years, 6.

IV.Industry.

Agriculture.—The average rent of land per acre is from L.1 to L. 1, 10s., according to quality. Real rental of the parish, from L.1200 to L.1500 per annum. The parish is entirely agricultural.

The Kildrummy oat is well known as a light, thin oat, having plenty of straw, ripening about a week earlier than second-rate oats, and very suitable to high situations.

V.— Parochial Economy.

Ecclesiastical State.—Number of families belonging to the Established Church, 88 ; Dissenting or Seceding families, 6. Amount of stipend, L. 150. Glebe about six acres Scots in extent, and valued at L. 10. The manse was built in 1724, and received an addition in 1804. It is now in very bad condition.

Education.—There is but one school, the parochial. Salary the minimum fees probably from L.8 to L. 10 per annum. But the teacher has the benefit of the Dick Bequest.

Poor.—Number receiving aid, 10. Amount for their relief, about L. 39, whereof from church collections, L. 19; from alms or legacies, about L.20.

September 1842.


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