PRESBYTERY OF KINCARDINE O NEIL, SYNOD OF ABERDEEN.
THE REV. JOHN M'HARDY, MINISTER.
I.—Topography and Natural History.
The parish of Logie-Coldstone is principally situated
in Cromar, a district of Aberdeenshire comprehending part of five
parishes, and forming an extensive amphitheatre amid that range of
mountains and hills which runs between the rivers Dee and Don for a
considerable part of their course.
At some remote period, a great portion of this
district seems evidently to have been the site of a large lake or chain
of lakes (two of which still subsist), fed by several rivulets, which
now wend their way sluggishly through it, occasionally inundating the
lower grounds to some extent, when swollen by much rain, or by the
sudden dissolution of the snow, which falls abundantly on the
surrounding hills during the winter. Since this evanished lake burst the
barrier which confined it on the south, several tumuli or mounds have
been formed in different places of its site, by the drifting of the
finer particles of sand which covered its bottom, while the flat ground
around them consists generally of coarser gravelly deposits,
interspersed with patches of peat-bog.
Name, &c—The parish of Logie was annexed to
Coldstone anno 1618. When a separate parish, it appears to have been
generally called Logie-Mar, to distinguish it from the other parishes
into which the word Log enters as a compound, such as Lo-gie-Buchan,
Logie-Pert. The etymology of Coldstone (formerly written, and still
pronounced, Colstane by the inhabitants of
the district), cannot be determined with any
degree of certainty.
Extent, &c—From east to west, the parish of
Logie-Coldstone extends, in some places, to upwards of 5 miles, in
others, to not more than half that distance. From north to south, that
portion of it situated within the district of Cromar does not extend to
more than 4 miles; but, including the portion which lies without
the district on Deskryside, the extreme length is
not less than 7 miles.
The figure of the parish is extremely irregular. It
is bounded on the south, by the parishes of Glenmuick and Aboyne; on the
west, by Glenmuick; on the north, by Strathdon, Tarland, and Towie; and
on the east, by Tarland, Coull, and Aboyne.
Topographical Appearances.— On the west side of
the parish a range of
steep and high hills runs the whole distance, among which Morven stands
conspicuous, commanding a view to the east as far as the eye can reach.
On the north, the hills rise more gradually, and are less elevated.
Climate.—The climate of this parish, with the
exception of that part which lies on Deskry-side, is tolerably mild,
equable, and salubrious, and must become still more so from the extent
of drainage which is taking place, and from the additional shelter which
will be afforded by the plantations made and making.
Hydrography.—There are numerous springs in the
parish, but the only one which has attracted the particular notice of
the inhabitants, is a powerful chalybeate, which arises in a plantation
a little south from the church, and seems to have acquired its Gaelic
name of Poll-dubh, "black-mire," from pouring its water into a
small mossy hollow within a few yards of its source. It is occasionally
resorted to by some for the benefit of their health, and by others for
One of the lochs alluded to as still subsisting in
the district is partly in this parish. It is called Lochdawan, (supposed
to be a corruption of the Gaelic Loch d'abhainn, " lake of two
waters,") and is about two and a half or three miles in circumference.
There is a small circular pond upon an elevated part
of the farm of Nether Ruthven, which bears the name of Lochan-uaine,
"the green pool or lakelet," from the peculiar colour of the water.
The water of this pond has never been analyzed with a view to discover
its colouring ingredients or particular qualities. Though seemingly of a
very impure nature, the cattle upon the farm are said to prefer it to
The only stream of running water of any magnitude
connected with the parish is that of Deskry, which forms a boundary line
for same distance betwixt it and Strathdon. The other rivulets in the
parish, in common with those of the whole district of Cromar, discharge
their water into the river Dee in the parish of Aboyne.
Geology.—The granite formation prevails generally
throughout the parish; but the direction and dip of the strata and beds
has not been particularly attended to. No mines or ores of any description
are known to exist. On the slope of the high grounds where the soil is
untransported, it is generally of a good depth and fertile quality. On
the low grounds, where it is transported, it is mostly shallow, and of a
sandy or peaty nature.
Wood.—With the exception of a few patches of
dwarfish alder no indigenous wood exists in the parish; but roots and
fragments of oak, fir, hazel, &c. of a large size are frequently dug up
in the mossy ground. From 800 to 900 acres have, at different times been
planted by the different heritors, principally with fir and larch, to
which sorts of timber the soil appears most congenial, or at least that
part of the soil which has been set apart for plantation.
II.— Civil History.
In a volume recently published by the Spalding Club,
there appear a few letters written by one of the heritors of the parish
of Logie, (Gordon of Blelack), who espoused the cause of the Stuart
family in the Rebellion of 1745; and also an account of the trial of
some inhabitants of the parish accused of the crime of witchcraft.
Antiquities.—Two different farms in the parish
have received the name of Cairnmore, from the existence of large cairns
or piles of stone within their boundaries. One of these cairns, situated
about half a mile north of the manse of Coldstone, must have originally
been of remarkable size ; for though it has, according to the report of
the inhabitants, furnished materials for the erection of several
enclosures in the neighbourhood, it still stands conspicuous. As the
remains of several smaller cairns appear on a piece of moor ground, a
little west from the large one, there is reason to think, that a fierce
battle, of which, however, there is no tradition, must have been fought
upon the spot.
Upon the farm of Parks of Coldstone, and on a spot of
ground which, though now drained and improved, has evidently been a
morass, there is still to be seen a deep and wide moat, surrounding a
slightly elevated area of about an acre.
In the gable-wall of a house, which forms part of the
farm-offices at Mill of Newton, may be seen a sculptured stone, which
formerly stood on a rising ground a little to the west, which still
bears the name of Tomachar (Gaelic Tom-chathair, "hillock of the
chair." Drawings of the stone are said to have been taken and
forwarded to antiquaries; but no satisfactory explanation of the figures
delineated upon it has been given.
During the last season, the tenant of Cairnmore of
Blelack, while ploughing a field which has been long arable, found the
plough striking against a stone, which he resolved to remove, and on
proceeding to do so, discovered that it formed part of a paved road of
considerable width, the extent of which has not yet been ascertained.
Near to the spot where it was laid bare, there is a hollow, which is
known by the name of the Picts' Howe, with which it is supposed to be
somehow connected. In removing part of the stones forming the pavement,
numerous pieces of charred wood were found lying beneath them.
There are no resident heritors in the parish, and the
only mansion-house is that of Blelack, which is at present unoccupied.
Parochial Registers.—Registers of baptisms and of
church discipline have been kept since 1748.
The heritors of the parish, in order of their
respective valuations, are,—
Mrs Farquharson of Invercauld, L. 1250. 0 0
Earl of Aberdeen, L. 781 0 0
Marquis of Huntly, L 323 0 0
John Forbes, Esq. of Blelack, L 290 0 0
Major Farquharson of Corrachree, L 140 0 0
Total: L.2784 0 0
Modern Buildings.—The church was rebuilt in 1780;
the manse in 1783, and repaired and enlarged in 1826.
There are three meal-mills, one circular saw-mill,
and numerous thrashing-mills in the parish.
1801 - 861
1811 - 815
1821 - 858
1831 - 910
1841 - 936
Number of illegitimate births within last three
In few districts of Scotland, perhaps, has
agriculture made greater progress than it has done in this parish, since
the former Statistical Account of the country was published. At that
period, we are told, that few turnips were sown, and clover and ryegrass
cultivated only on three farms. The other lands in the parish, though
capable of improvement, are said to have been "in a state of nature."
The farms at that time, so distinguished for enclosing, straighting, and
dressing, can no longer boast of superiority of appearance or
peculiarity of produce, for skilful and successful competitors have
gradually sprung up around them, and stripped them of their honours.
There are in the parish about 3000 acres cultivated
or occasionally-in tillage, and about 900 acres under wood.
The average rent of land per acre is L.1, 5s.; real
rental of the parish, L.3100.
Ecclesiastical State.— The number of families in
the parish is 190, and all belong to the Established Church. Stipend,
128 bolls barley, 128 bolls meal, with L.8, 6s. 8d. for communion
elements. The glebe is about twelve acres in extent, and may be valued
at L.15. The manse was built in 1783; it was repaired and additions made
to it in 1826.
Education.—There is but one school in the
parish,—the parochial. The teacher's salary is L.34, 4s. 4|d.; probable
amount of his school-fees, L.25. He receives, as session-clerk, L.1,
10s. per annum, and shares in the Dick Bequest.
Poor.—Number of poor, 18. Average annual amount
of contributions for their relief, L.34, whereof, from church
collections, L.24; from alms and legacies, L.10.