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Chapter 3. Size. Shape. Boundaries

Banffshire, with an area of 403,053 acres, about 630 square miles, stands fourteenth among Scottish counties. From north-east to south-west, it is 67 miles long; its greatest width, which is along the coast, is 32 miles, but at Keith, near the centre of the county, it narrows to about

nine miles, again expanding southward, so that in shape it may be said to resemble an hour-glass.

Previous to the Local Government Act of 1889, of thirty civil parishes in Banffshire, eighteen were wholly within the county, portions of six were in Aberdeenshire, and five in Moray, while one was wholly detached, the parish of St Fergus in Eastern Buchan. It was originally the property of a family who, as hereditary Sheriffs of Banff were naturally desirous to have their domain within their own. jurisdiction and were able to secure its annexation to Banffshire; but this feudal peculiarity ceased in 1890. At the same time the other parishes belonging to different shires were transferred to one. Thus the parishes of St Fergus, Old Deer, New Machar, Gartly and Glass became wholly Aberdeenshire, while Bellie and Rothes were placed altogether in Moray. The whole parishes of Cabrach, Boharm, Inveraven and Keith were transferred to Banff. The Banffshire portions of Cairnie and King Edward were attached to other parishes of Banffshire.

The Moray Firth forms the boundary from the Tynet Burn to the Tore Burn, where the county marches with Aberdeenshire. The boundary then runs south and west in a sinuous line to the Deveron near Eden House. Onwards to where the Isla joins the Deveron, near Rothiemay, the river sometimes is and sometimes is not the dividing line. As far as Grange station the Isla is the boundary, which then mounts the watershed between Deveron and Spey, and, sweeping past Glass, crosses the Deveron and continues by the Buck of the Cabrach round by Ben Aven and Ben Macdhui to the skirts of Braeriach, where it bids goodbye to Aberdeenshire. Meeting Inverness-shire and turning to the north-east, the boundary passes Cairngorm and twists north-east, north and north-west to the Cromdale Hills, where it touches Moray. It holds north to the Spey near Ballindalloch Station. Except for a short distance round Ben Aigan, the river is the march till near Fochabers. Then the boundary goes in an irregular line by Thief's Hill, and zigzags to the Tynet Burn, along which it runs to the sea.

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