Kinnellar


Kinnellar
   KINNELLAR, a parish, in the district and county of Aberdeen, 2 miles (S. E. by E.) from Kintore; containing 483 inhabitants. The remains of antiquity still visible show the Druids and the Danes to have been each connected with this parish. In the churchyard, several immense stones, some sunk in the earth, and others remaining above ground, point out the site of a Druidical temple; and in the western direction, on an extensive common covered with heath, are the remains of numerous tumuli, the depositaries of urns, skulls, ashes, and bones calcined on beds of hot clay. This common is supposed to have been the spot where some sanguinary conflict took place between the Scots and Danes, probably on occasion of the latter, in one of their frequent incursions, landing at the mouth of the Don river, and encountering the former. A stone coffin was found a few years ago, in Cairn-a-Veil, about six feet long, constructed of six flags, and containing some black dust. On the hill of Achronie stands Cairn-Semblings, seen to a considerable distance on the west and north, and near which is a large stone whereon Irvine, Laird of Drum, sat, in order to make his will, when on his route to the battle of Harlaw, in which he fell.
   The parish is rather more than four miles in length; but its breadth no where much exceeds two. It contains between 3000 and 4000 acres, and is bounded on the north by the parish of Fintray, from which it is separated by the river Don; on the south by the parish of Skene; on the east by Dyce and Newhills; and on the west by Skene and Kintore. The land throughout is a series of undulations, and the climate is bleak, the parish being almost without shelter from winds and storms. The soil is light and thin, and rests frequently upon a rough stony subsoil, requiring great labour and expense to reduce it to agricultural use; where, however, proper methods have been adopted, good crops are obtained. Almost the whole of the parish is arable, there being but a few acres under wood, and only a small district of rocky moor. Oats, barley, and turnips are the crops chiefly raised, the last of which is much promoted in growth by the prevailing use of bone-dust manure. The rotation is usually the six-years' shift; and every farmer has a threshing-mill on his premises. There are but few sheep; the cattle are of the black breed. Considerable improvements have taken place in husbandry within the last few years. Much land which was poor, and covered with heath and stones, has been, with considerable expense, brought into a state of profitable cultivation, well inclosed, and made to produce good crops of grain and turnips. The farm-houses, also, have been rendered comfortable and commodious. A spirit of emulation has been excited, leading to important practical results, by the institution about the year 1808 of prize-matches for ploughing, by a farmers' club in the neighbourhood; and much skill has been acquired in this branch of husbandry. The rateable annual value of Kinnellar is £2840.
   A superior turnpike-road, from Aberdeen to Inverury, intersects the parish, and is traversed by the mail and three coaches every day to and from Aberdeen. The parish roads, however, are in bad repair, with the exception of one connected with a farm; and part of the road most used, leading to the church, is said to have been neglected for the last twenty-five years. The canal between Aberdeen and Inverury, constructed in 1797, passes through the parish, at its northern extremity, but, though of great advantage to those who reside in the upper districts, it is productive of little benefit to the larger portion of the inhabitants here, who are more distant from it. A passage-boat plies regularly; and several boats bring coal, lime, and manure from Aberdeen, and take back grain, wood, slate, and other commodities. Among the few mansions in the parish, is that of Glasgoego, not now in very good repair, its former proprietor having built a new residence in its vicinity. On the bank of the Don is a commodious house belonging to the Tower family; and on the property of the Ewing family is a small but elegant house, with very improved grounds around it. In the hamlet of Blackburn are a post-office, an inn, and some houses inhabited by tradesmen and others. The ecclesiastical affairs are subject to the presbytery and synod of Aberdeen; patron, the Earl of Kintore. The stipend of the minister is £160, of which £62 are received from the exchequer; and there is a manse, built in 1778. The glebe consists of five acres of land, valued at £13. 15. per annum; the minister also has an allowance of £20 as grass-money, and the like sum as moss-money, there being a want of moss in the parish. The church, a small building, of plain style, erected in 1801, is in good repair, and contains 250 sittings: it stands on the north side of the Don, about a mile from the river. In the 17th century, Archbishop Sharp gave the patronage to the dean of the university of St. Andrew's, reserving to himself and his successors a veto upon any appointment; and the university held this privilege till 1761. There is a parochial school, where the usual branches of education are taught, with Latin and geometry if required. The master has a salary of £26, with a house and garden, and about £11 fees; also an allowance from Dick's bequest to the schoolmasters of Aberdeen, Banff, and Moray.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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