Auchindoir and Kearn

   AUCHINDOIR and KEARN, a parish, in the district of Alford, county of Aberdeen, 36 miles (W. N. W.) from Aberdeen; containing 1188 inhabitants. The name of Auchindoir, which is of Gaelic origin, and signifies "the field of pursuit," is supposed to have been applied, in the present case, from the circumstance of Luthlac, son of Macbeth, having been pursued through the valley of Auchindoir to that of Bogie, where he was overtaken and slain by Malcolm; and the term Kearn is said to be a corruption of Cairn, there being a remarkable cairn or tumulus in that district, of the history of which nothing, however, is known. The two parishes were united in 1811, previously to which Kearn was joined to Forbes. The length of the habitable part is about seven miles, and the breadth nearly the same, and the parishes, together, contain about 15,600 acres under cultivation, and 2100 under plantation and natural wood, besides pasture and waste. The surface is varied and irregular, and consists of numerous hills and pleasing valleys, ridges, and mountains, some of which are covered with wood, and have a considerable elevation; Correen, in the southern quarter, being about 1350, and the Buck of the Cabrach, in the west, 2377 feet above the sea. The climate in the higher parts is cold and bleak, exposed to severe frosts and heavy falls of snow, but in the lower and more sheltered places, it is temperate and salubrious. The river Bogie, which is formed by the junction of the Craig and Corchinan burns, after pursuing a serpentine course of about eleven miles, through a fine valley, joins the Doveran at Huntly; it is plentifully supplied with fine trout. The Don runs, for about two miles, on the south-eastern boundary; and the small stream of Mossat divides the parish from Kildrummy, on the south.
   The soil presents a considerable variety, consisting in some parts of a rich alluvial loam, and in other places of clay, with a large proportion of sand and pebbles; in the lower grounds, it is, in general, sharp, dry, and fertile, but towards the hills, mossy and poor. The quantity of arable land is on the increase, much barren land having been reclaimed, and the method of cultivation has recently been considerably improved; the houses and cottages, also, are in a much better condition than they were thirty years since. The rateable annual value of the parish is £3600. The plantations are numerous and extensive, and comprise trees of all the kinds usually reared; sandstone of excellent quality is found, as well as limestone, and whinstone is also in great abundance. There are two gentlemen's seats, Craig and Druminnor, both of which are of considerable antiquity, the former bearing the date 1518, and the latter, which was once the chief seat of the Forbes family, that of the year 1577. Near the castle of Craig, is the "Den," a celebrated spot in this part of the country, and much resorted to by tourists as an object of curiosity, surrounded by scenery of a varied and beautiful description. The only village is Lumsden, which is of recent growth, and contains about 300 persons, chiefly traders and handicraftsmen; but the main population of the parish is agricultural, being employed in the rural districts in cultivating the land, and in rearing cattle, for the sale of which four markets are held during the year. Here is a post-office. The ecclesiastical affairs are directed by the presbytery of Alford and synod of Aberdeen; the Earl of Fife is patron. The minister's stipend is £158, part of which is received from the exchequer; there is a manse, erected in 1843, and the glebe is valued at £10 a year. The church, which was built in 1811, accommodates 450 persons, but is much too small for the population. At Lumsden, is a place of worship belonging to the United Associate Synod; a place of worship has been erected in connexion with the Free Church, and there is a parochial school, of which the master has a salary of £30, about £20 fees, and a house and garden. The moat or mount on which the ancient Castrum Auchindoria, mentioned by Boethius, seems to have stood, is shown in the parish; and another most interesting relic of antiquity, situated near it, is the old parochial church, which is now a venerable ruin, attracting attention from its ivy-mantled walls, its fine Saxon gateway, and its inscriptions and sculpture.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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