KINCARDINESHIRE, or The Mearns, a maritime county, in the east of Scotland, bounded on the north-west by the river Dee and part of Aberdeenshire, on the east and south-east by the German Ocean, and on the south-west by the county of Forfar. It lies between 56° 46' and 57° 7' (N. Lat.) and 2° 1' and 2° 45' (W. Lon.), and is about thirty-two miles in length, and twenty-four in extreme breadth; comprising an area of 380 square miles, or 243,444 acres; 7620 houses, of which 7304 are inhabited; and containing a population of 33,075, of whom 15,829 are males, and 17,246 females. The county is supposed by some to have derived the name Mearns, which is proper only to a particular portion of it, from Mernia, brother of Kenneth II., but, with greater probability, others deduce it from the Vernicones, by whom the district was inhabited in the time of Ptolemy. Few events of historical importance are recorded, though it is conjectured that the battle between the Caledonians under Galgacus and the Romans under Agricola took place here. Prior to the Reformation, the county was included partly within the archdiocese of St. Andrew's, and partly within the dioceses of Aberdeen and Brechin; it is at present chiefly in the synod of Angus and Mearns, and comprises the presbytery of Fordoun, in that synod, and part of the presbyteries of Kincardine O'Neil and Aberdeen, in the synod of Aberdeen. For civil government it is undivided, and for session purposes is associated with the counties of Aberdeen and Banff, in the former of which the courts are held; it contains Stonehaven, which is the county town, and the towns and villages of Bervie, Gourdon, Johnshaven, Laurencekirk, Fettercairn, and Auchinblae. Under the act of the 2nd of William IV., the county returns one member to the imperial parliament. The number of parishes is nineteen.
   The surface near the coast is tolerably level, though varying in elevation. The Grampians occupy the central, western, and northern parts of the county; and from their base the land subsides towards the south-east, into what is generally called the Howe of the Mearns, forming a continuation of the vale of Strathmore, and between which and the sea there is a tract of swelling ground. The Howe is a beautiful tract of champaign country, about fifty square miles in extent, richly cultivated, embellished with plantations, and defended from the colder winds by the Grampians, and by the hills of Garvock and Arbuthnott, which are from 500 to 800 feet high. The principal mountains are, the Strath Fenella, detached from the Grampian range by a narrow vale from which it takes its name, and about 1500 feet in height; Cairn-a-Mount, which is 2500 feet; the hill of Fare, 1800 feet; Clachnabane, which has an elevation of 2370 feet, and is crowned with a mass of rock, rising perpendicularly almost one hundred feet above the main surface, and resembling an old fortress; and Mount Battoch, the highest point of the Grampian range in the county, and which has an elevation of 3465 feet. The principal river is the Dee, which has its source in Aberdeenshire, and, after intersecting this county for about eight miles in a course from west to east, forms its northern boundary for fourteen miles, and falls into the sea at Aberdeen. The other rivers are, the North Esk, which rises in the sequestered vale of Glen-Esk, on the confines of Forfarshire, and, after forming the boundary between the Mearns and that county for above ten miles, falls into the sea three miles to the north of Montrose; the Bervie; the Cowie; and several smaller streams. The chief lakes are, Drum, which is partly in the county of Aberdeen, and Loch Leys; each is about three miles in circumference, and the latter has a small artificial island containing the remains of an ancient edifice of which there are no authentic notices.
   About one-third of the land is arable, and in good cultivation; one-eighth capable of being cultivated with advantage, one-twelfth woodland and plantations, and the remainder rough mountain pasture. The soil varies from the most sterile to the most fertile; the district of the Howe of the Mearns is extremely rich, and the system of agriculture in a high state of improvement. Great attention is paid to the rearing of live stock. The number of cattle, which are generally the Angus black, is on an average 25,000, of which 5000 are milch-cows; and the number of sheep is about 24,000, of various breeds, but chiefly the black-faced. There are no minerals of any importance: limestone is quarried in some places, and there is an abundance of granite in the northern, and of red sandstone in the southern, section of the county. Various gems are found in the mountains and in the rocks, of which the principal are the topaz or Cairngorm. The seats are, Arbuthnott House, Dunnottar, Fetteresso, Fettercairn, Crathes, Blackhall, Kirkton Hill, Tilquhilly, Inch Marlo, Thornton, Drumtochty Castle, Durris, Ury, Glenbervie, Muchalls, Mount Cyrus, Inglismaldie, Lauriston, Fasque, Johnston, and others. The manufactures are neither important nor extensive; they are chiefly of canvass and coarse linens, with some trifling branches of the cotton manufacture. At Laurencekirk, the highly-esteemed snuff-boxes of wood are made. Facility of communication is afforded by good roads in various directions, of which some are turnpike; and a road over the Grampian hills has been made, and is kept in good repair. The rateable annual value of real property in the county is £134,341, including £3858 for fisheries. There are numerous remains of antiquity, of which the chief are those of Kincardine Castle, once a royal residence, and of Dunnottar Castle, the ancient seat of the Keiths, earls-marischal of Scotland, romantically situated on the summit of a lofty rock boldly projecting into the sea.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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  • Kincardineshire — (spr. kingkārdĭnschĭr, Mearns), Grafschaft im nordöstlichen Schottland, grenzt im N. und NW. an Aberdeenshire, im SW. an Forfarshire, erstreckt sich von der Nordsee bis zum Kamm der Grampians und hat einen Flächenraum von 1005 qkm (18,2 QM.) mit… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Kincardineshire — Kincardine   County (until circa 1890)   Country Scotland …   Wikipedia

  • Kincardineshire — Lage von Kincardineshire in Schottland Kincardineshire ist eine der traditionellen Grafschaften von Schottland, gelegen an der Nordsee südlich von Aberdeen. Sie ist nach der nicht mehr existierenden mittelalterlichen Stadt Kincardine benannt. Die …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Kincardineshire — Localisation du Kincardineshire sur une carte de l Écosse. Le Kincardineshire était un comté d Écosse jusqu en 1975. Sa capitale était Stonehaven …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kincardineshire — ▪ former county, Scotland, United Kingdom also called  Kincardine  or  the Mearns        historic county in northeastern Scotland, along the North Sea coast south of Aberdeen. It is part of the Aberdeenshire council area. Kincardine is the… …   Universalium

  • kincardineshire — kə̇nˈkärdənˌshi(ə)r, kiŋˈ , shər adjective or kincardine Usage: usually capitalized Etymology: from Kincardineshire or Kincardine county, Scotland : of or from the county of Kincardine, Scotland : of the kind or style prevalent in Kincardine …   Useful english dictionary

  • Kincardineshire — geographical name see Kincardine …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • KINCARDINESHIRE —    (35), east coast Scottish county, lying between Aberdeen and Forfar, faces the North Sea, with precipitous cliffs; has much fertile soil under corn, green crops, and small fruit, also pasture and grazing land where cattle are reared; the… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • kincardineshire — kin·car·dine·shire …   English syllables

  • Kincardineshire — /kɪnˈkadənʃɪə/ (say kin kahduhnshear), / ʃə/ (say shuh) noun a former county in eastern Scotland, now part of Aberdeenshire. Also, Kincardine …   Australian English dictionary

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