- LUMPHANAN, a parish, in the district of Kincardine O'Neil, county of Aberdeen, 2¾ miles (N. by W.) from Kincardine O'Neil; containing 964 inhabitants. This place is celebrated as the scene of the death of the famous Macbeth, who, after reigning for seventeen years, was killed here by Macduff on the 5th of December, 1056. Memorials of the event still remain in "Macbeth's stone," at present standing in the brae of Strettum, on the farm of Carnbady, where the usurper was slain, and in the cairn forming the place of his sepulture on the Perk hill, about a mile from the church. Lumphanan once formed a part of the barony of O'Neil, belonging in the 13th century to the Durwards, of whom Allan de Lundin, named Doorward or Durward, from his office in the king's court, erected an hospital at Kincardine O'Neil dedicated to God and the Blessed Virgin, and conferred upon it the patronage of Lumphanan church, with other immunities, and also the patronage of the church of Kincardine O'Neil. The hospital was in 1330 incorporated with the cathedral establishment of Aberdeen. In 1296, Edward I., having received the homage of many persons of distinction after the battle of Dunbar, advanced from Aberdeen on the 21st of July to this place, with an illustrious retinue, and received the written submission of Sir John de Malevill, a copy of which is preserved in Her Majesty's exchequer. The wooden castle named the Peel-Bog is said to have been the place where the business was transacted.The parish is situated between the rivers Dee and Don, and is six miles in length from north to south, and four miles from east to west, comprising 7620 acres, of which 2770 are arable, 550 wood, and the remainder uncultivated. The surface is varied with high and low grounds, in the latter of which the soil is loamy, deep, and fertile, but on the sides of the hills thin and sandy; the produce comprises several kinds of grain and various green crops, cultivated in a superior manner, in some places under the seven, and in others under the six, shift course. The cattle are of the pure Aberdeenshire breed, unchanged by the admixtures and crosses adopted in so many other parts. The improvements in agriculture have been numerous within the last thirty years, comprising chiefly the recovery of waste land, the draining of marshes, the inclosure of farms by fences, and the erection of substantial and commodious farm-steadings. The climate is early, and the crops of oats, bear, and barley in general heavy. The average rent of arable land is about £1 per acre, and the rateable annual value of the parish amounts to £2741. The rocks consist principally of granite; and over the substrata are stretched, in several parts, large tracts of moor and moss, and some marshy waters, of which the loch of Auchlossan, containing numerous eels and pike, covers 250 acres. The woods are principally larch and Scotch fir. There are five seats of proprietors, all modern buildings, named Auchinhove, Findrack, Glenmillan, Pitmurchie, and Camphill. The turnpike-road from Aberdeen to Tarland runs through the parish from east to west; and the military road formed about the year 1746, and the road formed from Kincardine O'Neil to Alford by the parliamentary commissioners for Highland roads and bridges, traverse it from south to north. The produce is usually sent for sale to Aberdeen; but corn and cattle-markets are held at Camphill, in the parish, on the second Monday of each of the winter and spring months.Lumphanan is in the presbytery of Kincardine O'Neil and synod of Aberdeen, and in the patronage of Sir John Forbes, of Craigievar, Bart.: the minister's stipend is £154, with a manse, and a glebe of seven and a half acres, valued at £10 per annum. The church was erected in 1762, and contains 383 sittings. The parochial school, in addition to the ordinary branches, affords instruction in Greek, Latin, and mathematics; the master has a salary of £27, with a house, and £12. 12. fees, and participates in the benefit of the Dick bequest. There is also a school at Camphill, the master of which receives the interest of £150, left by James Hunter, Esq., of Darrahill. A parochial library at Tillyching, established in 1814, contains upwards of 400 volumes. The chief antiquities are, Macbeth's cairn, already noticed, and the Peel-Bog, a circular earthen mound, situated in a marshy hollow near the church, and forty-six yards in diameter, rising about twelve feet above the level of the ground, and surrounded by a moat. It is supposed to have been constructed in the 13th century; and the wooden castle on its summit was a residence of the Durwards, who possessed a large extent of territory in this county. The wooden fort was succeeded by one of stone, called Haa-ton House, the residence of the proprietor of the neighbouring estates; but this, in the march of agricultural improvement, was razed to the ground about the year 1780. Remains of a strong building called the Houff are still visible; it was once a stronghold of considerable antiquity, but afterwards converted into a burial-place for the family of the Duguids, of Auchinhove.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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