PREMNAY, a parish, in the district of Garioch, county of Aberdeen, 3½ miles (S. S. W.) from Old Rain; containing, with the village of Auchleven, 691 inhabitants. This parish is about four and a half miles in length from north to south, and four miles in extreme breadth, and comprises between 5000 and 6000 acres, of which 3200 are arable, fifty plantations, and the remainder, with the exception of a small extent of good pasture, waste, moor, and mountain. The surface is considerably diversified. A chain of beautiful little hills or undulations runs along the centre from east to west, and is entirely cultivated except on the summits, which are covered with whins on a very thin and rocky soil; and from the bases of this range, extensive tracts of arable land rise on each side with gentle ascent. The northern portion of the parish is watered by the rivulet Shevock, forming about a mile of its boundary, and separating it from the parish of Insch; and the southern by the Gady, which enters on the west near the church of Leslie, and continues its course to the eastern limit, between acclivities well cultivated, and occasionally ornamented with picturesque hedge-rows. On the south side of this stream, which, as well as the Shevock, affords good trout, and opposite to the church, which is situated on its northern bank, rises the elevation called Tillymuick, a hill of moderate height and bleak appearance. A little farther southward is the mountain of Benochie, having its western extremity in this parish, and of which the summit, 1500 feet above the level of the sea, commands interesting and extensive prospects, embracing on the east many miles of the shore of the German Ocean, and on the north, the Moray Frith, and the Caithness hills in the distance. The soil in general is dry and productive, well suited to turnip husbandry, and incumbent on a gravelly subsoil or on rock; near the bases of the two principal hills it is poor, and rests upon a hard tenacious earth. The crops consist of oats, bear, turnips, potatoes, and grass, the cultivation of which, with the rearing of black-cattle and a few sheep and horses, constitutes the chief employment. The rotation of crops is practised; but many improvements in husbandry are still wanting, and the inclosures are very few in number, as well as deficient in condition. The rateable annual value of Premnay is £2226.
   There are several kinds of rock; but the most abundant is red granite, which is found in great plenty in two of the hills, and, on account of its being easily wrought, is extensively used throughout the neighbouring district for building purposes. The hills in the centre of the parish supply a common stone adapted for the roads; and serpentine and limestone also exist, with some beds of very fine clay: the mosses on Benochie are still resorted to for fuel, but the lowland mosses are almost exhausted, and nearly the whole brought into cultivation. The mansion of Licklyhead, long the family seat of the proprietors of Premnay, was erected above 200 years since, in the castellated style, and is still inhabited; Overhall is a modern residence, built in a plain manner, and in tolerable repair. The village of Auchleven contains about twenty houses, and also one of the three cornmills in the parish, which is turned by the water of the Gady; one of the others is on the Shevock, and the third at Gariochsford. The inhabitants are partly engaged in the spinning and carding of wool, the former branch employing two jennies, and the latter three engines; the villagers also manufacture woollen cloth to a small extent. The public road from Insch to Keig passes over the Gady, at the village, by a bridge of two arches, erected in 1836 at a cost of £70; and this road is crossed near the centre of the parish by another, leading from the upper district of the country to Inverury and Aberdeen, and which in 1824 was made turnpike from the church to Mill of Carden, where it joins the great north road from Inverness to Aberdeen. A third road, lately made from Kinnethmont to Inverury, passes through the north of the parish. The produce is generally sent to Inverury, eleven miles distant from the church, whence lime, guano, and bones for manure, and coal, are obtained at all times for the use of the district. Bear from this place is used at the distilleries of Inverury and other places. The parish is within the limits of the presbytery of Garioch and synod of Aberdeen, and in the patronage of Sir Andrew Leith Hay, of Rannes: the minister's stipend is £159, with a manse, and a glebe valued at £12 per annum. The church, built in 1792, has 360 sittings, all free with the exception of sixty in a gallery erected in 1828 by the Kirk Session, with consent of the heritors. The parochial school affords instruction in Latin, Greek, mathematics, book-keeping, and all the elementary branches: the master has a salary of £27, with a house, an allowance for a garden, and £11 fees; also a share of the Dick bequest. The interest of £1000, left by the late Thomas Gordon, Esq., is distributed among the poor.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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  • Leslie —    1) LESLIE, a parish, in the district of Garioch, county of Aberdeen, 7 miles (W. S. W.) from Old Rain, containing 553 inhabitants. This place is said to have derived its name from a family who held the lands so early as the eleventh century.… …   A Topographical dictionary of Scotland

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