Rhynie and Essie
- RHYNIE and ESSIE, a parish, in the district of Alford, county of Aberdeen, 3½ miles (W. by N.) from Clatt; containing 1035 inhabitants, of whom 240 are in the village of Rhynie, or Muir of Rhynie. This place occupies the south-western portion of the ancient lordship of Strathbogie, granted by King Robert Bruce to the family of the Gordons, of whom Sir James Gordon took the title of baronet from the lands of Lesmore, in this parish, and of whose residence, Lesmore Castle, there are still some remains. The lands, together with the title, were held by his descendants for a considerable period: on the demise of the last Duke of Gordon, they passed to the Duke of Richmond, who is the sole proprietor of the parish. Few events of historical importance are recorded in connexion with the place: some tumuli at the foot of the hill on the north-west of the parish, were raised over the remains of those who fell in a battle that occurred in the reign of Malcolm Canmore, between the forces of Macduff and those of the usurper Lulach, in which the usurper was slain. The parish is bounded on the east by the river Bogie, and is nearly five miles in length and almost of equal breadth; comprising about 4000 acres of arable land, and some extensive tracts of moorland pasture, moss, and waste. The surface is diversified with several hills of considerable height; but the only one deserving the name of a mountain is that of Noth, which has an elevation of more than 1000 feet above the level of the sea. The river has its source in the adjoining parish of Auchindoir, and, flowing north-eastward, falls into the Doveran at Huntly; the water of Kirkney has its source in the moss of Essie, and, after a course of nearly eight miles through this parish and part of the parish of Gartly, flows into the Bogie. These two streams abound with trout of excellent quality, affording good sport to the angler; and there are several smaller streams in various parts, of which the principal is the Craigwater, all forming tributaries to the Kirkney. The soil is various; near the banks of the Bogie, a deep rich loam; around the bases of the hills, light and gravelly but fertile; in some of the lower grounds, clay; and in others, tracts of moss. The crops are, grain of different kinds, potatoes, turnips, and the usual grasses; the system of husbandry has for some years been rapidly improving; and large tracts of land, previously unproductive, have been brought into a state of profitable tillage. The facility of obtaining lime from the neighbouring parishes has greatly contributed to the amelioration of the lands, and bone-dust has been introduced as manure in the cultivation of turnips; the hills and moorlands afford good pasturage for sheep and black-cattle, and from the mosses of Essie may be procured ample supplies of peat for fuel. The chief substrata are, sandstone, whinstone, and slate; boulders of granite occur in various places, and quartz is also found in small quantities. A sandstone quarry has long been wrought. The rateable annual value of the parish, according to returns made under the income-tax, is £2716.The village, situated on the west bank of the Bogie, was built on lands leased by the Gordons, for the accommodation of the surrounding district, about the close of the last century; and is chiefly inhabited by persons engaged in agricultural pursuits and in various handicraft trades. A post-office has been established under that of Aberdeen, with which it has daily communication by a mail-gig; to Huntly there is a runner; and facility of communication is afforded to the inhabitants by the turnpike-road from Huntly to Aberdeen, which passes through the parish and the village. Fairs for sheep, cattle, and horses are held in April, June, September, and October; and also, for hiring servants, at Whitsuntide and Martinmas. The grain and other agricultural produce are sent chiefly to Inverury, but partly also to Banff and Portsoy. There are two hamlets in the parish; the one, in the district of Essie, called Belhennie; and the other, called the Raws of Noth, in the district of Rhynie; but neither of them is of any importance. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Strathbogie and synod of Moray. The minister's stipend is £158, of which £10 are paid from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe valued at £13 per annum: patrons, the Duke of Richmond and the Earl of Fife. There were originally churches in both districts, in which divine service was performed on alternate Sundays, by the minister of the united parish, from the time of their union till about the year 1774, when the service at Essie was discontinued. The present parochial church, at Rhynie, was built in 1823, and enlarged in 1838 by the addition of an aisle; it is a plain substantial structure, and in good repair. There are also places of worship for Independents and members of the Free Church. The parochial school, to which is attached a library, affords instruction to about eighty children; the master has a salary of £24. 7. 8., eight bolls of meal, and a house, and the fees average £20 per annum. A parochial library at Essie is supported by subscription. On the hill of Noth, which is of oblong form, and rises into a conical peak towards the eastern extremity, are the remains of a vitrified fort; the walls appear to have been ten feet in thickness. In making the turnpikeroad several stone coffins were discovered, some of which contained human bones of large dimensions; and Roman coins have also been found in the parish. There are likewise remains of Druidical circles.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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Essie — 1) ESSIE, county of Aberdeen. See Rhynie and Essie. 2) ESSIE, Forfarshire. See Rhynie and Essie … A Topographical dictionary of Scotland