- TOMINTOUL, a village, and lately a quoad sacra parish, in the parish of Kirkmichael, county of Banff; containing 919 inhabitants, of whom 530 are in the village. This place is supposed to have derived its name, signifying the "Barn Hillock," from the situation of the barn belonging to a farm that originally occupied the site of the village. The village, which was commenced in 1750, stands on a tract of table-land overlooking the river Aven, and consists chiefly of one long street, in the centre whereof is a spacious square. The houses, with few exceptions, are one story high, neatly built, and roofed with slate; and attached to each are about two acres of land, in the cultivation of which the inhabitants are partly employed. No manufactures are carried on here, nor is there any trade, except the handicrafts requisite for the wants of the neighbourhood; there are a few shops for the sale of various articles of merchandise for the supply of the inhabitants, and a circulating library containing nearly 200 volumes of religious and historical works. A post-office has been established, which has a daily delivery; and there are four good inns. A small lock-up house has been erected for the temporary confinement of offenders against the peace; but there is no resident magistrate. Fairs, chiefly for cattle and sheep, and for the hiring of servants, are held on the last Friday in May, the last Friday in July, O. S., the third Wednesday in August, O. S., the Friday after the second Tuesday in September, O. S., and the second Friday in November, O. S. The great military road from Perth to Inverness passes through the village; and the district affords ample means, which might easily be made available to greater facilities of communication.The district was separated for ecclesiastical purposes from the parish of Kirkmichael, and erected into a quoad sacra parish, by act of the General Assembly in 1833; it comprises by computation 30,000 acres, of which by far the greater portion is moorland pasture. The surface is hilly and mountainous, and the scenery, from the want of plantations, bleak and comparatively uninteresting; the river Aven flows through the district in its course to the Spey, and there are numerous springs, of which some possess mineral properties, though they are not used medicinally. The soil in some parts is a rich marl, and the arable lands are under good cultivation, producing favourable crops of grain; the hills, also, afford pasturage for sheep and black-cattle, of which considerable numbers are reared, and sent to the southern markets. The ecclesiastical affairs are under the super. intendence of the presbytery of Abernethy and synod of Moray. The church was erected in 1827, at a cost of £750, by the commissioners under the act for building additional places of worship in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland; it is situated about five miles from the parish church, and is a neat substantial structure containing 336 sittings, to which 200 may be added by the erection of a gallery, for which the plan of the building is well adapted. The minister has a stipend of £120, paid from the exchequer, with a manse, built by government at an expense of £738, and a glebe valued at £2 per annum; patron, the Crown. A Roman Catholic chapel was built in 1838; and there is a school in connexion with the Established Church, of which the master receives £17. 3. 3. as a gratuity from the Duke of Richmond, in addition to the fees. There is also a school in the village, of which the master has a salary of £26, arising from an endowment by the late Mr. Donaldson, of Aberdeen.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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