Tyrie

   1) TYRIE, a parish, in the district of Deer, county of Aberdeen, 5 miles (S. W. by W.) from Fraserburgh; containing, with the late quoad sacra parish and the village of New Pitsligo, 2639 inhabitants, of whom 1276 are in the rural districts. This place, the name of which, in the Gaelic language, signifies "the King's House," is of remote antiquity; but very few particulars of its history have been recorded. A religious establishment appears to have been founded here at an early period; it was munificently endowed by one of the Scottish monarchs, and the buildings occupied the site of the old manse of Tyrie. In connexion with this monastery, from which the parish most probably derived its name, a church is supposed to have been erected about the year 1004, which obtained the appellation of the "White Kirk of Buchan," and which, when it afterwards became the parish church, had still an aisle connecting it with the conventual buildings. Towards the close of the 10th century, a sanguinary battle took place between a Danish army, encamped on the neighbouring hills, and the forces of the Thane of Buchan, which terminated in the total defeat of the former with great slaughter. The parish is in the north-eastern portion of the county, and is about ten miles in length and four and a half in breadth; it is of rather irregular shape, and the surface is diversified with hills, of which some attain a considerable degree of elevation. At the western end is a range of heights forming part of the Auchmedden ridge, and of the eminences that skirt the western extremity of Buchan; and on the south-east are also several heights, which appear to form a continuation of the Mormond hill. There are no rivers of any importance; the principal streams are the Tyrie water, which runs along the northern boundary, and the Goner, a smoothly-flowing rivulet over which a handsome stone bridge was built near the mill of Tillanamont, by the late Sir William Forbes. Of the numerous copious springs, some are strongly chalybeate; and one, in the den of Boyndlie, called the Mourning Well, is not equalled by any in the county. The rivulets abound with small trout.
   The soil in the valleys, and in the lower lands, is generally a rich deep loam of a reddish colour; in the higher grounds, shallower, and less fertile; and there are some large tracts of moss, and much waste land that might be reclaimed and brought into profitable cultivation. Among the crops are oats, for which the soil appears to be peculiarly adapted, and which are almost the only grain. Of potatoes, large quantities are shipped at Rosehearty, Sandhaven, and Fraserburgh; and since the establishment of a horticultural society at New Pitsligo by Sir John Stuart Forbes, vegetables of every kind, and garden produce, have been grown in perfection. The system of husbandry has been much improved, in some degree through the Buchan Agricultural Society; and at the annual meetings some of the farmers of this parish have been successful competitors for prizes for the best samples of oats for seed. The hills afford good pasturage for sheep and black-cattle, of which considerable numbers are reared, and sent to the markets in the vicinity and to London; and much attention is paid to the management of the dairy-farms, the produce of which finds a ready sale throughout the district. The plantations extend over 120 acres in different detached portions, and consist of ash, mountain-ash, plane, alder, and various kinds of fir: even such trees as are in the most unprotected situation are in a thriving state. The substrata are generally limestone and granite, of which latter the rocks are chiefly composed. The limestone was formerly wrought in the eastern district, but the quarries have been abandoned; granite quarries, however, have been opened, from which blocks of ten tons' weight are raised without difficulty. The stone is of a very durable quality, and quarried at little expense; and much of it has been used in the dressings of the pier of Fraserburgh, and for the ornamental parts of the public buildings in that town. Iron-ore has also been found, but not in sufficient quantity to encourage the working of it. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4442. The mansions are, Boyndlie House, the seat of Alexander Forbes, Esq.; and the ancient houses of Ladysford and Tillanamont. The village of New Pitsligo is described under its own head; the Kirkton of Tyrie is an inconsiderable spot near the northern boundary of the parish, where are situated the church and the parochial school. The post-office at New Pitsligo has a daily delivery; and facility of communication is maintained by good roads, of which the turnpikeroads from Banff to Peterhead and to Fraserburgh pass through the parish. Fairs for sheep, cattle, and horses, are held occasionally; and until a recent date there was a corn-market every alternate week, in the village of New Pitsligo.
   The ecclesiastical affairs are under the superintendence of the presbytery of Deer and synod of Aberdeen. The minister's stipend is £158. 7. 7., of which nearly one-fourth is paid from the exchequer; with a manse, and a glebe valued at £9. 10. per annum: patron, Lord Saltoun. The ancient church has been for some years in ruins, a new church having been erected in 1800, a neat substantial structure containing 400 sittings. A church to which a district was till lately annexed, and an episcopal chapel, have been erected in New Pitsligo. The parochial school is well conducted: the master has a salary of £25. 18., with £6 in lieu of a house and garden, and the fees average about £8 per annum; he also receives the interest of a bequest by Mrs. Anderson, for the gratuitous instruction of children. There is a bequest for the benefit of the poor, and many families receive weekly distributions of meal from the granary of Sir John Stuart Forbes, of Pitsligo. In the immediate vicinity of the ancient church, till within the last few years, was a circular mound called the Moat, but of which nothing is distinctly known; and in various parts of the parish are barrows, supposed to have been raised over the remains of those who fell in the battle with the Danes. In some of these barrows that have been opened, were discovered coffins of grey flagstones, containing human bones; and near the Law Cairn were found, within the last twenty or thirty years, some fragments of ancient armour, thought to be Roman. In digging up the foundations of the ancient church, there was recently found a rude shapeless mass of claystone of a blue colour, on which were some hieroglyphic characters that could not be deciphered.
   2) TYRIE, county of Argyll.
   See Tiree and Coll.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

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