BIRSE, a parish, in the district of Kincardine O'Neil, county of Aberdeen, 2½ miles (E. S. E.) from Aboyne; containing 1295 inhabitants. This place was formerly called Press, a word of Gaelic origin, signifying a wood or thicket, and most probably used in reference to the extensive forest and woods in the district. The parish is situated at the south-eastern extremity of the county, and approaches in form to a square, varying in length from eight to ten miles, and in breadth from six to nine or ten miles. It comprises upwards of 40,000 acres, of which about 3360 are cultivated, nearly 4000 under wood and plantations, and the remainder wet and rocky, a large part of which is too rugged to be brought under the plough. The surface consists of hills and mountains, with three valleys stretching eastward. The valley on the south is the largest; and though narrow, bleak, and wild at its western extremity, where it is called the forest of Birse, about five miles further it begins to expand, and continues to improve in its scenery from this point to its termination, at the union of the Feugh with the Dee, near the village of Banchory, in Kincardineshire. The former of these rivers waters it for a distance of many miles, and much adorns the rich and beautiful scenery in the midst of which it takes its departure from the parish. The valley called Glen-Chatt is smaller than the former, and is watered by the Cattie burn; and the third strath forms a portion of the vale of the Dee, but is divided into two parts by the burn of Birse, and ornamented in its centre by the church and manse. The Grampians traverse the south of the parish, where also runs the river Aven, and one of the range, called Mount Geanach, rises between 2000 and 3000 feet in height, and gives to the locality a wild, and in some parts a romantic, appearance; the Dee runs along the northern boundary, and unites, with the peculiar features of that portion of the parish, to render its scenery most attractive. The moors abound with grouse and a great variety of wild-fowl, and the rivers and mountain streams with trout; the Dee has also salmon, grilse, eel, and pike, and the lovers of angling find here every facility for their favourite amusement. The soil is a light loam, in many parts rather gravelly, and takes its leading character from its mixtures of decomposed granite and sand, which are sometimes clayey; oats and barley are the usual grain cultivated, and potatoes and turnips, with grass for pasture and hay, also form a considerable part of the produce. The sheep are the black-faced; the cattle are much mixed, and in general small and of inferior quality, but the kind which most prevails is the Aberdeenshire polled and horned; the state of husbandry has been considerably improved within the last twenty years, the rotation of crops having been introduced, with a few other modern usages. The rateable annual value of the parish is £4106. The rocks comprise granite, a blue stone called heathen stone, and limestone, of which last there are two or three quarries in operation, the produce being used generally for agricultural purposes; the granite is found in large blocks scattered on or near the surface, and is used for building, without the trouble and expense of quarrying, and a fine specimen of red porphyry is found in the river Dee.
   The mansion of Finzean, on the south side of the parish, and in the vale of the Feugh, is an ancient structure, built in the form of three sides of a square; that of Ballogie, situated in the centre of the district, is a neat and comfortable residence, partly ancient, and partly modern, and, like the former, surrounded with well-laid out grounds and thriving plantations. The male population are chiefly engaged in husbandry, and many of the females in knitting worsted stockings, in the winter season, for which most of the wool produced here is purchased, carded and spun, in summer. A suspension-bridge over the Dee, on the west, was built by the Earl of Aboyne, in 1828, and rebuilt in 1830, in consequence of its destruction by the flood; a communication is thus opened with the north, and another bridge over the Dee, called the Bridge of Potarch, built in 1813, continues the road from Brechin to Huntly and Inverness, over the Cairn o' Mount and Grampians: the turnpike-road on the south side of the Dee, from Aberdeen to Braemar, also opens an important means of intercourse. Four fairs are held at Bridge of Potarch, in April, May, October, and November, for cattle, sheep, horses, coarse linen, sacking, &c., that in October being the principal. The parish is in the presbytery of Kincardine O'Neil and synod of Aberdeen, and in the patronage of the Crown; the minister's stipend is £158. 7. 4., a portion of which is received from the exchequer, with a manse, and a glebe of four acres. The church, inconveniently situated in the north-western part of the parish, is a neat substantial edifice, erected in 1779, and capable of accommodating between 500 and 600 persons. There is a Roman Catholic chapel near Ballogie. The parochial school affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £28, with a house, £6. 10. fees, and an allowance from the Dick bequest. Another school is supported by money derived from the fund of Dr. Gilbert Ramsay, who was rector of Christ-church, Barbadoes, and left £500 for the endowment of a free school in this, his native parish, £500 to the poor, and a sum for the erection of a bridge over the Feugh; a religious library was established in 1829, and a savings' bank in 1837. The chief relic of antiquity is a castellated ruin called "the Forest," said to have been erected by Bishop Gordon, of Aberdeen, for a hunting seat.

A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. . 1856.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Birse — Birse, n. A bristle or bristles. [Scot.] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Birse — (Birsen), Stadt im Kreise Ponowetz der russischen Statthalterschaft Wilna; schönes Schloß, 3 Kirchen verschiedener Confessionen u. 2000 Ew., meist Juden. Hier erneuter Allianzvertrag am 8. März 1701, zwischen Peter d. Gr. von Rußland u. König… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Birse — 47° 12′ 49″ N 7° 11′ 43″ E / 47.2136, 7.19522 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Birse — infobox UK place country = Scotland static static image caption= latitude= 57.06 longitude= 02.74 official name =Birse population = shire district= shire county= Aberdeenshire region= constituency westminster= post town= postcode district =… …   Wikipedia

  • Birse — Vorlage:Infobox Fluss/DGWK fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/ABFLUSS fehltVorlage:Infobox Fluss/KARTE fehlt Birs (fr. La Birse) Birs in Laufen, November 2003 …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Birse — Sp Birsė Ap Birse L u. Šveicarijoje …   Pasaulio vietovardžiai. Internetinė duomenų bazė

  • birse — noun Etymology: Middle English *birst, from Old English byrst more at bristle Date: before 12th century 1. chiefly Scottish a bristle or tuft of bristles 2. chiefly Scottish anger …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • birse — /berrs/; Scot. /birdds/, n. Scot. 1. a short hair of the beard or body; a bristle. 2. anger; rage. [bef. 900; OE byrst; c. OHG borst, burst, ON burst. See BRISTLE] * * * …   Universalium

  • birse — ˈbi(ə)rs, ˈbərs noun ( s) Etymology: from (assumed) Middle English birst, from Old English byrst more at bristle 1. chiefly Scotland : a bristle or tuft of bristles 2. chiefl …   Useful english dictionary

  • Birse Castle — is located in the Forest of Birse, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Originally a three storey tower house, it was re built in 1911 into its current L plan structure, which is now B listed …   Wikipedia

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