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The New Statistical Account of Scotland (1845)
Volume XII - Aberdeen
Parish of Rhynie

[From notes furnished by the Rev. Thomas Wright. The proceedings consequent on the presentation to the parish of Marnoch in 1837, led to the deposition, by the General Assembly in 1841, of the Rev. William Allar-dyce, minister of this parish; in which Mr Allardyce and a minority of the General Assembly do not acquiesce. They have obtained a suspension and interdict from the Court of Session.]

I.—Topography and Natural History.

The old parish of Essie was, very long ago, united to that of Rhynie.

Boundaries.—The parish is bounded on the north by Gartly; on the south, by Auchindoir; on the west, by. Cabrach. Its figure is nearly square.

The soil is various. There is but one mountain in the parish : it is called Noth, about 1000 feet above the level of the sea.

II.—Civil History.

Parochial Registers.—These have been irregularly kept. Land-owners.—The sole land-owner in the parish is His Grace the Duke of Richmond.

Antiquities.—The most remarkable of these is on the summit of the hill of Noth, and considered by MacCulloch to be the remains of a vitrified fort. What appear to have been the walls are, in some parts, more than ten feet in thickness. It is very difficult to conceive how such a mass of loose stones could, by any artificial process, be cemented together by fusion, and, supposing that the requisite heat could be excited, it is difficult to conceive it possible so to regulate the heat throughout so great a mass, as that only so many of the stones should be fused as were required to cement the others. The conducting power of earthy matter is so very low, that the outer surface would be run before the centre could be warmed. The result of such a process would be case-hardening; but the fact is, the cementation is as perfect in the centre as on the surface more immediately exposed to the fire.

At the foot of the hill, on the north-west, there are several tumuli commemorative of an engagement fought in the year 1057, between the brave M'Duff and the usurper Lulach, who, for the brief period of six months, assumed the title of King, withholding the sceptre from Malcolm Canmore. Here Lulach was slain by Macduff. From this engagement it derives its name Mildewne, (grave of a thousand.)

To the west of the Noth, on the low grounds, there still exist the ruins of the castle of Lesmore, a stronghold once possessed by an ancient branch of the Gordon family. These, with some monumental, stones scattered throughout the parish, rudely carved with hieroglyphics much defaced, constitute the only relics of antiquity to be found.


There are two villages, one of which has a population of 240, and the other of 150.


Agriculture.— The average rent of land per acre is 15s. The real rental of the parish is L.2204, I3s. 6d. There has been recently a considerable increase of activity in farming operations. Large portions of waste land have been reclaimed. Lime to a large extent has been introduced, also a small amount of bone-dust. The produce of the parish has been doubled since 1820.

V.—Parochial Economy.

Ecclesiastical State.—There are only about a dozen Dissenting families in the parish. Stipend in money, L.130, 10s. 9d.; value of grain stipend, about L.25. The manse was built in 1821.

Education.—There are two schools in the parish. The salary of the parochial teacher is L.24, 7s. 8d., with 8 bolls of meal.

Poor.—Average number of poor on the roll, 16; average amount of funds for their relief, from church collections, L. 24, 2s. 6d.; of other contributions, L.6, 13s. 4d; of mortifications, mort-cloth dues, &c. L. 20, 7s. 8d.

August 1842.

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