Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Insch

Insch, a village and a parish in Garioch district, NW Aberdeenshire. The village stands, 406 feet above sea-level, at the southern extremity of the parish, ½ mile N by E of Insch station on the Great North of Scotland railway, this being 13¼ miles SE of Huntly, 7 WNW of Inveramsay Junction, and 27½ NW of Aberdeen. A burgh of barony, under the Leith-Hays of Leith Hall, it has a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and railway telegraph departments, branches of the North of Scotland and the Aberdeen Town and County Banks, a National Security savings' bank, a penny bank, 7 insurance agencies, 2 hotels, a gas company, a public hall, a police station, the parish church, a Free church, a Congregational church, a horticultural society, cattle fairs on the fourth Monday of every month, and hiring fairs on the Fridays before 18 May and 18 Nov. The parish church, containing 500 sittings, was built in 1613, and rebuilt in 1883. Pop. (1841) 215, (1861) 411, (1871) 533, (1881) 579.

The parish is bounded N by Drumblade and Forgue, E by Culsalmond, SE by Oyne and Premnay, SW by Leslie and Kennethmont, and W by Kennethmont and Gartly. Its utmost length, from N to S, is 45/8 miles; its utmost breadth, from E to W, is 37/8 miles; and its area is 8371½ acres, of which 1½ are water. The Shevock curves 5 miles east-by-southward along all the south-western and south-eastern boundary, passing off from this parish 15/8 mile above its confluence with the Ury; and the Ury itself, here sometimes known as Glen Water, flows 2¼ miles eastward through Glen Foudland along all the northern border; whilst several rills of sufficient volume to drive a threshing-machine drain the interior. The land is a diversity of hill and dale, sinking in the SE to 380 feet above sea-level, and rising thence to 876 feet at conical Dunnideer, 800 at Candle Hill, 622 at Knockenbaird, and 1529 at the Hill of Foudland. Clay slate, of excellent roofing quality, was at one time largely quarried on Foudland; gneiss and granite are the predominant rocks in the lower hills; and bog iron occurs in considerable quantities in the low grounds adjacent to Dunnideer. The soil of the low grounds is mostly a light loam, on the slopes of Foudland is a light clay, and on its higher parts is moss or heath. About one-third of the entire area is pastoral or waste; plantations cover some 50 acres; and all the rest of the parish is under cultivation. The chief antiquity is noticed under Dunnideer; others being a mound or rising-ground called the Gallow Hill near Insch village, and some Caledonian standing-stones; whilst the fragment of a 'Roman sword' and some links of a very rude gold chain have been found on Wantonwells farm. Drumrossie, a little E of the village, is the only mansion; but 5 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 2 of between £100 and £500, 3 of from £50 to £100, and 6 of from £20 to £50. Insch is in the presbytery of Garioch and synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £309. Three public schools-Glen Foudland, Insch, and Largie-with respective accommodation for 64, 184, and 128 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 43, 202, and 71, and grants of £32, 13s., £139, 6s., and £52, 11s. Valuation (1860) £6542, (1882) £9596, 12s. 4d., plus £258 for railway. Pop. (1801) 798, (1831) 1338, (1861) 1565, (1871) 1596, (1881) 1536.—Ord. Sur., shs. 76, 86, 1874-76.

(F.H. Groome, Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-4); © 2004 Gazetteer for Scotland)

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a village and a parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "populated places")
Administrative units: Insch ScoP       Aberdeenshire ScoCnty
Place: Insch

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