Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Kildrummy

Kildrummy, a hamlet and a parish of W central Aberdeenshire. The hamlet, near the Don's left bank, is 10 miles W by N of Alford station, and 6½ SSW of Rhynie; it has a branch of the Aberdeen Town and County Bank, and an inn, whilst near it is Mossat post office under Aberdeen.

The parish is bounded N and NE by Auchindoir, E by Tullynessle, SE by Leochel-Cushnie, S by Towie, W by detached sections of Strathdon and Towie, and NW by Cabrach. With an irregular outline, deeply indented by Auchindoir and Kearn, it has an utmost length from WNW to ESE of 75/8 miles, an utmost breadth of 53/8 miles, and an area of 10, 396 acres, of which 44½ are water. The Don winds 17/8 mile north-north-westward along the boundary with Towie, 2¼ miles through the interior, and 1¾ mile along the Auchindoir border, which higher up is traced by the Don's tributary, Mossat Burn; and head-streams of the Water of Bogie rise and run in the NW. Where the Don quits the parish, the surface declines to 560 feet above sea-level, thence rising southward to 747 feet at wooded Coillebharr Hill, westward and north-westward to 1500 at Broom Hill, 2368 at the Buck of Cabrach, and 1611 at Clova Hill. Granite rocks, and rocks akin thereto, predominate in the uplands; whilst sandstone of very fine quality is in the low district. The soil on the hills affords excellent pasture; and that in the valleys is mostly a rich deep gravelly loam, reputed to be among the most fertile in the county. A variety of oat, called the Kildrummy oat, with a thin light character, and abundance of straw, ripens about a week earlier than other approved varieties of oat, and is very suitable to high situations, having long been diffused and appreciated through many parts of Scotland. A considerable extent of natural birch wood overhangs a burn that flows to the Don, and a fair amount of plantations occupies other ground. Kildrummy Castle, 1½ mile SW of the village, crowns a rocky eminence flanked by two ravines, and covers an area of 1 acre, with outworks occupying fully 2 more. Surrounded by an assemblage of knolls whose intersecting glens and hollows are overhung on every side by lofty uplands, it once was a seat of the kings of Scotland, and in 1306 was besieged and captured by Edward I. of England. Early in the 14th century it passed to the Lords Erskine, Earls of Mar; served then as the administrative capital of both Mar and Garioch districts; and underwent dismantlement and much damage in the times of Cromwell's wars. A hatching-place of the rebellion of 1715, it was forfeited by John, Earl of Mar, in the following year, and since 1731 has belonged to the Gordons of Wardhouse. The original structure consisted of one great circular tower, said to have been built in the time of Alexander II., and to have risen to the height of 150 feet; later it comprised a system of seven towers, of different form and magnitude, with intermediate buildings, all arranged on an irregular pentagonal outline round an enclosed court. It retains, in the middle of one of its sides, large portions of a chapel, with a threelight E window, similar to that in Elgin cathedral; and is now an imposing ruin, one of the most interesting in the North of Scotland. Other antiquities are several 'eirde-houses.' The House of Clova, 1¾ mile W of Lumsden, and 6 miles SSW of Rhynie, is a large mansion, with finely wooded grounds; its owner, Hugh Gordon Lumsden, Esq. (b. 1850; suc. 1859), holds 15,499 acres in the shire, valued at £6687 per annum. Another mansion is Kildrummy Cottage, Elizabethan in style; and, in all, 3 proprietors hold each an annual value of more, 7 of less, than £100. Kildrummy is in the presbytery of Alford and synod of Aberdeen; the living is worth £207. The church, at the village, is an ancient edifice, containing 300 sittings; beneath its S aisle is a burial vault of the Mar family. Clova Roman Catholic church of Our Lady and St Moluog, ¼ mile from the mansion, is a building of 1880, designed by Mr Lumsden himself after the model of the ancient English churches. A public school, with accommodation for 130 children, had (1881) an average attendance of 98, and a grant of £85, 17s. Valuation (1860) £3351, (1882) £4234, 10s. 8d. Pop. (1801) 430, (1831) 678, (1861) 590, (1871) 660, (1881) 656.—Ord. Sur., sh. 76, 1874.

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

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

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