In 1882-4, Frances Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland described Old Machar like this:
Machar, Old, a parish of SE Aberdeenshire, containing great part of Aberdeen city, with all Old Aberdeen, Woodside, and other suburbs. Down to the 17th century it comprehended the present parishes of New Machar and Newhills; and now it is bounded NW by New Machar, N by Belhevie, E by the German Ocean, S by St Nicholas and Nigg, SW by Banchory-Devenick, and W by Newhills and Dyce. Its utmost length, from N by W to S by E, is 7 ¼ miles; its utmost breadth is 4 1/8 miles; and its area is 12,595½ acres, of which 285 are foreshore and 167½ water, whilst 5283 1/8 fall within the parliamentary burgh of Aberdeen. ...
The Don, after flowing 3 1/8miles south-south-eastward along the Dyce and Newhills boundary, winds 3¾ miles eastward across the interior to the sea; and the Dee, in a run of 1 5/11 mile, traces the southern boundary. The district between the two rivers, comprising two-fifths of the entire area, is described in our article on Aberdeen; and, as to the district N of the Don, it need only be said that the surface rises gradually from the shore to a summit altitude of 313 feet at Perwinnes Hill, ½ mile N of which, at the New Machar boundary, is Corby Loch (2¾ x 2 furl.; 251 feet). The predominant rock is granite; -and the soil ranges from fertile loam to barren peat-earth. In the presbytery and synod of Aberdeen, this parish is divided ecclesiastically into Old Machar, Ferry Hill, Gilcomston, Holburn, Rosemount, Rubislaw, and Woodside, with part of John Knox. Old Machar itself is a collegiate charge, the stipend of the first minister being £386, of the second £340. Eight schools, all public but one, with total accommodation for 2220 children, had (1883) an average attendance of 2224, and grants amounting to £2002, 19s. 2d. Landward valuation (1873) £12,099, 0s. 6d., (1884) £14,352, 2s. Pop. of entire parish (1801) 9911, (1831) 25,107, (1861) 33,236, (1871) 42, 477, (1881) 56,002, of whom 8388 were in the ecclesiastical parish of Old Machar, and 1451 in the landward portion of the parish.Ord. Sur., sh. 77, 1873.
A Vision of Britain through Time includes a large library of local statistics for administrative units. For the best overall sense of how the area containing Old Machar has changed, please see our redistricted information for the modern district of Aberdeen. More detailed statistical data are available under Units and statistics, which includes both administrative units covering Old Machar and units named after it.
GB Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, History of Old Machar, in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire | Map and description, A Vision of Britain through Time.
Date accessed: 19th May 2013
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