Descriptive Gazetteer Entry for Banchory-Ternan

Banchory-Ternan, a parish partly in Aberdeenshire, but chiefly in Kincardineshire, containing the village of Banchory, Upper Banchory, or Arbeadie, which stands at 166 feet above sea-level, on the northern bank of the Dee, here crossed by an iron-truss bridge (1798-1829) of 175 feet span with three smaller stone arches, and which has a station on the Deeside railway, 17 miles WSW of Aberdeen, and 26½ E of Ballater. Founded in 1805, it is a pleasant, straggling-looking place, with many tasteful villas, favourite resorts of Aberdonians; it is governed by a provost, 3 bailies, 4 councillors, and others; and it possesses a post office under Aberdeen, with money order and savings' bank departments, a railway telegraph office, branches of the Union, North of Scotland, and Aberdeen Town and County banks, 10 insurance agencies, 3 hotels, a coffee-house, a gas company, Masonic and Oddfellows' lodges, a cricket club, a Useful Knowledge Society, with a library, and a neat Town-hall (1873). The parish church (1824) is a Gothic building, with a tower and 1250 sittings; a new Free church (1880; 700 sittings; cost, £3000) is Early English in style, and of pink and white granite, with spire 100 feet high; and St Ternan's Episcopal church (1851) is also an Early English granite edifice, with nave and chancel, 4 stained-glass windows, and very high-pitched open timber roof. Cattle, sheep, and horse fairs are held on the last Monday of January and February, the last Thursday of March, the Monday before 26 May (also feeing), the third Tuesday of June, the Tuesday of Paldy Fair week in July, the second Tuesday of August, the Monday before the first Tuesday of September, old style, and the second Monday of November (also feeing) and December. Pop. (1861) 681, (1871) 865, (1881) 983.

The parish is bounded N by Midmar, NE by Echt, E by Drumoak, SE by Durris, SW by Strachan and Birse, and W by Kincardine O`Neil. With very irregular outline, its length from E to W varies between 17/8 and 8¼ miles, its breadth from N to S between 35/8 and 7 miles; and its land area is 20,079 acres, of which 1058 belong to Aberdeenshire. The Dee has an eastward course here of10½ miles-first 5 on the Birse and Strachan boundary, next 3½ through the interior, and lastly 2 on the Durris border. It falls in this course from 249 feet above sea-level at Haugh of Sluie to 117 at Mills of Drum; at Cairnton supplies the Aberdeen Waterworks; and opposite the village receives from the SSW the Water of Feugh, whose last 1½ mile either separates Banchory-Ternan from Strachan or traverses its interior. The chief elevations are to the N of the Dee, Blackyduds (1422 feet), Craigrath (1429), and Berry Hill (765), all three summits of the Hill of Fare; to the S, Hill of Maryfield (482), Craig of Affrusk (803), and, on the SW border, Garrol Hill (627). Loch Leys, a large sheet of water towards the middle of the northern section, was drained not long before 1865; its interesting 'crannoge' or lake-dwelling is described in vol. vi. of Proceedings of the Soeiety of Antiquaries of Scotland. Granite is the prevailing rock, but limestone also has been largely worked; the soils are either alluvial or chiefly composed of disintegrated granite, and about 6500 acres are arable, 5000 under wood, and 1000 capable of reclamation, the rest being moorish pasture or waste. Four stone circles, some cairns, and a camp (perhaps Roman) at Cairnton, make up, with Crathes and Tilquhillie Castles, the antiquities; the chief historical event connected with the parish was the battle of Corrichie (1562). Mansions, with owners' names and the extent and yearly value of their estates within Kincardineshire, are Crathes Castle (Sir Rt. Burnett of Leys, eleventh Bart. since 1626; 12,025 acres; £5007), Raemoir House (Al. Innes; 4750 acres; £2847), Inchmarlo (Duncan Davidson; 985 acres; £896), Banchory Lodge (Mrs Ramsay of Arbeadie; 1800 acres; £1843), Invery House (Jn. W. E. J. Douglass of Tilquhillie; 1808 acres; £1015), etc.; in all, 8 proprietors hold each an annual value of £500 and upwards, 1 holds between £100 and £500, and 9 hold each between £50 and £100,36 between £20 and £50. The saint, from whom this parish takes its distinctive suffix, Terrananus, Torannan, or Ternan, is thought by Skene to have been a disciple of Pal ladius or Paldy, to have brought that saint's relics hither about 430 from either Ireland or Galloway, and himself to have been buried at Liconium, the old name probably of Banchory-Ternan; he thus was the only apostle of the southern Picts, really belonging to the 5th century (Celt. Scot., ii. 26-32). The first post-Reformation minister, James Reid, was father of Thomas Reid, the Latinist, and Alexander, an eminent physician; and Dr George Campbell, minister 1747-57, composed here part of his Philosophy of Rhetoric. Banchory-Ternan is in the presbytery of Kincardine O `Neil and synod of Aberdeen; its minister's income is £362. Five schools-Central, Crathes, Inchmarlo, Tilquhillie, and Raemoir-with total accommodation for 556 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 406, and grants amounting to £359,14s. 6d., the corresponding figures for the Central school alone being 250,256, and £250, 9s. 6d. Valuation (1881) £19,658,17s. 11d., including £4133 for railway. Pop. (1801) 1322, (1821) 1729, (1841) 2240, (1861) 2947, (1871) 2875, (1881) 3065.—Ord. Sur., shs. 66,76,1871-74.

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

Linked entities:
Feature Description: "a parish"   (ADL Feature Type: "countries, 4th order divisions")
Administrative units: Banchory Ternan ScoP       Aberdeenshire ScoCnty       Kincardineshire ScoCnty
Place: Banchory

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