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Aberdeen Bourtrie Cruden Echt Glenbucket Kennethmont Logie-Buchan Methlick Pitsligo Strathdon Tyrie
Cairnie Culsamond Ellon Glenmuick, Tullich and Glengairn Kildrummy Logie-Coldstone Midmar Premnay Strichen Udny
Aboyne and Glentanner Chapel of Garioch Daviot Fintray Huntly Kincardine O'Neil Longside Monquhitter Rathen

Tarland and Migvie  
Alford Clatt Deer, New Forbes & Kearn (OSA only) Insch Kintore Lonmay Monymusk Rayne Tarves  
Auchindoir and Kearn Cluny Deer, Old Forgue Inverury Kinellar Lumphanan Newhills Rhynie Tough  


Coull Drumblade Foveran Keig King Edward Machar, Old (NSA only) Oyne St Fergus Towie  
Belhelvie Crathie & Braemar Drumoak Fraserburgh Keithhall & Kinkell Leochel & Cushnie Machar, New Peterculter Skene Tullynessle (OSA) & Forbes (NSA  
Birse Crimond Dyce Fyvie Kemnay Leslie Meldrum Peterhead Slains Turriff  

Crathie and BraemarGlenmuick, Tullich and GlengairnAboyne and GlentannerBirseStrathdonTarland, part ofTarland. part ofLogie ColdstoneLogie BuchanGlenbucketTowieKildrummyAuchindoir and KearnCoullLumphananKincardine O'NeilMidmarLeochelEchtDrumoakRhynieClunyClattTullynessleAlfordToughCairnieHuntlyKinnemonthDrumbladeMonymuskKeigLesliePremnayOyneChapel of GarriochInveruryKenmayKintorePeterculterSkeneKinellarNewhillsAberdeenOld MacharDyceBelhelvieNew MacharFintrayFoveranKeithhall and KinkellInschForgueCulsamondRayneDaviotMeldrumBourtrieUdnyAuchterlessFyvieTarvesMethlickEllonSlainsTurriffMonquhitterNew DeerOld DeerCrudenLongsidePeterheadKing EdwardAberdourTyrieSt FergusStrichenPitsligoRathenCrimondLonmayFraserburgh

The text below is mostly summaries with some extracts from the original text. The links are mostly to Google Books, usually to the first item of interest rather than the first page of a parish. The NSA for Aberdeenshire is volume 12. Some notes from MacFarlane's Geographical Collections (mostly Volume I) have been added - these are useful as they date from the 1720's. See here for further information and links.

The old photographs of Aberdeen and Ballater are from the Detroit Publishing Company's Views of Landscape and Architecture in Scotland - see thumbnails on Library of Congress site here.

Road types on the Black & Hall map

Additional information about parishes can be found on the Vision of Britain site and on Scotland's Places. The woodcut illustrations are by Thomas Bewick and are linked to the original text on GoogleBooks (General History of Quadrupeds and History of British Birds).

The maps are based on the quarter-inch OS map The Eastern Highlands, 1923 and the half-inch map, sheets 14, 15 and 20, 1912 & 1914. With thanks to Ordnance Survey. The parish maps are from Black & Hall's map of Scotland, 1854, courtesy of David Rumsey Historical Map Collection. The images are copyright Cartography Associates but have been made available under a Creative Commons license for non-commercial use. These extracts are for general orientation only - detailed maps can be accessed on the National Library of Scotland site.


At the time of the OSA, the 1790's, the roads were statute labour which had been in operation for a few decades. Except in a very few places the roads were very bad as the work was done grudgingly, if at all, and without any clear idea of how to make roads. Commutation, where a person could pay a set rate instead of working himself, allowed more competent workmen and overseers to be employed and this gave better results. There is however an interesting reference that the money collected was never applied to the roads which of course added to the general hostility to the system; in another parish the labour was used to build private roads. Some landowners, however, had roads and bridges built at their own expense.

The MacFarlane references, dating from the 1720's, are interesting as they show that there were highways prior to statute labour, and it is more than likely that some of these, being main routes, existed at an earlier date.

With the building of turnpikes, the roads improved greatly. Several turnpikes are mentioned as are Parliamentary roads.

Bridges and fords were very important and there are frequent references to how dangerous the rivers could be in flood, sometimes even carrying bridges away. In Kildrummy, stilts were used to get across the river.

The military roads are mentioned, the Cairn o'Mounth road that ran from Fettercairn to Huntly, the road from Blairgowrie to Fort George that passed through Braemar, and the road from Aberdeen to Corgarff. When the military ceased to maintain the roads they deteriorated badly and nine miles of the Corgarff road had to be replaced (Alford). See Canmore (RCAHMS) entries.

One common theme was the difficulty of obtaining peat; mosses were running out or were being drained and much time had to be spent to win the peats. The use of coal was increasing though transport costs could be significant for those parishes further away from the ports. Frequent complaints are made about a tax levied on coals taken beyond the Red Head near Arbroath.

A canal had been built from Aberdeen to Inverury and had originally been planned to carry on to Monymusk; other canals were talked of in the north of the county but were never made.

Apart from many weekly markets, there were numerous fairs, some long-established; and frequent mentions are made of black cattle being bought up by drovers for the south country and England. The development of steam sailing vessels made it possible to take the cattle directly to London by sea. As for other counties, travel was limited at the time of the OSA but had greatly increased by the 1830's with regular stage-coach services and frequent carriers.

A speculative line (Romanum Iter Suppositum) for a Roman road from Raedykes to Fochabers is shown on the maps of Robertson and Thomson. This is marked in red on the above map. The yellow line is the course referred to in the Canmore accounts - as said, no evidence was found although the presence of camps on this line is suggestive of a line of march, at least.
Details of the marching camps can be found on Roman-Britain.org. Most probably date from the Agricolan campaign of AD 82-83, though a couple may be Severan (AD208-211). The camp at Durno is off the line of the putative road, whereas what was thought to have been a camp at nearby Pitcaple is on the line but is no longer considered to be Roman.
Recent work suggests other marching camps/outposts on the coast of the Moray Firth - see The Last Frontier, Antony Kamm, p.79.
Bennachie is one possibility for the site of Mons Graupius.

There are some interesting references to old roads: one was to the "wine causeway" in Kintore west of Aberdeen where customs had to be paid to the burgh of Kintore and another to the "Lawrence Road" leading through Culsamond parish to the fair at Old Rayne.

Pioneering work by a Captain Shand had helped to establish that the Romans had been in north-east Scotland which was contrary to opinion at the time.

Several camps were identified as Roman with inevitable speculation that they had been connected by a road. A stretch of roadway, one mile long had been found at Bennachie though difficulty was found in tracing it further (not Roman - see Canmore record).

Early maps show a Roman road running NNW across Aberdeenshire - see Canmore database for details of research into Roman roads in the area. No definite evidence for a road is mentioned in these entries; they record the line supposed to or likely to have been taken by this putative road.

One difficulty is that it is linked to the 9th Iter of Richard of Cirencester's De Situ Britanniae (Six Old English Chronicles, edited J A Giles, London 1848) which is now thought to have been forged by a Charles Bertram and so calls the existence of the road into question (Chalmers in Caledonia, Vol.I, page 126ff) gives details of the route). However, even if there is no road, it could show the line of march taken by the Romans in their campaign.

Perhaps the most interesting of these early roads are the "Pict's Roads" mentioned in the Aboyne account. They do appear to have been trackways, albeit short, though the possibility that there was a continuous road of this type from the Hill of Fare to Braemar does not stand up to more detailed investigation.

Other sources
The construction of Aberdeenshire's first turnpike roads, Thomas Day, Journal of Transport History, Sept. 2003 (article page numbers are at foot of web page)
The Military Road from Braemar to the Spittal of Glen Shee, Angus Graham, PSAS, Vol.97, (1963-64), pps 226-236
Roads in 1859

This links to the 1859 Report of the Commissioners for Inquiring into Matters relating to Public Roads in Scotland and gives an overview of roads in Aberdeenshire at that time.
Collections for a history of the Shires of Aberdeen and Banff , Spalding Club, 1843
This contains useful references to roads etc.

Notes and sketches illustrative of northern rural life in the eighteenth century, William Alexander, Edinburgh, 1877
Interesting details of roads, transport, fairs etc.

Heritage Paths
Details of some of the old tracks in Aberdeenshire, including Mounth passes, the Maiden Causeway and the Corgarff Military Road.
O G S Crawford, Topography of Roman Scotland North of the Antonine Wall, Cambridge University Press, 1949, reprinted 2011
Comprehensive and authorative coverage of the Roman roads.


OSA (vol.19/140)

Page 152 Details of the bridges of Don and of Dee. The bridge over the Don was built about 1320 by Bishop Cheyne - it stands on the “great high road leading northward from Aberdeen.”
The bridge over the Dee was built about 1530. It had decayed badly by the 1720’s and was rebuilt at that time by the town authorities.
Page 160 Mention of the high road called Cairn of Month road from Brechin etc. to the Dee.
Page 183 Names of the older streets in the town, viz. Castlegate, the Braidgate, the Overkirkgate, the Netherkirkgate, the Gallowgate, the Gaistraw, the Shipraw, the Rottenraw, the Dubbyraw, the Checkeraw, the Narrow-wynd, the Back-wynd, the Correction-wynd, Putachie's-side, and the Green.
Page 200 ff. Details of trade with the continent. Also the coastal trade.
Details of a proposed canal - it was to run up Donside to Monymusk, with a branch up the Ury to Inch (the canal was built and opened in 1807, but only to Inverurie).

p. 66 Steam vessels sail regularly to many places, e.g. Leith, Lerwick, Kirkwall, Inverness, Dundee, London, Peterhead. Details of sea-borne trade are given.
p.68 Eighteen miles of canal to Inverurie opened in 1807. A fly-boat used to run on it but suffered much from coaches on the adjacent turnpike-road. Recently an iron boat capable of sailing at 9 mph has been introduced but the competition from the coaches continues.
P.71 Export of building stone to London.
P.78 Gas lighting introduced from 1824.
P.96 Details of the postal service. The railways have greatly speeded up the mails; Aberdeen serves as a central point for the mail from the surrounding district.
There are about 20 coaches running from Aberdeen: 8 on the south road, 4 on the north road, 4 on the north coast road, 2 on the Deeside road and 2 on the Skene road. From time to time new services are tried but there is some risk in this and they sometimes fail.

Page 101 Regular markets of various sorts are held, e.g for meal, grain, butcher-meat, fish, linen, timber and cattle.
P. 102 193 inns etc.

Streets.—In describing the streets of some 50 years before, it is noted they were very narrow and made of round stones. Marischal Street between Castle Street and the Quay was the first to be of dressed stone.
Around 1800 a turnpike to Inverurie was made with a new approach into the town. New approaches were also made from the south, one benefit of which was the removal of many old houses. As there was a steep and dangerous descent at the Windmill Brae and a steep ascent of the Shiprow or Nether Kirkgate, several bridges were built across the valley of the Denburn, one of which, on Union Street, spans 132 feet and is 56 feet high.

The Garioch, Aberdeenshire 1724

Vol.1, Page 7 Fine bridge over Water of Don in Aberdeen.
Survey of the Town of Aberdeen 1685

Vol.3, Page 89 “It’s not to be omitted the Town hath set up at every entry of the Town, seats of hewn stone for the accommodation of old men and women going to horse, which is very usefull, and a comely thing.”
In the past a ferry boat had to be called from Torrie; now there is one at the mouth of the Dee, near the Blockhouse.
Page 90 The causey of the Castle Gate has now been repaired (it was so hollow the dubs and rains stood in pools) some 50 years after the other streets were causeyed.

(v.12, p.575)
No particular mention of roads.

Page 267 Smuggling, once very common, has been completely suppressed by the Preventive Coast Guard.
Page 268 Twenty or thirty years ago, a former owner of the estate of Aberdour, which made up three fifths of the parish carried out extensive improvements, including badly needed roads and bridges, one road being seven miles in length. There used to be a flourishing trade in mill-stones quarried here - these were sent to the south and west of Scotland.

Page 270 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town, Etc
.—Fraserburgh, 8 miles away.

Means of Communication.—A post-runner goes three times a week to Fraserburgh, to which the Aberdeen mail coach runs each day.
The Fraserburgh to Banff turnpike touches the parish at two distant points, and would be hard to access were it not for the “great junction road”.
Page 273 Fairs.—Four fairs have been recently established at New Aberdour, for cattle, merchandise and hiring but are not well attended because of their location. There is also a small fair called Byth market, held twice a year in the south of the parish.
Inns and Alehouses.—Five.
Fuel.—Peat. Given the expense of obtaining it, coal might be a cheaper option.
Miscellaneous Observations. In contrast to the estate of Aberdour, the estate of Auchmedden has had no roads made which makes life difficult for the tenants (elsewhere he refers to the non-residence of the proprietor which had led to “gross neglect and mismanagement of the estate.”
1835 Revised 1840.

Description of Countrey of Buchan Aberdeenshire 1721
Page 41 Bridge over water of Auchmedden between Aberdour and Gemrie parishes. It was built by local gentry.
Description of the Parish of Aberdour 1724
Page 49 Bridge on the Burn of Glenquhitle in Aberdour parish.
Page 50 King’s highway from Peterhead and Fraserburgh to Banff passes through Aberdour.

Aboyne and Glentanner
OSA (v.19, p.296)

Page 298 Timber is obtained from Glentanar.
Page 299 Details of a proposed canal to the parish, with a branch through Skene, Cluny and Monymusk, perhaps as far as Alford.

Page 1049 Mention of Allach bridge near Aboyne castle.
Page 1056 Antiquities - He gives a long description of two parallel dikes that seem to form an avenue, generally about 15 feet wide. On the east they head over Drumduan moor towards the Hill of Fare and on the west towards the hill of Knockice and Kinord. In view of their interest, part of his text is given below. The occurence of "Pict's roads" on the old 6" maps is shown below. The Canmore database includes many sites in the area - see for example NJ40SE 6, NJ40SE 7, NJ50SW 2 which give interpretations of the "roads". It is very unlikely that the putative line of continuous road from the Hill of Fare to Braemar could ever be be established today.

On Knockbeg, or little hill of Tillfoudie, are the remains of a circular building (diameter 83 feet,) composed of stones regularly laid, and the foundation partly imbedded in rock, but without mortar or cement; and at the base of the hill, in a corn-field, about half a mile to the north-east, may be traced the site of another erection, said to have been similar; and connecting them are to be seen the remains of two parallel dikes, forming a fenced avenue or roadway. This avenue, thus secured on each side and in no place under the breadth of fifteen feet, though in many places more than double that extent, leads to the east over the adjoining moor of Drumduan, and can be traced for miles, in the direction of the hill of Fare, where, the writer has been told, it is connected with similarly raised structures, known by the name of Pict's houses or forts. The line extends also westward to the hill of Knockice, and Kinord, and is there too connected with a number of these Picts' houses, though none of them, like the one on Knockbeg, has been erected entirely of stone. From Knockice, the enclosed line branches off towards a ford in the Dee, and appears on the opposite side in Glentanner, with more of these ancient ruins planted, at intermediate spaces, along it. The same is observable at Tillphoudie hill (distant from Knockice five miles,) leading also towards a ford in the Dee, and not far from either bank are two of these raised forts, placed like lunettes to protect the passage. Both the diverging lines seem to point to a pass through the Grampians, directly leading to Catterthun, the great Caledonian fort, about twenty miles distant, in the braes of Angus, and thought by some to have been a stronghold of Galgacus. The main line may be traced nearly parallel with the north bank of the Dee, for about fifty miles from hill of Fare by Knockice to Braemar, said to be the Tamea of the Romans, and these parallel dikes (a line of them branching also northward from Knockice) have been represented by some antiquaries as the remains of itinera of that people.

"Pict's roads" appearing on 1st edition of 6" maps
Aberdeenshire, LXXXI, LXXXII (NLS). They do not appear on maps for the other areas he mentions.

Page 1066 Parochial Economy. Market-Towns.—Aberdeen is the main market town although it is 37 miles distant from some parts of the parish. Stonehaven is a similar distance but little business is conducted there. There are turnpike roads to both places.
There is a fine inn at Charlestown, a post-office, a shop, and various trades. The mail-coach from Aberdeen comes through daily and there are several carriers in a week.

Means of Communication.—The Aberdeen turnpike (joined by one from Stonehaven at Banchory Ternan) terminates at Aboyne but good commutation roads lead onwards north and south of the Dee to Ballater and Braemar.
The Parliamentary road to Alford starts in the parish and from Aboyne there are good commutation roads towards Tarland, the Cairnamonth and Inchmarnoch by either side of Bellrory.
There are two stone bridges over the Tanner and various others of stone and wood over other tributaries of the Dee. Where the ferry boat crosses between Kincardinne o’ Neil and Balnacraig in Aboyne parish, a wooden bridge was built in the 14th century by Durward of Coull but any traces have long disappeared.
Two miles to the east, we now have a fine stone bridge of 3 arches at Potarch. There is a chain or suspension bridge near the church, erected by the Earl of Aboyne at his expense in 1831. One very similar had been built there in 1828 (by the Earl) but was carried away by the great flood of 1829. Both bridges cost him between L6000/L7000; there is no pontage. Details of the suspension bridge are given in a footnote: Length of suspension portion, 230 feet; do. of two iron trussed arches, 60 and 50 do.; and length of two stone arches, 30 and 20 feet; depth of the foundation of the two principal piers under the level of the river, 11 feet.
He says: "The bridge having been tested and found sound and there being a good road, part-turnpike, part Parliamentary between Huntly and Aboyne, the advantages of continuing this line south over the Grampians are clear. A survey has been carried out for such a road from Aboyne to the top of the forest of Birse, through lower Glenesk, Clash of Wurren, and the parish of Menmuir, where the Strathmore road would be joined near the bridge of Finhaven, distant about twenty-five miles from Aboyne. The cost would be less than the bridge at Aboyne and would greatly benefit the country."
Page 1068 Fairs.—Five large markets are held near Charlestown.
Inns.— Excellent inn at Aboyne and 4 others.
Fuel.—Peat, turf and wood. Many use coal from Aberdeen.
Miscellaneous Observations. In the past currocks, and creels, and litter trees were used instead of carts.
The roads were wretched; and the nearest post-office and bake-house at Aberdeen little more than sufficient for the wants of the parish. From seed-time to harvest many of the men were employed in the manufacture of tubs, harrows, plough-beams, &c. which they carried to Old Rayne fair, the Aberdeen timber and Auldton markets.

Descriptions of Kincardine O’Neil, Aboyne and Glentanar Parishes 1725
Page 101 Details of several roads are given, e.g. there is a ferry boat over the Dee at Kincardine O’Neil and there is a direct road between Aberdeen and Braemar. The burn of Desk which divides Kincardine from Aboyne is crossed by a “strong timber bridge with stone land sleats.
Road NE of Kincardine with a timber bridge over the Burn of Canny. Road from Craigmyle towards Wester Billie with “steps” over the Burn of Canny; road northwards by the church at Tough etc.

OSA (v.15, p.447)

Some say the name may relate either to the Don being fordable in the parish, or a particular ford on a now dry part of the Lochel near the church.
Page 464 There are quite a few cattle markets within 14 miles of here where drovers from the south buy the cattle. Horses and sheep are also sold. Some sheep and cattle are sold to the butchers in Aberdeen though for some reason the price given for cattle is very low.
There were long-established weekly markets at Meiklendovie and major fairs both there and at Kirkton of Alford. Only the Kirkton fairs continue but they are quite small nowadays.
Page 465 Lime is brought from Aberdeen, 25 to 30 miles distant. It comes from Sunderland or from Charlestown on the Firth of Forth. It is sometimes brought (on bad roads) by carters from Aberdeen, who are sometimes met 15 miles from the city by the farmers who take it the rest of the way, and sometimes by the farmers who may take grain to the city on their outward journey. As it is so expensive, lime is little used for manuring, which is a major obstacle to improving the land. Efforts need to be made to discover limestone in this district and if none is found, the alternative is to alter and mend the roads, which have started to receive great attention.
Page 469 He gives some interesting observations on the conduct of farm servants.

Page 470 Although peat is available, so much effort has to be made to obtain it that many think coal is preferable despite its cost and the long carriage (from Aberdeen) required.
The two military roads are shown here - as he says, the east-west road had deteriorated badly. Routes based on Canmore entries and Taylor and Skinner below.

Page 471 Roads.—The roads in this county were originally made by the statute labour or by the military. Two of these military roads cross each other in this parish - one the great Northern road leading from Fettercairn to Huntly by the Cairn of Month, the other from Aberdeen to Corgarff. They are both repaired by the statute labour of the parishes they go through though as this is not commuted, it is generally inadequate for this.

Military road between Fettercairn and Fochabers - click for larger image
The military road running north to Fochabers. From the Taylor and Skinner Atlas of 1776 - original on Scribd site. With thanks.
The Corgarff road, an important link between Aberdeen and a large area of countryside, has deteriorated very badly and is sometimes almost impassable despite liberal subscriptions from local gentlemen.
It was decided in 1792 that a new road should be formed for 9 miles along a better line and this work is now well underway. When finished it should allow easy travel to Aberdeen with attendant economic benefits.

He suggests the etymology is ford of the river Ale - there is another ford about a mile away over the larger river Don called Waterford.
Page 518 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.— Aberdeen, 26 miles away.
Means of Communication.— Post comes from Aberdeen daily; there is a post-office at Alford.
The turnpike road between Aberdeen and Strathdon runs through, with a branch to Huntly and the great north road. The Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges have built a road that runs north and south through the parish and crosses two turnpike roads to the south, thereby making travel to various places much easier. It is regrettable however, that the road has not been extended over Cairn-a-mont as this would bring Brechin and Dundee much closer to Alford and Huntly.
The commutation and private roads are generally in good repair. All these roads have made agricultural progress possible.
Stage-coach three times a week to Aberdeen.
Bridges.—We have all the bridges that are required. The Parliamentary Commissioners built a fine granite bridge over the Don in 1820, and recently another over the Leochal. The cost of the bridges and the road was L.5000, half of which was by subscription. This road is of great benefit to the public as thousands of cattle pass through on their way south.
Page 523 Fairs.—Two large cattle fairs, and a monthly fair in winter for cattle, horses, and grain.
Inn.—One inn.
Fuel.—As there is little fuel available, coal has to be brought in at a high cost.
Miscellaneous Observations - Reference to cattle now able to be transported by steam-ship to London.

Auchindoir and Kearn
(v.12, p. 490) not Kearn

Page 493 Lime is brought 10 miles from Cabrach, along very bad roads.

Page 412 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.— Huntly, about 12 miles away by a good turnpike. A stage-coach to Aberdeen passes through the parish.
Fairs.—Four cattle markets.
Inns.—One inn, three alehouses.
Fuel.—Mostly peat. Coal is very expensive due to the cost of carting it from the coast.
Miscellaneous Observations. - The parish had suffered much by being too generous to travelling beggars. The situation has improved since the decision to restrict charity to those living here, and the setting up of a rural police.

OSA (v.12, p.306)

New bridge at Ellon.
Page 311 Peat and moss are obtained only at the expense of much effort and time from mosses 6 miles away. Coal is available from Banff and Macduff. Although expensive because of a heavy tax, some farmers are starting to use it which allows them to use the time saved for obtaining lime.
Page 312 One inn on the Aberdeen - Banff post-road. No post-office.
Page 313 He gives an account of the camp at Genmailen and various other remains in the area. He also gives a long account of the work of Captain Shand, carried out between 1758 and 1787, that had helped establish Glenmailen and other sites as Roman and indeed that the Romans had had a presence in NE Scotland which was contrary to opinion at that time. Shand, having heard of the discovery by a Mr Lawtie of ancient roads in Deskford parish, thought that this made it more likely that the Romans advanced by the Ythan and Doveron at Glenmailen and Auchnagoul rather than down river from these.
(See George Macdonald, The Roman Camps at Raedykes and Glenmailen, PSAS, Vol.50, 1916, pps 317-359)

Page 286 It is thought that a camp on the farms of Buss and Logie-Newton is of Roman origin.
Page 291 Turriff is the nearest market and post-town - it is 6 miles from the church. Three miles of the Aberdeen to Banff turnpike pass along the east side of the parish; two stage coaches run on it each day.
Page 292 Peat and turf used for fuel; many bring coal in from Banff and Macduff, 18 miles away.
Miscellaneous Observations. - The cross-roads are much improved.

OSA (v.7, p.218)

Two principal roads.
Page 220 The main drawback to improvement is the amount of time spent in obtaining peat; the alternative fuel, coal, is too expensive because of an unfair tax.

Page 246 There are two turnpike roads in the parish on which the mail and other coaches run. No post office.
Page 248 Three cattle fairs, Seven inns on the turnpike roads and used mostly by travellers. Peat used as fuel. Coal is brought from Aberdeen or Newburgh.

(v.9, p.103)

The Cairn a'Mounth road
Page 122 Roads and Bridges.—The great road from the Cairn o’Mount runs through here towards the Dee at Inchbair, and is in good condition. Another road runs through from the ferry at Aboyne, to Whitestone.
This, and the other roads were made and are maintained by statute labour but in an inadequate manner. As a result the roads are extremely bad in some places and in bad weather. There is a need for it to be commuted. There are no turnpikes and there is not enough traffic to justify them.
There is a fine bridge at Whitestone on the road to the north and one over the Birse near the church. Bridges are needed over the Chattie, at Marywell, and at Inverchatt.
In particular, one is needed at Potarch where the great north and south road crosses the Dee. The road is used by the military and also by the public as it is much shorter than going by the coast.
Recent use by the military could easily have been affected if the river had been high, as it is often impassable. The site lends itself to a bridge. Unsuccessful attempts have been made to find the money and it is more than likely that notwithstanding subscriptions, public aid would be needed.
A road over the Grampians has been started - it will go through Glen Chatt, the Forest, and Glenesk, and be 15 miles nearer to Angus etc than by the Cairn of Mount road. It will be useful for travellers and traders, particularly drovers and cattle dealers.

Advantages and Disadvantages - The benefits of lime in improving the land has led to great efforts to obtain fuel for burning the limestone such as “cutting cart roads along the steep hills to the mosses”, purchasing wood, and obtaining coals from Aberdeen. The want of a bridge at Potarch makes itself felt in these circumstances, Aberdeen being the object of many journeys to market and for coal.

Page 790 He says that cattle raiders used a pass across the Grampians still called the "Cattrin road."
The bridge of Potarch was built over the Dee in 1813 allowing access to the Deeside turnpike to Aberdeen.
A suspension bridge was built over the Dee in 1828 by the Earl of Aboyne. It was destroyed by the 1829 flood and rebuilt in 1830.
A bridge over the Feugh was built in 1835 - it lies on the “great north and south road across the Grampians.”
Page 797 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.—“There is no market-town, village, post-office, turnpike-road, public carriage, or canal in the parish.
The main roads here are the Great North Road from Brechin by the Cairn o’Mount and the Grampians to Huntly and Inverness, and the South Dee-side Road. In this parish both start from Whitestone, the first reaching the bridge of Potarch, the second, to the suspension bridge of Aboyne.
Fairs.—Three fairs, held at Bridge of Potarch.
Inns.—Four alehouses, and a licensed shop.
Fuel.—Peat and turf, and some wood.

(v.9, p.434)

Page 436 Recently the farmers have started to bring lime in from Aberdeen and Newburgh; also from Udny and the Buchan country. Peat is used although much time is spent in gaining it.

Page 622 Mention of forts at Benachie, Keirhill in Skene, and the Barmekyn in Echt being close to the Roman Iter that runs from the camp at Normandykes to Glenmailen in Forgue and the Castra Alata in the Moray Firth.
Page 628 Parochial Economy.
—The nearest is Old Meldrum but more business is done at Inverury.
Miscellaneous Observations.
Although the roads have improved a little of late, they are still very bad and compare unfavourably with nearby parishes.

(v.12, p.127)

Page 129 Bad roads; no peat. Coal is brought from Portsoy “ by a road swarming with bogs and stones“.

Page 1017 Lime work at Ardonald. No mention of roads.

Description of 9 Parishes 1724
Page 80 In Glass parish there is a stone bridge at Strathbogie; also 1¼ miles SW of Glass church. The king’s highway runs north-south and divides the parish from Cairny; there is also a highway from Aberdeen to the highlands.

Chapel of Garioch
(v.11, p. 500)

Page 503 Roads and Inns.—Our roads are made and repaired by the statute labour which is poorly performed. The Aberdeen to Inverness road passes through and in places is near impassable. There are numerous cross-roads, and these are very bad in winter.

Two inns on the Inverness road, and one on the road to the upper part of the Garioch.

Peat is difficult to obtain, being from the hill of Bannochie by a very steep road that becomes impassable in bad weather. Lime too is only had at a distance.

Page 561 Mention of the old road from Aberdeen to the upper part of the Garrioch and Cabrach on a ridge of rising ground to the south of the river Ury.
Page 570 There are traces of an ancient camp north of the House of Pitcaple and foundations of an old bridge over the Ury.
It is thought that the Romans crossed the Don at Inverury, then passed Harlaw and Pitscurry in this parish. At Pitscurry there was a station - this is between the camps of Peterculter and Glen-mailen which are 26 miles apart.
Chalmers in Caledonia thinks that there may have been Roman roads further north that the one that passed near Brechin and was heading for Keithock. In Aberdeenshire, the Maiden Causeway (a name associated with some Roman roads in the north of England) runs from Benochie where there was a hill fort, for more than a mile into the woods of Pittrodrie where the traces disappear. It is 14 feet wide and paved with stones (not Roman - see Canmore record).
This Maiden-way (says Colonel Shand) is on "the west side of the ninth Iter on its course from the Don to the springs of Ithan, (the Ituna of Richard, where the camp of Glen-mailen was placed,) the station of Raedikes. If this way were continued in its appropriate direction, it would join the tract of the Iter near the river of Ury, and contiguous to the supposed Roman post."
Page 576 Parochial Economy.
—Inverury, 5 miles away. Post-office at Pitcaple.
Means of Communication.—There is a good mileage of roads: four and a half of turnpike and 35 of statute labour roads. The roads and the bridges are in good condition. The mail coaches from Aberdeen and Inverness pass each other here each morning. Three stage-coaches pass through most days, as well as carriers from Huntly, Keith etc. going to Aberdeen.
Page 580 Inns, Alehouses, Etc.—One inn and two ale-houses.
Fuel.—Many find it expensive and difficult to obtain fuel. Tenants on the estates of Logie Elphinstone and Fetternear are able to obtain peats locally but other parishioners have to get their peat from near the top of Bennachie by “a very steep and dangerous road, which, in a rainy season, is almost impassable.” Because of its distance only two cart-loads can be carried home in a day. Coals can be obtained, either from Aberdeen or the canal at Inverurie, and although costing much the same by the time they reach here, are still very expensive.
Miscellaneous Observations - There is a new turnpike road on which the mail coach and three others run to and from Aberdeen. In the past there were no coaches.
1835, revised 1840

The Garioch, Aberdeenshire 1724
Page 6 - King’s highway from Aberdeen to Inverness runs through Chappel of Garrioch parish (also P17 - the king’s highway from Aberdeen to the high country passes through here).

OSA (v.8, p.535)

Page 536 Carts were first introduced in 1760 and are now in common use though the horses being small cannot draw very heavy loads. Cattle is sold to dealers from the south.
Lime has to be brought a distance of 10 miles along a very bad road, to which no attention is being given.
Page 540 It was made a burgh of barony in 1501 with the power to hold fairs and markets.

Roads and Proposed Improvements.—Two main highways pass through: the road from Edinburgh to Huntly, Elgin etc. and the road from the high country to Aberdeen passing through Glenlivet, Cabrach, Rhynie etc. The first road was made about 25 years ago by the military and is in reasonable condition. It is much shorter than going through Aberdeen. If an inn were to be built at Clatt it would serve as a convenient stage for travellers and benefit the village.
He lists various arguments usually made against such attempts, and gives counter-arguments, saying "The great and popular objections, against attempts of this sort, are, the distance from the county town, or any proper sea port and harbour; scarcity of fuel; danger of engrossing the working servants, and withdrawing the hands necessary for agriculture, &c. But all these, in the present case, might be obviated by a prudent economy; particularly, by introducing a better breed and size of horses for the carts; keeping the roads in due repair, by a proper application of the statute work; and giving good encouragement to dealers and merchants to settle in the village, and to frequent the fairs and markets. As to want of fuel, that complaint would soon cease, if the unreasonable coasting duty on coals were taken off.
Page 544 Poor.—With so many roads passing through, the parish sees many beggars and vagrants both from the highlands and the south.

Page 849 In the time of James IV it was made a burgh of barony with the right to hold weekly markets as well as fairs.
Page 855 Obstacles.
Farmers here are under the disadvantage of having to travel for three days with their grain to reach Aberdeen
, which means a loss of one tenth or so of its value as well as the loss of time. The roads too are inadequate with no turnpike. "A turnpike road through the parish, in continuation of the turnpike road, to Premnay onwards to Rhynie, would be of incalculable advantage to this parish and surrounding district, and, besides, would furnish a very profitable investment to the money-lender; and for the toll-duty, the farmer would receive a more than adequate compensation in the comparative ease to his horses, and the additional quantity of grain, lime, &c. which they could convey."
Parochial Economy. Market-Town.— As a burgh of barony, Clatt used to have weekly markets but these have long fallen away. Now there are two fairs for cattle, grain and hiring. The nearest market town is Huntly, 9 miles away, but the village is fairly self-sufficient with tradesmen etc. There is a carrier in the village.
Means of Communication.—A post runner comes each day from Rhynie.
Two main roads meet at the inn, Ford of Clatt. One is “the North and South Road,” part of the military road from Edinburgh to Huntly etc; the other is from Aberdeen to Rhynie, Cabrach etc. The Aberdeen road is 30 miles longer but those coming from Edinburgh prefer it to the military road by as it does not have to go through the Grampians.
Page 859 Fuel.—Peats are very scarce due to the mosses being drained, and the scarcely usable turf from the hills is only reached by very bad roads and takes much time and labour to obtain. Coal now has to be used but the carriage from Aberdeen doubles its cost.

The Garioch, Aberdeenshire 1724
Page 14 King’s highway from Edinburgh to Inverness runs through Clatt parish.

OSA (v.10, p.235)

Page 237 “There are in the parish 801 black cattle, 1300 sheep, 132 horses, 2 waggons, 80 carts.”
About 30 years ago there were only two carts with everything carried on horse back. Between 1750 and 1760 the gentlemen of the county implemented the statute labour organised by districts based on presbyteries in which the commissioners of supply in each district were to hold regular meetings, appoint supervisors, and call out all between 16 and 60 years of age for 6 days work before and after harvest. There was a penalty of 1s.6d. for non-compliance.
The effects of this have now been felt over the county with the roads repaired and the advantages recognised. Turnpikes are soon to be erected on the major public roads and it is hoped they will be used more widely as their effects on trade are felt.
Lime shells are brought in from the Firth of Forth and Sunderland.
Page 240 Fuel.—Peat and turf is very difficult to find except moss on high ground and too far distant to be easily obtained. As a result, coal is brought from Aberdeen, and now that the coal tax is removed is more affordable.
Two licensed houses.

NSA Page 1018
No mention of roads.

A Geographical Description of the Parishes of Monymusk Kenmay and Cluny 1722

Page 95 There is a small bridge in Monymusk. Mention of Boat of Kemnay on the river Don and a Boat in Monymusk. There are also 2 or three fords.
The highway from Aberdeen passes the church of Kenmay and leads over the Bridge of Ton over the Ton Burn.
The Rectified Highway called the Skene Road from Aberdeen enters Clunie parish to the SE, runs past Drumlahoy to Mill of Clunie where there is a bridge, then through Monymusk parish to the parishes of Touch and Keig.

OSA (v.3, p.198)

199 One of the disadvantages of the parish is that it is far from markets and the means of improvement - Aberdeen is 30 miles away.
202 Miscellaneous Observations.—The roads in this parish are in tolerable repair, but many of them very ill contrived. The statute labour is exacted in kind. There are no turnpike roads here. There are in the parish 108 horses, 360 black cattle, and about 1500 sheep.

Page 960 Mention of road-making on the estate of Corse as part of general improvements within the last twenty-five years.

Crathie and Braemar
OSA (v.14, p.334)

The Military Road running north from Coupar Angus to Fort George, with the road from Abereen joining it. The present day road between Cockbridge and Tomintoul is often closed in winter due to snow.

“The ancient name of Braemar was Ceann-an-drochait, which, in Gaelic, signifies "bridgend."“
Page 345 Roads and Bridges.—The military road from Blairgowrie to Fort George goes through these parishes and was completed in the year 1749. The county roads are statute labour which is commuted to 1s.6d. for those between 16 and 60. A “proper road grieve” and a squad of workmen are employed with better results than when everyone did the work.
He speaks highly of the contribution made by the late Mr Farquharson of Monally in the 5 parishes of Braemar, Crathy, Glenmuick, Tullich, and Glengarden to the making of roads and bridges. He was the first person in Aberdeenshire to do so, starting a few years before 1745.
Advantages and Disadvantages - One disadvantage is the lack of moss roads which means the fuel has to be carried on horseback rather than by cart. The benefits of such roads are shown in the estate of Manaltry where a good road has been made to a moss and the tenants have now provided themselves with carts.
Another disadvantage is that it is 50 miles to a port town.
Antiquities.—King Malcolm Kenmore is said to have had a hunting seat at Castletown of Braemar, the remains of which can still be seen. He is said to have thrown a drawbridge over the water of Cluanadh, which gave the parish of Braemar its original name of Ceann-an drochart or “head of the bridge”.
While the extension of the postal service to Kincardine O’Neil is welcome, we will still not benefit from it as it is still too far. At present we send a man each week to Cupar Angus for letters and newspapers- a post-office here would repay the Post Office for the expense of setting up and running it.

Page 647 Malcolm Canmore had a hunting seat at Braemar, and had a bridge built over the Cluny at Castleton, hence the addition to the name, Bridge-end, from Ceann Drockit.
Page 652 Parochial Economy.
—Aberdeen, 48 miles away.
Means of Communication.—Post-office at Castletown of Braemar, with mail from Aberdeen each day - a receiving office is planned for Crathie, which will very convenient.
A chain bridge, built in 1834 crosses the Dee, and replaces two ferry boats.
Page 654 Fairs.—Three at Castletown of Braemar for cattle and sheep, and one at Clachnaturn in Crathie.
Inns.— Three.
Fuel.—Mostly turf and peat, with some wood; but coal is brought in from Aberdeen - its cost has halved in the last 20 years.

(v.11, p.409)

Page 418 Roads.—The roads are maintained by statute labour but usually too much was attempted in a year so that the roads deteriorated. People were averse to doing the work and supervision was poor. In addition, heritors often had their own private roads repaired using the statute labour. There is however more attention being paid to public roads, and they are improving.

One licensed public house; several unlicensed ale-houses.


Page 713 Parochial Economy.
—Peterhead, 9 miles away, where there is also a post-office - a footpost brings the mail here. There is another post-office at Mintlaw.
Means of Communication.—There have been several unsuccessful attempts to set up a coach service between Peterhead and Fraserburgh, passing through here.
Two miles of turnpike in the parish and 7 or 8 bridges. Although the side roads have improved more could be done. In general the management of the roads is “grossly defective”.
Page 715 Fairs and Alehouses.—Three fairs for cattle etc and some grain and potatoes. Three whisky-shops.
Fuel.—Peat, from the south of the parish.
Miscellaneous Observations. - There are some very useful new roads, in particular, the present turnpike between Peterhead and Fraserburgh allows easy access to the ports and thereby increases the value of agricultural produce, and so rentals.
1840. Revised 1842

Description Parish of St Fergus, Banffshire and Crimond, Aberdeenshire 1722
Page 67 Wooden bridge and ford in Crimond parish.

OSA (v.5, p.431)
No particular mention of roads.

Page 980 Quarries.—Quarries used to supply granite for bridges in London etc. but are now closed up.
Parochial Economy.
Two small markets are held. Post-office halfway between Ellon and Peterhead, on the turnpike road.
Fuel.— The peat mosses are running out although many still use peat. In the summer coal comes in at the Ward; at other times it is brought from Peterhead or Newburgh. 1840.

Description of Countrey of Buchan Aberdeenshire 1721
Page 38 Stone bridge on the River Cruden in Cruden parish. The bridge was erected by a bishop of Brechin.

(v.3, p.240)
Peat and turf available for fuel.

Course of the Lawrence Road

Page 731 Antiquities.—An ancient highway, called the Lawrence Road, crosses Culsamond hill near its top and was the road taken by people travelling to St Lawrence Fair at Old Rayne (dating from 1493 - The Incidence of Saints' Names in Relation to Scottish Fairs, Sir James Balfour Paul, PSAS, Vol.52, page 167).
There are three sacred fountains in this parish; St Mary's Well, on the farm of Colpie; St Michael's, at Gateside; and another, at the foot of the Culsamond Bank, a little west of the Lady's Causeway.
(Note: O.G.S.Crawford in Topography of Roman Scotland, p.115 thinks that the Lawrence Road and other stretches of road are the old highway from Old Aberdeen to the north-west. He suggests the route went by Parkhill, Fintray, Kinmuck, Harlaw, Old Rayne and Tillymorgan to Rothiemay.)

Page 734 British Camp.—There are remains of a British fort and various fortifications on and near the Hill of Culsamond, near Cadden, a name which implies entrenchments or look-out posts.
Two and a half miles north of this is the Roman camp at Glenmailen. They had a camp at Devana, north of the Dee, in Peterculter parish, and the remains on the top of Bennachie along with a section of paved Roman road, 14 ft wide and “long covered with heath” suggests they had a camp here also (not Roman - see Canmore record). Bennochie is about 12 miles from Devana.

The road is aligned on a small post opposite Pitcaple, presumably set up to protect the Bennochie camp. Another camp on Barra Hill, near Old Meldrum would also serve this purpose, protecting it from the east, and probably Glenmullin as well.
Opinion is divided as to the route taken by the Romans between Devana and Bennochie. Some think they came by the right of Achlae, Fiddy and Kinmundy then NNW to the Don at Kintore and then by the Starth to the ford at Inverurie, very near to Bennochie. Whatever the case, it is certain they had a fort on the east of Bennochie.

The Garioch, Aberdeenshire 1724
Page 4 King’s highway from Aberdeen to Inverness runs through Culsalmon parish (also P16 - another highway passes through here from the high country to Buchan).

(v.6, p.85)

English lime is brought from Aberdeen and Newburgh, local lime from Udny and Pitmedden.

Page 825 Cattle taken to London by steamer.
Page 827 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.
—The nearest market and post towns are Old Meldrum and Inverury. One of the commutation roads has branches to each of these places.
In 1835 a turnpike road from Old Meldrum to Sheelagreen in Culsamond parish was made that passes through this parish - it connects the east and west branches of the Great North Road leading between Aberdeen and Inverness. No coach runs on this road, as yet.
Page 829 Fairs, Inns, Etc. and Fuel.—No fairs. Two Inns. Turf and peat, and coal from Inverurie.
Miscellaneous Observations - Existing roads have been improved and two new turnpikes made, on one of which a stage-coach runs between Aberdeen and Huntly.
1837. Revised 1842.

A Geographical Description of the Parish of Daviot
Page 84 Daviot parish has one highway which runs from Inverury to Turreff.

New Deer
(v.9, p.184)

The public road from Aberdeen by Udny and Tarves passes through.
Page 186 Details of trade in farm produce.
In discussing the parish in 1737 he says that “there was not a cart, but his own, in the parish: nor were there roads which could be travelled in many places. Then, and for many years after, there was but one carrier, who went weekly to Aberdeen with a horse and packets. Sometimes he even went with nothing but a back creel and brought what merchandise and provisions were at the time necessary. Now, there is sufficient employment for 3 or 4 carriers, who go each with a cart and two horses.
Inn used by travellers.
The disadvantage of distance to a port or market could be overcome by having a canal from Peterhead to neighbouring Deer (Old Deer).

Page 176 The Castle of Fedderate stood in the middle of a morass across which there was a causeway and a drawbridge.
Page 182 Means of Communication.—The post comes each day from Aberdeen through Methlic and continues to Strichen, Peterhead, New Pitsligo and Banff.
The parish has nearly 100 miles of road with a good road most of the way to Ellon, 13 miles away. The Peterhead - Banff turnpike passes through the parish on which a coach runs each day. A stage-coach comes via Ellon from Aberdeen to New and Old Deer and Strichen.
Fairs.— Five are held through the year.
Inns.— Three. Spirits sold by retailers of tea and tobacco.
Fuel.—Mostly peat. 1840.

Description of the Parish of New Deer 1723
Page 62 The king’s highway from Tarves to Fraserburgh and that from Peterhead to Turreff pass through the parish of New Deer. There are two stone bridges in the parish.

Deer, Old
(v.16, p.469)

The high road from Aberdeen to Fraserburgh cuts it longitudinally, and is intersected by the roads from Banff and Old Meldrum to Peterhead.
Page 473 Many black cattle are bought by drovers for the English market.
Page 475 Lime available locally.
Page 479 Many shops and the usual trades. Good accommodation for travellers in inns.
Page 481 A canal to Peterhead is feasible. Since the removal of the coal tax, coal is beginning to replace peat, at a great saving of time and effort.
Page 482 Reference to the Abbey of Deer.


Page 152 Five carriers in parish
Page 160 Parochial Economy.
Roads and Public Conveyances.
—Two turnpike roads cross at Mintlaw in Longside; one leading north from Aberdeen to Fraserburgh, the other east-west between Banff and Peterhead. Mail-coaches run on both roads. For the last two years a stage-coach has run from here to Aberdeen each day in summer, less in winter.
Five miles of the road on which this coach runs is badly made with a poor line. A new road, which has been long planned, is needed from the Banff turnpike through Old Deer towards Ellon through a stretch of inaccessible and waste countryside. This would shorten the distance to Aberdeen by several miles and be a great convenience. If those whose land it would pass through would meet most of the expense, it is likely that they would benefit from it.
Other districts lack good roads and as the statute labour money is inadequate for the making of needed roads, those owning the lands would need to follow the example set by some of the proprietors and meet the expense of making the roads if progress is to be made.
Mail is taken by runner to Mintlaw in Longside, and Stewartfield, 2 or 3 miles from Old Deer.
Page 164 Fairs, Etc.—There are two main fairs (Aikey and St Dustan’s) for cattle and horses, and three lesser ones. In the past many items made at home were sold at the main fairs.
Fuel.—Although peat can still be obtained in several places (which he names), sea-borne coal is easily obtained at much the same price. In addition, the draining of the damp mosses will improve the local climate and allow the land to be reclaimed.
Miscellaneous Observations. Since the last account, two turnpike roads have been made and several others made or properly repaired.

Description of the Parish of Old Deer 1723
Page 62 The king’s highways from Aberdeen to Fraserburgh and from Strathbogie, Turreff etc to Peterhead intersect in the parish of Old Deer. There are two great fairs and a weekly market.
At the east side of the village there is a wooden bridge and another wooden bridge over the Ugie nearby. A fine stone bridge has been erected at the expense of a local landowner, who had also built a small bridge near his house at Bruxie.

OSA (v.4, p.52)

Page 54 Peat, turf etc used as fuel, also coal landed at Portsoy and Banff.
Page 55 “The roads in this parish are not in good repair, on account of the clay soil, the want of gravel, the great length of highway, and the small number of people to look after it. The statute labour is, however, exacted, and but in very few instances commuted. There are no turnpikes; the general opinion seeming to be against them.


Page 301 On Robin’s Height (a hill on Sliach) there are remains which some think to be Roman although it is more likely they are connected with a campaign involving Robert the Bruce and the Earl of Buchan.
Page 302 The farm of Causeway End, Kinore is said to be so named because a Roman road ended here, This road ran through Knightland moss over to Sliach.
Page 310 Parochial Economy.
—Huntly is the nearest market and post-town. The post and newspapers are brought by an individual once a week for a small charge.
Means of Communication.—The district is badly served by mail and it would be advantageous if a runner could be set up between Huntley and Turriff, with intermediate receiving-houses. At present letters to Turriff, 12 miles away, have to go by Huntly and Aberdeen, more than 70 miles. Besides Huntly and Turriff, the other places this parish has much communication with, are Banff, Macduff, Portsoy, and Inverurie, all nearly 20 miles away. Grain is mostly sent to Banff and Macduff for export.
Six miles of the post-road (a turnpike) from Aberdeen to Inverness by Huntly, and 4 miles of the Huntly and Banff turnpike pass through the parish.
Three coaches, the Mail, the North Defiance, and Duchess of Gordon, pass through the parish each day.
Page 314 Fair.—There used to be a large and busy fair called the Sliach Market. Apart from a small fair on the Saddlehill, the bulk of the trade at the Sliach market is now carried out at a market in Huntly, without any inconvenience felt by the people here.
Fuel.—Some poor peat, and turfs are used though somewhat scarce. Tenants in Lessendrum are allowed to bring peats from the moss of Foudlin, in Forgue parish. English coal is brought in from Banff and Macduff.

Description Parish of Drumblade
Page 86 In the parish of Drumblade the public road goes from Strathbogy to Aberdeen. There is also a highway from Huntley to Turreff that passes through.

OSA (v.3, p.315)

The usual fuel is peat. The roads are in good order and are statute labour which is partly in kind, partly commuted.

Page 894 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town, etc
.—Aberdeen is the nearest market and post-town.
The turnpike road between Aberdeen and Braemar runs through the parish for about 6 miles. On it the mail coach to Ballater runs each day, and in summer, a stage-coach to Banchory.
Page 898 Fairs.—Five recently-established cattle fairs which are poorly attended.
Inns.— Two. One is a stage on the Aberdeen to Banchory road, the other on the Aberdeen to Kincardine O’Neil road.
Fuel.—Mostly peat and wood, but coal from Aberdeen is being used more and more as the peat becomes exhausted.
1840. Revised 1842.

Drumack (Drumoak)
Page 429 Passage boat on the Dee.

(v.3, p.130)

There is a hill, which runs quite cross the parish, from south to north, called Tyre-baggar, or perhaps, rather Tyre-beggar, as formerly the road from Garioch to Aberdeen, went over the middle of it, which must have been very tiresome to travellers. Now the post-road goes along the south end, which is more easy.” (Note: user “Chili” on the Megalithic Portal site suggests it may mean “land of the acorns”).
Paving stones for London streets are quarried here.
Bridges and Roads.—The roads are statute labour and are poor. No bridges of any note, and no turnpikes.
Fuel.—Mostly turf, though some bring peat from Fintray and Newmacher and some bring coal from Aberdeen.

Page 121 Granite quarried here used to be sent to London.
Page 128 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.—Turnpikes from Aberdeen to Inverness and Banff pass through, as does a canal between Aberdeen and Inverurie that carries passengers and coal and lime. While very convenient, it is not thought to be very profitable.
Inns.—One inn on the high road, mostly used by travellers.
Fuel.—Most can afford coal though some use broom and whin. The coal is brought by road and canal.

OSA (v.13, p.615)

Produce sent to Aberdeen.
Page 621. Peat and turf used as fuel. The roads are statute labour and in good condition.

Page 740 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.—Penny post office. Three different turnpikes pass through on which there are three toll-bars. The Lord Forbes coach from Aberdeen to Alford etc travels through the parish. It would be advantageous if there were also coaches on the Aberdeen to Tarland road and on the Raemoir and Cullerly road from Aberdeen to Kincardine O'Neil, Aboyne etc. There are 9 small bridges in the parish.
Page 742 Fairs.—Several markets and trysts for cattle, grain, hiring etc.
Inns, Alehouses, Etc.—Five, all on the turnpike roads.
Fuel.—As peat begins to be used up, it is being replaced by coal, brought from Aberdeen. Wood is scarce but as plantations mature, it should become easily available.


The Ythan can be navigated from its mouth at Newburgh nearly as far as Ellon.
Page 101 Peat is commonly used as fuel but the mosses are remote, especially for those in the south of the parish. Coal would be cheaper were it not for the tax.
The roads are quite poor though with some good bridges on the busiest roads. The statute labour is partly commuted and it would be preferred if this became general. A bridge over the Ythan at Ellon is planned.
There is an inn in the town and 5 alehouses in the parish.

Watertown and ferries on the Ythan
Page 901 Lighters bring coal and lime up the River Ythan to Watertown, very close to the village of Ellon.
Page 921 Parochial Economy.
Markets, Means of Communication, Etc.
—There is no regular provision market here but butcher meat is available and fish is brought from Collieston and Newburgh both to here and surrounding places by the fisher-women from these places. The parish is generally self-sufficient for butter, eggs, hens etc.
A market is held each month for cattle and grain, much of which goes to Aberdeen and Newburgh.
There are also 6 fairs. The Ellon fair at Marymas used to be important and was attended by dealers from the south of Scotland and England. This has changed since steamers have made it easy to transport the cattle directly to London. The business now is mostly transactions between home dealers.
Two of the fairs are mostly for hiring. Much has been made of the evils of this system but both parties become well-known to each other which allows them, on either side, to avoid any with a bad reputation.
There is a post-office here, to which deliveries are made by the mail coaches that run on the Aberdeen to Peterhead and Fraserburgh road. Runners take mail to Newburgh, Slains, New Deer etc.

There is also a coach that passes through every two days from Strichen and Old Deer on its way to Aberdeen, and two carriers to Aberdeen. Other carriers, who cross the Ythan at Ellon, afford access to all parts of Buchan. Another turnpike goes to Newburgh.
The commutation roads used to be neglected but are now much improved, and some new lines made, all of which benefits progress in the parish. The road funds are managed well and where insufficient, the proprietors will often advance loans without interest. Everyone is aware of the importance of good roads so it is likely that the roads will continue to improve.
Although some licensed premises are unnecessary, those on the public roads are generally needed for travellers.

Page 97 There is a ferry boat in Ellon.
Description of the paroches of Ellon & Logie Buchan
Page 427 There are passing boats at Ellon and at Kinharache. There is no public road through Logie Buchan.

(v.3, p.236)

238 Advantages and Disadvantages - Among the disadvantages are the distance from lime or marl and the scarcity of peat - poorer people cannot afford coal because of the tax.
One advantage is that the journey to the Aberdeen markets and back can be made in one day.
Miscellaneous Observations - The roads are reasonably good and bridges have been built over all the rivulets.

Page 171 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town, Etc.
—The nearest market town is Aberdeen, reached on 6 or 7 miles of turnpike and the rest of the way on good commutation roads. The road from Keith-hall to Aberdeen runs through centre of the parish.
Page 174 Inns.—Two.
Fuel.— As the moss where peat and turf was obtained is mostly used up, coal is now brought in from Aberdeen.

Forbes and Kearn
(v.11, p.189)

Page 192 Peat and turf are available at the hill of Correen but much time that could be spent on other tasks is wasted in obtaining them.
Page 197 The roads under the statute labour system are wretched and scarcely passable in winter.

See Tullynessle and Forbes

(v.12, p.279)

Page 280 Grain taken to Portsoy and Banff.
Page 287 Antiquities.—Until recently, it was thought that the Romans did not progress beyond the Grampians. However, Captain Shand of this parish carried out considerable research which convinced him that they had, and that the remains on Barra-hill and Glenmailen were Roman.
The writer notes how larger camps are often associated with smaller works, both round and rectangular, and lists various of these. He remarks on the possibility of a Roman road passing this way and notes that an ancient road had been found leading through Forgue, Deskford and towards the Spey.

Roads. — The roads are poor because of the soil and the statute labour being commuted. It would be better to raise the money and employ competent workmen.
A bridge over the Doveron at Marnoch and another at Auchintender on the Aberdeen road that passes through the Garioch, would be a great benefit.
Fuel. — Peat and turf is brought from Foudland but at such expense and difficulty that coal from Banff and Portsoy, 17 miles away, is starting to be used. It would help if the duty on coal was removed.

Page 601 Antiquities.—Possible Roman remains on the Seedhill of Auchaber, about a mile distant from the camp at Glenmellan (now Glenythan) and on a road that continued to the Spey through Forgue, Rothiemay and other parishes on its line.
Page 604 Market-Town.— Huntly, 7 miles away. The turnpikes from Huntly to Banff and Huntly to Aberdeen pass through the parish; the latter has a coach service. Other roads are poor but the turnpikes enable produce to be taken to the main market towns quite easily.
Page 610 Inns.—One inn, at Bagniebrae, where the Banff and Aberdeen turnpikes meet.
Fairs.— Three held at Hawkhill for cattle, sheep and general goods. 1842.

(v.6, p.62)

Page 64 The Ythan is navigable for three miles.
Page 68 Peat is scarce and coal expensive because of the tax. The roads which are statute labour are reasonably good. Many would like to have turnpikes and are aware of their benefits.



Ferries on the Ythan
Page 700 Details of the port of Newburgh. Ferry-boat on the Ythan about three-quarters of a mile above the village.

Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.
—The Aberdeen to Peterhead turnpike road on which the mail runs, passes through the parish. There is also a daily coach between Aberdeen and Ellon. Three public houses lie on this road.

The Aberdeen to Methlick turnpike touches the parish and there is a new turnpike between Old Meldrum and Newburgh.

Good cross roads branch off the Peterhead turnpike, and one of them, the Fiddes road, usefully connects with the Udny turnpike road.


(v.6, p.1)

Page 8 Peat is scarce and coal, because of the tax is expensive.
There is no post directly to Peterhead and Banff - it goes through Aberdeen.

Mention of the old and new roads to Banff.
Page 250 Much work has been done on roads and there are now excellent turnpikes to Aberdeen, Peterhead, Banff and Strichen.


OSA (v.9, p.459)

Page 464 The Aberdeen to Banff road passes through. It is maintained by the statute labour and is in good condition. There is a post office on it, near the church.

Details are given of the religious establishments in the parish, and of the old burgh of Fyvie.
Page 336 Roads.—Being an inland parish, goods and manure have to be brought long distances. The nearest harbours at Macduff, Aberdeen and Newburgh are about 20 miles away. However, the roads are good and the canal at Inverurie that runs to Aberdeen is very useful for the carriage of lime, bone-dust, coal etc. Inverurie itself is useful as a market for farm produce.
The commutation road-money is about L.123 and administered by the heritors and their factors under the oversight of the district trustees and the general county trustees. As well as the assessment, tenants help by allowing their horses and carts to be used in the making of roads, and heritors have made many roads at their own expense.
Page 337 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town, Etc.
—Old Meldrum and Turriff are the nearest market-towns.
Means of Communication.—Post-office with a daily post. A stagecoach also runs daily on the Aberdeen to Banff turnpike. New turnpikes are to be built that will pass through this parish: one from Forgue to Inverury and another from Aberdeen to Banff by Metlich, Cuminestown etc.
Page 343 Fairs.— Two ancient fairs continue to be held. He notes that about forty fairs are held each year, within 10 miles of the church, and questions whether this is too many.
Inns, Alehouses, Etc.—Small inn at Lewes of Fyvie. Nine retailers of spirits.
Fuel.—Mostly peat. Coal is very expensive because of the distance from the coast.
1838 Revised 1840

Description Parishes of Ochterless, Tureff and Fyvie in Aberdeen 1723
Page 94 In Fyvie parish there is a bridge over the Ythan at Lewes of Fyvie, half a mile from the village.

(v.19, p.607)

The parish is very isolated being 30 miles to Aberdeen which is the nearest market and post-town. Sometimes we are cut off for 6 or 8 weeks.

Page 436 Reference to a narrow and romantic pass east of the parish. No particular mention of roads except that they are much wanted.

Glenmuick, Tullich and Glengairn
v.12, p.215)

Page 220 There is a good bridge over the Muick, near the church, built about 50 years ago by subscription and another fine bridge, half a mile below the church, called the Bridge of Ballater.
The well known Wells of Pananich are in this parish. Mr Farquharson made good roads to the wells and generally was very attentive to roads making some new ones and repairing others. He also made arches over some small streams that were sometimes unfordable.

Page 781 Parochial Economy.
—Ballater and Tullich. Ballater is popular with tourists come to take the air and admire the scenery. It has a post-office, served daily from Aberdeen.
Means of Communication.—An excellent commutation road runs north of the Dee to Charleston of Aboyne where a turnpike road, 30 miles in length, leads to Aberdeen. A mail-coach runs each day, and there are three carriers but no public coach.
Another commutation road runs south of the Dee and there are several cross roads all in good condition.

Two fine stone bridges have been swept away by floods: the first was in 1799, and the second, a replacement built in 1808-9, was destroyed in 1829. It had cost about L.5000, half paid by subscription, and half by the Parliamentary Commission for Highland Roads and Bridges. This itself was replaced by a wooden bridge in 1834 and cost L.2000, again under the same funding arrangements.
There is a bridge over the Water of Muick on the road to the south of the Dee and another over the Water of Gairn on the road north of the Dee, both very useful bridges.
Page 786 Fairs.—Two fairs at Ballater for cattle etc, and one for grain, hiring servants, and settling accounts.
Fuel.—Peat, wood and coal.

Glengairn parish
Mention of “the well known crags or Pass of Ballatar, where the tremendous impending rocks threaten the astonished traveller with immediate destruction.
Page 227 Miscellaneous Observations.—There is a very old stone bridge over the Gairn and another, 6 miles upriver, built by the government on one of the Highland roads. There is another bridge over the Girnie.

A Description of the two Shires of Aberdeen and Banff
Vol.2, Page300 Timber from the wood of Pananich near Glen Muick is conveyed to Aberdeen but not by the rough and stony road.

OSA (v.11, p.467)

Extent and Roads.—The roads, made by statute labour, are often impassable.
Two principal streets in the town. Where they cross they form a square where markets are held.
Page 469 There is a modern bridge of three arches over the Bogie that can be used by heavy carriages going to and from Aberdeen, 34 miles away. It is also used for peat and turf, from 5 miles away.
There is a very old bridge over the Doveron, strengthened by iron bands to the height where flood waters might reach. Without this bridge, journeys on the associated road between Portsoy and Keith, Fochabers, Gordon Castle, and the river Spey would often be impossible when the river is in flood.

Page 1037 In the floods of 1829, bridges on the Bogie and Deveron were swept away. The ruins of some can still be seen.
Page 1041 Parochial Economy.
Roads, Bridges, Etc.
—Roads are as follows:-
- Aberdeen by Keith, Fochabers and Elgin to Inverness. Excellent bridges are at both ends of the town. The Mail, Defiance, and Duchess of Gordon coaches run on this road;
- on the south, a turnpike towards Rhynie;
- on the north, a road to Portsoy, 17 miles away;
- on the north-east, a road to Banff, 21 miles away.
Fairs, Etc.—About a dozen annual fairs or markets, including two feeing markets for the hire of farm-servants. He has some trenchant remarks about the drawbacks of the system, both the effects on morality and the mercenary nature of the hiring where each party cares little about the other.
Inns, Etc.—Excellent inn in Huntly, and 4 others. There are also 12 public-houses and a couple of spirit-dealers.
Fuel.— Peat and turf. English coal is landed at Portsoy and then brought the 17 miles to Huntly. Some wood is also used.
November 1842.

(v.17, p.482)

Page 484 A canal has been proposed, at least to Inverurie.

There is a weekly market here and 2 or 3 small fairs. If the canal reached here it would become the market place for upper Garioch.


Page 751 Mention of the Gallow Road beside the Gallow Hill.
Page 754 He surmises that the fort at Dunnideer and nearby place names incorporating the word “ward” could have been so placed as to defend a major pass from the Garioch to the north and west.
Page 757 Major slate quarry at Foudland though its output is less than formerly because of the high cost of transport.
Parochial Economy.-- Two markets: one is for cattle etc, the other for hiring. There are several shopkeepers and several tradesmen.
The nearest post-office is at Old Rain, from where the mail is brought by private runner.
He refers to three roads that link to Huntly: the mail road from Aberdeen; one to the west of Foudland; and one through Kennethmont and Gartly.
Page 761 Inns, Etc.—Five.
Fuel.—The mosses in Foudland which supplied many, are near exhausted and it is likely that people will come to depend on coal more and more. Some here are allowed peat from the Hill of Melschach in Kennethmont but have to bring it four miles.

(v.7, p.331)

Page 332 Bridges.—A fine bridge was built over the Don last year for a cost of L.2000, raised by subscription. A bridge is still needed for the Ury and it is hoped some help will be given by the government as the King’s highway from Aberdeen to Inverness passes through here and is 14 miles shorter than the road by Old Meldrum and Turriff.
Peat has to be brought a long way from other parishes with much loss of time. Some coal is brought in from Aberdeen.

Page 683 He gives details of the Aberdeen Canal that ran to Port Elphinstone near Inverury, which at that time was thriving. He notes the “hundreds of carts, sometimes, in a day, delivering grain, and carrying away coals, lime, bones, dung, bricks, iron, timber, or other materials for house-building“.
Page 684 Parochial Economy. Twenty fairs for cattle, horses, sheep, and grain. The town is lit by gas. Post office.
A new turnpike road has been made from Inverury towards the bridge of Marnock, running through Chapel Daviot, Fyvie, Auchterless, and Forgue.
At least three coaches run to Aberdeen each day.

The Garioch, Aberdeenshire 1724
Page 8 The king’s highway from Aberdeen to Inverness runs through the town of Inverurie. The highway uses fords and passage boats to cross the Don and Water of Urie.


(v.11, p.455)

One boatman.
Page 459 Dung and fuel carried on creels on the sides of horses.
Roads — Aberdeen is the nearest sea-port, 25 miles away. The roads are statute labour but recently landlords both here and in neighbouring parishes have started subscribing towards a new road on a different line to Aberdeen.

Page 952 Cattle now sent directly to London by steamers.
Page 954 Parochial Economy. Market-Towns, Etc.—The nearest towns are Inverury and Kintore, 12 and 14 miles distant. However, Aberdeen, 25 miles away is used as the market town.
The turnpike road between Aberdeen and Alford passes through the south part of the parish. There is a mail-gig and a coach to Aberdeen. The post-office is at Whitehouse, just outside the parish.
There are ten and a half miles of commutation roads and 5 miles of roads made by proprietors through their lands. The commutation fund is L.31.10s.2d a year.
There are also 5 miles of hill roads and one and a half miles of old commutation road that are in bad condition and little used.
Keig bridge over the Don was built in 1817 at a cost of L.2300, half by subscription and half by the government.

Keithhall and Kinkell
(v.2, p.527)

Page 532 Mention of cattle being sold for the south country. Agricultural produce sent to Aberdeen.
Page 534 Details of fuel. Lime brought in from Aberdeen and from kilns in some neighbouring parishes.
Page 540 Carriages, Carts. - One carriage and about 100 single and double carts. Forty years ago there was only one cart in Keithhall, and dung was carried in creels on horse back.
Advantages and Disadvantages.
Among the disadvantages are “the distance from lime and marl, and from any considerable market-town; and the number of carriages, or feudal services, every farmer being obliged to bring 6 cart-loads from Aberdeen yearly, to the principal heritor, besides, peats from the moss..

Page 746 Parochial Economy.
Inverury is the market and post town.
Two bridges on the Ury; one of stone, built about 30 years ago; the other of stone piers and a wooden arch, built recently.
Fairs. - Michael Fair, at Kinkell, for cattle and horses.
Fuel.—Peat and turf.

(v.12, p.199)

Page 207 Two public houses, mostly used by travellers.
Page 208 No bridges.
Page 211 Two public roads, made and maintained by statute labour: the Aberdeen road and the road to Inverury and Old Meldrum.

page 817 No mention of roads other than a reference to the public highway.

A Geographical Description of the Parishes of Monymusk Kenmay and Cluny 1722

Page 95 There is a small bridge in Monymusk. Mention of Boat of Kemnay on the river Don and a Boat in Monymusk. There are also 2 or three fords.
The highway from Aberdeen passes the church of Kenmay and leads over the Bridge of Ton over the Ton Burn.
The Rectified Highway called the Skene Road from Aberdeen enters Clunie parish to the SE, runs past Drumlahoy to Mill of Clunie where there is a bridge, then through Monymusk parish to the parishes of Touch and Keig.

(v.13, p.66)

Page 72 Roads.—The roads are statute labour. There is little gravel available hence they are often deep though still passable. The military road to Huntly and Fort George through the Cairn-o'-Mount has been neglected by the government but is kept up here by the statute labour.
Peat is the usual fuel. Coal is brought from Aberdeen by some.
Page 77 Fairs.—Of two old fairs here, one used to be held during the night and was called Sleepy-market. When the proprietor changed it to the day time, the people chose to neglect it.
Page 79 Advantages and Disadvantages. There are plenty of nearby fairs where cattle and sheep can be sold. There is also a weekly market at Huntly, or if need be, Aberdeen can be used. The road there, since the new bridge at Inverurie over the Don, is now safe.

Page 586 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.—The nearest is Huntly, 8 miles away. Most of the grain however is taken to Inverurie, 18 miles away, from where it is taken to Aberdeen by canal. On the return journey, lime and coal are carried. As this can be done in a day, the farmers no longer take their produce to the east, or north coast, as they used to do.
Means of Communication.—Until the turnpike road from Aberdeen to Huntly, Inverness etc. opened 6 years ago, the parish had bad roads. Two coaches used to take a turnpike road through the hills of Foudland but have now changed to the other road as it is more level and faster (though 3 miles longer) and passes through more interesting countryside.
Page 588 Fairs.—Three cattle fairs. A long time ago, there used to be a fair held at Christ’s Church, to the east of the parish.
Fuel.—Mostly peat but much time is spent in obtaining it and the mosses are becoming exhausted. As a result coal is starting to be used.
1840. Revised 1841.

The Garioch, Aberdeenshire 1724
Page 16 No highway in parish of Kinnemonth.

(v.18, p.411)

The parish is unequally divided by the river, which the people commonly pass upon stilts; which are poles or stakes, about 6 feet in length, with a step on one side, on which the passenger raised about 2 feet from the ground, resting them against his sides and armpits, and moving them forward by each hand, totters through.
Page 413 Before carts were introduced, creels were used to carry the dung, and grain was carried in panniers on horse-back.

page 976 The castle was besieged by Edward I.
No mention of roads.



Kincardine O'Neil
(v.6, p.55)
No mention of roads.

Page 832 A fine granite bridge was built in 1812 at a cost of L.3500, half by subscription and half by Government. When close to completion, it was badly damaged by timber floating down when the river was high - the contractor was able to secure damages from the owners of the timber. The bridge was also damaged in the floods of 1829 but repaired thereafter.
The bridge lies on the old military road from Perth by Brechin and Cairn o’Mount through here to Huntly and Inverness, however, although a good road has been made to Huntly the road southwards is not suited to carriages so much of the usefulness of the bridge is lost. It is hoped “a road to Cuttishillock, on this side of the Mount, part of which was made last year, will soon be completed.”
In 1829, the burn of Belty destroyed two stone bridges, and badly damaged three more.
Page 836 Parochial Economy.
—Two long-standing markets are held in the village for cattle etc and two others and two feeing-markets have recently been set up. There is also a monthly market at Tomaveen, in the north of the parish.
Post-office. - the mail-coach passes through on its way between Aberdeen and Ballater.
Page 839 Fuel.—Peat, mostly from the hill of Fare.
Inns, Etc.—Besides the inn (where the district courts are held) there are about a dozen places that sell spirits.

Descriptions of Kincardine O’Neil, Aboyne and Glentanar Parishes 1725
Page 101 Details of several roads are given, e.g. there is a ferry boat over the Dee at Kincardine O’Neil and there is a direct road between Aberdeen and Braemar. The burn of Desk which divides Kincardine from Aboyne is crossed by a “strong timber bridge with stone land sleats.”
Road NE of Kincardine with a timber bridge over the Burn of Canny. Road from Craigmyle towards Wester Billie with “steps” over the Burn of Canny; road northwards by the church at Tough etc

(v.3, p.496)

497 In summer, fields are rented by strangers for grazing cattle and later taken to the market at Aberdeen.
Inclosures and Roads.— The roads are maintained by the statute labour which is commuted at a rate of 1s.6d. for 6 days although those who wish can do the 6 days work.
Trade and Fuel.—“Besides cattle, considerable quantities of meal and barley are sold at Aberdeen. Peats are the common and principal article of fuel. Coals are also brought from Aberdeen, which is 9 miles distant.”

Page 118 Parochial Economy. Kintore, 2 miles away, was replaced in 1837 as the post-town by Blackburn. Inverurie, 7 miles away, is the nearest market-town and has 20 fairs each year.
A fine turnpike between Aberdeen and the north-west passes through. The mail and three other coaches run on this each day - their fares are moderate. Only one cross-road serving one farm is in good condition; the others are very bad and nothing at all has been spent on the one near the church for 20 years.
A canal between Aberdeen and Inverurie, opened in 1797, has a passage boat and other boats carrying coal, lime and manure from Aberdeen and grain, slates, wood etc into Aberdeen.

King Edward
(v.11, p.398)

Page 406 Roads and Fuel.—The statute labour is performed badly. The Banff to Turiff post-road has good bridges and its condition improved of late though more remains to be done on this, and other roads. It is believed that commutation or turnpikes are the only means of improving the roads; long experience having shown statute labour to be ineffective.
Peat etc. used for fuel. Bad weather and the time spent in obtaining peat has led many to use coal even when it was taxed.

Page 282 Market-Towns.—Banff and Macduff.
Means of Communication.—The mail-gig and the Earl of Fife coach travel daily on the turnpike road between Aberdeen and Banff and several carriers go weekly to Aberdeen. The main post-office is in Banff with a penny-post in Newbyth served from Turriff.
As well as the Aberdeen to Banff turnpike, the Banff and Buchan turnpike runs through the parish. The bridges on these roads are good.
The bridge of Alvah, near Duff House, is a fine span over the Doveran.
Page 284 Fairs.—Three fairs held at Newbyth.
Fuel.—Mostly peat though many who live at a distance from the mosses find coal from Macduff or Banff is more convenient and less time-consuming.
Miscellaneous Observations.
The turnpike roads between Turriff and Banff, and Banff and Buchan have been a great benefit to the parish. The country roads have also improved in recent years.

OSA (v.13, p.81)

As a very early burgh, it had several privileges, now transferred to Aberdeen. One seems to have been a requirement to pay customs on shipments of wine, there being “a causeway at the east end of the freedom of Kintore, near Kinellar, on the way to Aberdeen, still called the Wine Causeway.”
Page 86 Forty years ago carts were unknown and everything was carried on horse-back in creels etc.
Black cattle driven south.
Page 89 Highways and Bridges — A road from Aberdeen enters this parish where it splits, one branch passing west into Kenmay and up Donside, the other trending NW through Kintore, Inverurie etc to Inverness. A fine bridge over the Don was built on this road about three years ago. Generally all the streams are bridged.
The roads are better here than in many of the nearby parishes as there is plenty of sand and gravel, and between Kintore and Inverury “needs no making at all.” They are statute labour, commuted at 1s. 6d.
There are two taverns, necessary for travellers on the great north road.

Page 659 In the past, Kintore was an important thoroughfare as it was where the great northern road by Aberdeen and some of the roads over the Grampian passses, met.
Page 663 Parochial Economy.
Shops in the burgh, and Aberdeen is only 12 miles away and easily reached. The post-office was the first in the district.
The great northern road passes through the parish, with a branch to Kenmay from where the Alford turnpike can be reached. The mail-coach and three others pass through twice a day.
A canal, 18 miles in length, runs from Aberdeen to Port Elphinstone nearby. Details of the canal and the goods transported on it are given.
Revised 1842

MacFarlane (Vol.2)

p.286 Kintore is on the king’s highway.

Leochel and Cushnie
(v.6, p.212)

Page 217 About 200 cattle are sold to graziers or dealers from the south; horses also have been sold and taken south, in the past 8 years.
As the mosses are mostly exhausted, fuel is scarce. The removal of the coal-duty would be a great help in overcoming this problem.
The roads are statute labour, all aged between 15 and 60 having to work 6 days or pay 1s.6d. The roads themselves are not well made.

(on Edina site - browse scanned pages)
Page 1127 Parochial Economy.
—Although Aberdeen at 28 miles distance is farther than Kintore and Inverurie, it is used as the market town. Lime and coal is brought on return.
A 6 mile length of good commutation road joins the Alford turnpike at Whiteley, in Tough parish. The Government road from Donside to Deeside and the Tarland turnpike pass through the parish.
The bridges are generally in good condition except one over the Leochel at Scuttrie, on the Whiteley road, carried away in the floods of 1839.
The nearest post-offices are Alford and Tarland, both about 6 miles distant.
Page 1131 Fairs.—Five busy fairs for cattle, sheep etc are held on a moor near Scuttrie, on the Craigievar estate.
Fuel.—Much time and effort is spent in obtaining peat and turf; the latter coming from the Red-hill of Lumphanan and the Glen of Cushnie, which are distant and difficult of access. Coal from Aberdeen is starting to be used.

(v.8, p.511)

At the time of James II Leslie was made a burgh of barony and allowed to hold fairs and markets, though these are long discontinued.
Page 517 Fuel. - Some poor peat and turf is used and is so difficult to win that it is a great impediment to improving the country. Although coal will always be expensive because of freight and transport, it would help greatly if the coal tax was removed.
Page 518 Mention of road to Alford.
Advantages and Disadvantages. - Produce is taken to Aberdeen, 30 miles away, on very bad roads. Lime also can only be obtained from a distance.
The statute labour system operates here in a haphazard manner, hence the roads are poor. It is noticeable however that there is now a spirit for improving the roads. In neighbouring Alford, the proprietors are making a road by subscription to Aberdeen. It is hoped that those in the Garioch will follow this example.

Page 1024 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.
—A commutation road runs alongside the Gady to Premnay to reach the Inverury - Aberdeen turnpike. Another reaches the Huntly turnpike. Most produce is taken to Inverury, and some to Huntly. 1842

(v.4, p.421)

Ythan navigable for 3 miles.
Page 426 Roads and Bridges.—The roads have been made and are repaired by the statute labour, although it is applied in a haphazard manner and more would be achieved if it was commuted at the rate of 1s.6d. for the season. The gentlemen of the district have paid much attention to building bridges.
The Ythan affords easy access to lime and coal.


Ferries on the Ythan

Page 802 Coal, lime and bones are carried by lighters up the Ythan for some four miles.
Mention of the Boat of Logie, near Watertown.
Page 804 On the Ythan there are two ferry-boats near the church, where a chain-bridge would be very useful although this would be unnecessary if the planned work for a bridge on the Fraserburgh/Peterhead to Aberdeen turnpike just below the ferry goes ahead. It would cost about L.5000 and save two miles.
Page 807 Details are given of Robert Gordon of Straloch and his mapping endeavours.
Page 811 Mention of the Ferry of Logie being on the main route from north-east Buchan to Aberdeen, the main road passing along the sea-shore of Belhelvie. At the time there was a kirk-town with markets and ale-houses.
Page 814 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town, Etc
.—Aberdeen is the nearest market-town, 15 miles away, and Ellon, 2 miles away, the nearest post-town.
The great north road to Aberdeen passes through and the mail and other coaches run on it. Another turnpike leads to Newburgh and is much used for the carriage of lime, grain etc.
Page 816 Alehouses.—One.
Fuel —The main fuel is coal, obtained at Newburgh. Peat and turf have to be brought in from other parishes as the mosses here are near exhausted.
Miscellaneous Observations. A major impetus to change has been given by turnpike roads and better commutation roads. One of their benefits is that they form “most convenient and gently sloping base lines in the process of fielding.“
Revised 1842

Parish of Logie Buchan 1723
page 97 A ferry boat on the south side of the river Ythan mentioned in account of Logie Buchan, also in connection with Methlik parish (page 98).
Description of the paroches of Ellon & Logie Buchan
Page 427 There are passing boats at Ellon and at Kinharache. There is no public road through Logie Buchan.

(v.9, p.510)
No particular mention of roads.

NSA (on Edina site - browse scanned pages)
Page 1073 Antiquities - A paved road was found on Cairnmore of Blelack, possibly connected with the nearby Pict’s Howe.

MacFarlane Description of eighteen parishes in the shire and diocese of Aberdeen C.1720
Page 24 In Coldstane and Logie parish there is a highway between Aberdeen and the heights of Strathdone etc.

(v.15, p.282)

Page 283 The idea of a canal from Peterhead to Old Deer is talked about.
Page 292 Although peat is available, much time and effort is expended in obtaining it; coal, now the tax is removed, could be an alternative.
No particular mention of roads.

Page 866 Parochial Economy. The nearest market-town is Peterhead, 6 miles away; there is a post office at Mintlaw.
The Aberdeen to Fraserburgh and Peterhead to Banff turnpikes pass through Mintlaw; the mail coach runs on the first and a stage-coach on the second. There are many other well-planned roads but not in the best condition. The bridges at Auchlee and Rora are old and in bad condition and need to be replaced.
About 40 years ago, a canal was started here for transporting shell-sand but it was abandoned long ago.
Page 871 Fairs.—Two are held at Longside, three at Lenabo and six at Mintlaw, all are for cattle, sheep and horses. There is a weekly grain-market in Peterhead.
Fuel.—Mostly peat though much time and effort is spent in obtaining it. Coal is had at Peterhead and will no doubt become the only fuel available.
1841. Revised 1842.

Description of the Parish of Longside, Aberdeenshire 1723
Page 70 Two timber bridges over Water of Ugie in the parish of Longside.

(v.16, p.631)
Page 633 Mention of the feasibility of a canal.

Page 230 Fraserburgh is the nearest market-town, 4 miles away.
Means of Communication.— Mail and newspapers are delivered to Cortebrae. The turnpike from Peterhead to Banff by Fraserburgh passes through, as does the Fraserburgh to Aberdeen turnpike by Mintlaw. Coaches run on these roads.
Page 235 Fairs.—Two cattle and sheep fairs.
Inns, Alehouses, Etc - 5 or 6.
1835. Revised 1840.

Description of the Parish of Lonmay, Aberdeenshire 1722
Page 68 In the parish of Lonmay, the king’s highway goes from Inveralochie south past the church to the Calsay of Kininmunth and then by a timber bridge over the Water of Eugie to Old Deer.

(v.6, p.382)

Page 385 With the north and south roads passing through here, it is easy for farmers to sell their cattle to dealers from the south country, though not always at a time when they would get a good price.
The distance of Aberdeen (24 miles) is a disadvantage and there is no lime or marl. Much time is spent on peat which are carted on “bye roads where carts are drawn with danger and difficulty.” Some think coal from Aberdeen would be an alternative.
Due to the north and south roads, we have some trouble with beggars and pilferers.
Page 389 The roads are reasonably maintained by the statute labour, though not always enthusiastically especially if the individual is older. Six days have to be worked or a payment made in its place.
There is much need for bridges with burns becoming impassable at times. Two great roads intersect near the church.

NSA (on Edina site - browse scanned pages)
Page 1094 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.— The Aberdeen to Tarland turnpike passes through from east to west. Two roads cross the parish from north to south; the “rude military road, made about 1746, and the finely kept one, executed under the authority of the Parliamentary Commissioners for Highland Roads and Bridges.

Machar, New
(v.6, p.465)

Page 470 Advantages and Disadvantages - It is only 10 miles from Aberdeen which affords a ready market for produce and where coal can be obtained. There is a good public road.
Page 472 Fuel - Although peat is available, much time is spent on obtaining it. Coal is expensive due to the coasting tax.
Page 474 Roads.—In summer the roads are good but in winter the amount of traffic and the clayey soil makes them deteriorate quickly.
The post road that runs south-north was originally made by the military and is now maintained by the statute labour. This requires 6 days work each year, or if preferred, a payment of 3d. per day which is used to employ day labourers. Justices of the Peace appoint an overseer and an announcement is made the preceding Sunday of the requirement to attend for work. The day labourers do a much better job than those called up who are generally uninterested in the value of good roads and perform the labour reluctantly and in a slovenly manner.
There are no turnpikes - their utility is recognised but they may be too costly for this district.
Miscellaneous - There are 6 alehouses near the road between Aberdeen and Old Meldrum, mostly used by carriers and travellers.
The nearest post-offices are at Aberdeen and Old Meldrum.

Page 1032 Parochial Economy.
Market Towns.—Aberdeen and Old Meldrum.
Means of Communication.—There is now a post-office, near the turnpike road.
There is a new turnpike road that has replaced the old turnpike that meets with the Peterhead turnpike, near the old bridge of Don. The old road is still in good condition. A stage-coach to Banff runs on the new road as well as a mail-gig and the mail coach. Regular carriers.
There are good statute labour roads.
There is a wooden bridge over the Don on the public road that is thought too weak for heavy carriages and is to be replaced by a stone bridge nearby.
Page 1035 Fairs.— Attempts have been made to start a cattle fair here, but with limited success.
Inns, Ale-houses, Etc.—Three inns, on the turnpike road.
Fuel — Peat and turf, although coal, brought from Aberdeen, is starting to be used. August 1842.

A Short Account of the Parish of New Macar
Page 84 In New Macar parish the “Marcket Road” from Aberdeen to Banff runs by Parkhill Kinmundy, the church, Udny and Turriff.

Old Machar
Page 1074 - NSA only (on Edina site - browse scanned pages)
No mention of roads.

(v.13, p.153)

Page 160 Miscellaneous Observations. It would be beneficial if the roads from Old Meldrum to the sea-ports of Aberdeen and Newburgh were in better repair, especially to Newburgh which is nearer than Aberdeen and where lime and coal costs less.

Page 480 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.—Old Meldrum has a market for cattle and grain every two weeks, and two annual hiring fairs. There is a post office.
Means of Communication.—There is a turnpike road between Aberdeen and Banff that passes through here, and was opened in in 1804. Apart from two carriers who travel to Aberdeen each week, the post comes through twice a day, and a stage-coach which is economical and convenient.
Page 483 Fuel - As peat has mostly been used up, coal is commonly used, carted in from Newburgh and Aberdeen.
Miscellaneous Observations - He refers again to the 1804 turnpike road, noting how it allowed farm produce to reach Aberdeen throughout the year and how it had generally simulated improvements, impossible when the roads were poor.
A new turnpike now runs between the upper part of the Garioch and the coast which will benefit the district and Old Meldrum by giving easier access to markets and allowing coal to be had at Newburgh which is nearer than Aberdeen.
November 1840.

The Garioch, Aberdeenshire 1724
Page 11 The king’s highway from Aberdeen to Banff runs through the parish and village of Old Meldrum.

(v.4, p.320)

The roads and bridges over burns are pretty tolerable, and have been made by statute labour.
Much produce is sent to Aberdeen.
Two ferry-boats.
Peat and turf used as fuel. Two ale-houses.

Page 971 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.—No market-town in the parish. Grain is taken to Inverury, Newburgh, and Aberdeen - bones and lime are brought from the first two places. Lime is also available locally from kilns at Udny, Aquhorthies, and Barrack.
Means of Communication.—Mail is brought by a gig that runs daily from Aberdeen; the nearest post-town used to be Old Meldrum, 7 miles distant.
Although there is no turnpike road, there are good commutation roads to New Deer, Fyvie, Ellon, Old Meldrum, and Tarves. A turnpike to Aberdeen can be reached at the last four places. A carrier from here goes to Aberdeen every two weeks but the nearest stage-coach is at Tarves.
Page 973. Ecclesiastical State. There are references to two fords in Methlick in a charter of 1373 relating to a gift of land to the church.
Page 975 Fairs.—Two fairs are held for hiring and cattle but not many cattle are sold. One of the fairs, Dennick’s fair (St Devenick) is of great antiquity.
Alehouses.—Four alehouse and 3 spirit shops.
Fuel — Peat.
August 1842.

Parish of Logie Buchan 1723
page 97 A ferry boat on the south side of the river Ythan mentioned in account of Logie Buchan, also in connection with Methlik parish (page98).

(v.2, p.516)

Page 521 In one part of the parish the public road and the cross roads are well kept; in another, where the principal heritor is not resident, they are not.
The public road is kept by the statute labour, requiring 6 days service for those aged 15 to 60 years; a few people choose to pay the commutation rate of 1s.6d. The statute labour was first introduced here about 1752.


Page 633 Parochial Economy.
Market Town - Aberdeen, 15 miles away.
Miscellaneous Observations - Good roads, both turnpike and parish. Stage-coaches run through the parish.

(v.6, p.121)

Page 135 Drovers buy 300 black cattle each year.
Miscellaneous Remarks. Peat is used as fuel though much time is taken to obtain it. Some use coal but the tax makes it too expensive for many.
The roads are statute labour which can be converted at a rate of 1s. 6d per annum. The roads can be used throughout the year as the rivulets have been bridged. “As there is no post road, the expense of turnpikes would be useless and intolerable.

Page 768 He refers to a proposed turnpike road through Cuminestown that would allow for easy communication to Aberdeen and Banff. In a footnote however he says that there had been a delay, and that generally the roads were in an extremely poor condition.
Parochial Economy. Market-Towns, Etc—Cattle-markets are held at Turriff, 6 miles away. Grain is exported from Macduff and Banff, 15 miles distant, and coal and lime brought on return. The parish is very badly provided with roads compared to others.
Page 771 Fairs, Etc.— Horse and cattle fair held in Cuminestown. Other markets have been set up at the estate of Auchry.
Inns and Alehouses.—Five.
Fuel.—The peat and turf (from Auchry) is now almost exhausted.

(v.3, p.66)

Two good roads to Aberdeen, 18 miles away.

Page 68 Minerals — About a mile NW of the church there is an iron mine which has not been developed because fuel is so scarce. The road to it is passable.

Aberdeen is the market town for grain and cattle.


Page 467 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.—Aberdeen, 19 miles away, is the nearest market. The village existed in the time of Malcolm Canmore. There is a daily post and three carriers each week to Aberdeen, which place can be reached by two turnpike roads. One joins the great north road near Kintore and the other goes through Midmar, Echt and Skene parishes - this can be joined 3 miles from the village by a commutation road that passes through the parish of Cluny. The distances is much the same by either route.
Page 473 Fairs.—Three annual fairs. There are also monthly markets for the sale of cattle and grain in the winter months.
Inns.—There is an inn in the village and an ale-house at the ferry boat on the opposite side of the Don.
Fuel.—Peat, turf and wood and some coal from Aberdeen which is brought by canal to Kintore.
Miscellaneous Observations.
Since the last Statistical Account, roads are greatly improved.

A Geographical Description of the Parishes of Monymusk Kenmay and Cluny 1722

Page 95 There is a small bridge in Monymusk. Mention of Boat of Kemnay on the river Don and a Boat in Monymusk. There are also 2 or three fords.
The highway from Aberdeen passes the church of Kenmay and leads over the Bridge of Ton over the Ton Burn.
The Rectified Highway called the Skene Road from Aberdeen enters Clunie parish to the SE, runs past Drumlahoy to Mill of Clunie where there is a bridge, then through Monymusk parish to the parishes of Touch and Keig.

(v.6, p.34)

In the late 1600s, a burgess of Aberdeen had a bridge built here at his own expense after seeing 4 people drown in the Buxburn where crossed by the great north road.
Page 38 Granite from the quarries here is taken to Aberdeen by the farmers here on their carts for export to London.
Three annual fairs. Peat is plentiful. Three ale-houses used by travellers on the two public roads that pass through the parish.

Page 237 A benefactor built a large stone bridge over the Buxburn on the old road to Aberdeen (sometime before the mid-1660’s).
Page 239 Three turnpike roads leading to Aberdeen.
Granite quarried locally is sent to Aberdeen, London and elsewhere.

Description Parish of Newhills, Aberdenshire 1725

Page 99 The North Road passes through Newhills parish and crosses the bridge of Buxburn. A public road runs through Alford to the highlands.


(v.15, p.105)

Page 106 The roads are very bad.
Proposed Canals.—Canals have been proposed from Aberdeen to Inverury south of the Don, and from Inverury to Old Rayne.
Page 109 Fuel.—Like four or five other parishes, peat comes from Bennochie, and takes at least 2 months to obtain. The canal would remove this inconvenience.

Page 642 In 1793 there were 50 carts which were of little use on the then “rugged, steep and narrow roads” and fuel, manure etc were taken on horseback.
Page 644 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.—The nearest is Inverury, 7 miles away, by a turnpike road. There are two branches of this road: to Huntly and to Insch by Pitmachie. The mail-coach and the Defiance run between Aberdeen and Inverness, and there is a coach to Huntly. Post office at Oldrain.
A large number of beggars, mostly from the towns, pass through.
Page 646 Fairs.—Hiring markets at Pitmachie at Whitsunday and Martinmas.
Inns and Alehouses.—Eight.
1839. Revised 1842.

(v.16, p.358)

Other than the bridge of Dee, 6 miles to the east, this (near the church) is the chief crossing place of the Dee for several roads leading from different places. There are ferry boats here.
Page 360 In a footnote he refers to the possible course for a canal between the Dee and Loch Skene and how it could be continued towards the Don, near to another possible canal between Aberdeen and Monymusk.
Lime is carried in from Aberdeen.
Page 365 The road to the moss of Leuchar is very bad.
Page 371 Three ale-houses, useful for travellers and for conducting business.
Page 375 Roads and Bridges.—Although good materials are to hand, the roads are not very good. Some cross-roads cannot be travelled on by carriages, others are difficult for foot-passengers, and parts of the Aberdeen road are in need of repair. Two residents had helped improve this and other roads, in some places building them.
The course taken by the Aberdeen road had been badly planned so that with its ascents and descents in such a short distance it presents an emblem of the elevations and depressions which frequently occur in the journey of life. There is thought of laying out another road in a better line but the expense may be too much - a turnpike act may be the best way forward.
It is worth mentioning that many, although they complain about the roads, do not do their statute labour service and some are so unwilling to pay the commutation money that pledges sometimes have to be taken. He says: “There may indeed be some cause of complaint, if what I have heard be true, that some years the commutation-money has been collected through whole districts, and none of it applied to the making or repairing of roads."
"As one travels along, he cannot help being offended at seeing several cart-loads of small stones, which had been gathered off the fields, thrown into a pit or ditch at the road-side, when they might have been better disposed of to fill up pits and ruts, and broken places in the middle of the road.
A stone bridge, built in 1608 and repaired in 1710, crosses the Leuchar-burn on the road from Aberdeen to part of Cromar etc. Part of the parapet has fallen down and a beast and cart fell off about 15 years ago. A rampart called the Guard-dike is nearby and is said to have been where a guard of men was placed to prevent the spread of plague from Aberdeen in the mid-1600s.
Another bridge is on the Deeside road, over the burn of Culter, and is in good repair. It was widened about 40 years ago and can now take carriages. Nearby there is a much more suitable place for a bridge which would have avoided a steep climb.
There are two other arched stone bridges: over Garvock-burn, on the road to the house of Drum; and a small one near the church. He notes that there are several bridges “composed of long stones laid horizontally, and supported at each end by a stone wall.”
Page 384 He describes the aggressive behaviour of some of the vagrants who often infest the country, and notes that a correction and work-house for the shire of Aberdeen and Banff has been proposed.
When conditions are right, rafts of timber are floated down from 7 or 8 miles upriver.

Page 107 There used to be a large quarry from which stones were transported into Aberdeen.
Page 108 Mention of the camp at Normandykes. Formerly thought to have been erected by the Danes or by William the Norman, it is now considered to be Roman. It is sited on the north of the Dee and may have guarded several fords here.
P112. Parochial Economy.
Market and Post Town. - Aberdeen.
Means of Communication.—The Deeside turnpike runs through the south of the parish for 4 miles. The mail coach between Aberdeen and Castletown of Braemar runs on this each day, and another coach runs in the summer between Aberdeen and Banchory. Ballater is a favourite destination with the wells of Pannanich nearby. The turnpike to Skene also passes through. Local roads (“cross accommodation roads”) are adequate.

(v.16, p.541)

Page 579 Roads.—The roads are statute labour and in poor repair. There will be no improvement until turnpikes are introduced.
Page 591 Fuel.—In the country peat is used and in town supplemented with coal. As the peat is running out, coal will have to be used, probably an advantage to the farmers as it will allow them to spend their time on other tasks.
Language - “There is a place called Stay the Voyage, where the family of Marischal used to halt in their way from Inverugie to Peterhead.
Page 593 Town of Peterhead - Many details of the town and its extensive import/export trade to London etc, Norway and the Baltic etc. are given.
Page 614 Kerb and carriageway stones sent to London and other places.
Page 619 Fairs.—Weekly market; two annual fairs.
Taverns.—There are 30 taverns, all in the town, except for 2 in Boddom
Shops.—Thirty five shops, many trades.
Post-office.—There is a post-office here, with 6 posts.
Page 626 "In 1763, there was no post-chaise; now there are two in the town, which suffice in winter, but are not enough to cater for summer visitors."
Hints of Improvement - “…the streets better paved, and illuminated with lamps in winter..”

Page 347 There is a bridge over the Ugie, 2 miles from the town, built in 1686 by the counties of Aberdeen and Banff.
Page 363 Quarries which supplied granite for public buildings in London and elsewhere. Gas works in the town. Details of shipping, fishing, manufactures etc.
Page 371 A Police Act was obtained in 1820 but prior to this the streets in the town had been improved by providing sidewalks, removing irregularities and replacing the former rough stones with metalling.
Page 372 The town has a post-office. There are turnpike roads to Aberdeen, Banff and Peterhead. The mail coach runs to and from the first two places daily and the Defiance stage-coach runs daily to Aberdeen and the Lord Saltoun to Fraserburgh every two days.
Page 392 Two hiring fairs and a weekly market. Forty six public houses, 28 spirit-dealers. The main inn where the coaches call in is very fine. As peat is almost worked out, coal is mostly used.
Page 386 Miscellaneous Observations - In contrast with the time of the first account, the streets are now well-made and are lit with gas. There were no turnpikes then and the roads very poor (p.394). Turnpikes were made in 1812, and many other roads have been made.
1837 Revised 1840

Description Parish of Peterhead 1733

Page 70 Good stone bridge in Peterhead.

(v.5, p.96)

A public road from Fraserburgh to Banff passes through.
Peat comes from 5 miles away and the time taken in obtaining it could be more usefully spent on other tasks. Coal is more expensive than it should be because of the unjust tax.

Page 403 In the centre of the parish the old road between Banff and Fraserburgh and the Rosehearty to Strichen road cross each other. The turnpike between Fraserburgh and Banff touches the south-east corner of the parish and is convenient for those living there.

Description of the Parish of Pitsligo 1723

Page 50 King’s highway between Fraserburgh and Banff passes through Pitsligo.

(v.16, p.637)

Page 639 Lime is brought from Aberdeen, 24 miles away, although it would be within easy reach if the projected canal reached to Insch.

Page 696 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.
—The road from Insch to Keig and the road from the upper district of the country to Inverury and Aberdeen cross each other near the centre of the parish.
On the first road, a bridge was built over the Gady at Auchleven in 1836 and cost L.70. The second road was turnpiked between the church and the Mill of Craden, where it joins the Inverness to Aberdeen road which gives easy access to the canal at Inverury. Lime, bone and coal can be had there, and grain is taken to Aberdeen.
Recently another turnpike has been made from Kennethmont to Inverury - it joins the Insch road about a mile from the church.

The Garioch, Aberdeenshire 1724

Page 16 King’s highway from Aberdeen to the high country passes through Premnay parish by Miln of Barns and Overhall.

(v.6, p.15)

Page 20 Several bridges were destroyed in floods in 1789.

Page 296 Means of Communication - The turnpikes from Aberdeen and Peterhead to Fraserburgh meet at Cortes in the parish. The cross-roads are lately improved.

Description of the Parish of Rathen 1723

Page 55 Two wooden bridges over Water of Pilhorth in parish of Rathen. One is ¼ mile west of the church on the road to Old Dear and the other is between Carnbuilg and the sea on the Frazerburgh to Peterhead road.

(v.15, p.110)

Page 112 Peat is available but takes much time to gather in, time that could be better spent on other activities.

The roads are in “tolerable repair“.

Page 115 Meal taken to Aberdeen. One hundred and eighty cattle bought by dealers for the south country.

Up to half a dozen poor people from the Highlands pass through daily in the summer.

Lime is 23 miles distant.



Page 426 A Roman road is thought to have passed Cairnhill in nearby Culsamond parish, leading from the large camp south of the Dee to the camp at Glenmellan near the Ythan. There may be a signal post connected with the road at Freefield, one mile from Cairnhill.
Page 432 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.—The nearest is Inverury, 8 miles away on the turnpike road to Aberdeen.
Means of Communication.—The Royal Mail from Aberdeen to Inverness calls at the post-office in Old Rain each day, as does another coach.
A new turnpike passes through the parish - it runs from the Huntly road at Garden’s Mill over to Old Meldrum from where Newburgh can be reached. As yet it is not busy but being near the slate quarries may prove very useful.
Page 435 Fairs.—Tryst of Warthill, Lawrence Fair at Old Rain, a new market at Old Rain, and Andersons fair at Kirktown. There are also two feeing markets at Old Rain.
Alehouses.—Four alehouses.
Miscellaneous Observations.
Better parish roads leading to the turnpikes would be a benefit.
October 1840.

Rhynie (OSA Rhynie & Essie)
OSA (v.19 p.289)

Page 295. The parish suffers from its distance to markets. A canal from Aberdeen to the head of the Garioch or from Huntly to Rhynie would help greatly.

NSA Page 1015
No particular mention of roads.



St Fergus
(v.15, p.134)

Page 138 A canal could be made at moderate cost from the mouth of the Ugie along the south of the parish and to the west.
Page 145 Roads and Bridge.—The Peterhead to Fraserburgh and Banff, and the Peterhead to Old Deer roads (both statute labour) pass through the parish. They are adequate but will only improve if they are turnpiked. People will not work on the roads when they can redeem their labour for 3d a day.
If a mail coach is established north of Aberdeen, the route should be by the coast as the road by Fyvie often has deep snow, and there would be more passengers on the coast, particularly visitors to the mineral well at Peterhead.
The only bridge is over the Ugie on the Peterhead to Fraserburgh and Banff road, built in the reign of James VII of Scotland and II of England.

Page 187 A canal was built about 1800 on the south side of the parish to link the proprietors lands with Peterhead but ran into legal difficulties and has now been abandoned.
Page 193 The session-chest contains a paper in the hand of the last Earl Marischal concerning the causewaying of part of the public road. The chest also contains documents showing that the kirk-session built and repaired small bridges to give easier access to the church, sometimes at its own expense.
(George Keith, 10th and last Earl Marischal inherited his title in 1712 but had to leave the country after his involvement in the Jacobite uprising of 1715. He returned for two brief visits in the 1760’s and died in 1778)
Page 197 In commenting on population totals, the writers refers to workers from other parishes employed in the first decade of the 1800’s in making the turnpike road.
Page 206 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication, Etc.
—Peterhead, 5 miles away, is the market and post town. The turnpike from Peterhead to Fraserburgh passes through the parish - a coach runs on it three times a week. The bridge over the Ugie, on the turnpike, was built in the time of James II of England.
Page 213 The parish is much troubled by vagrant poor. No fairs. Four inns. Peat and turf are used as fuel, and some coal from Peterhead - a peat caster is employed rather than the tenants own servants to obtain the peat.

Description of Countrey of Buchan Aberdeenshire 1721

Page 39 Bridge over Eugie in parish of St Fergus, near to Peterhead.
Description Parish of St Fergus, Banffshire and Crimond, Aberdeenshire 1722

Page 66 Bridge over Eugie at Inverugie in St Fergus parish, also 2 fords close by. Bridge over water of Anchie.

(v.4, p.57)

Page 60 Aberdeen is easily reached with the produce of the parish, and where lime etc. can be brought in return.
Peat used as fuel.
140 carts, one chaisse.
The roads are just adequate. There are no turnpikes and they are not wished for. Some necessary bridges have now been built.

NSA (on Edina site - browse scanned pages)
Page 1098 Mention of the Roman road passing through the parish between the rivers Dee and Don.
Page 1100 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.—In the east of the parish the road from Aberdeen splits into two branches of turnpike road: one through the middle of the parish towards Alford and Strathdon; the other to the south, towards Tarland and Kincardine. On the first road there is a stage-coach to Alford and a mail-gig. The market town is Aberdeen from where coal, lime and bone-manure are brought. The commutation roads are now in much better condition.
Page 1101 Inns, Etc.—Two inns on the middle turnpike, used by travellers and carriers. There are various shops and tradesmen in the parish.
Fuel.—Peat is easily available in the parish. Some wood, and coal from Aberdeen is also used.

(v.5, p.275)

Details of the fishing trade.
Page 281 Local limestone used about 20 years ago in repairing the Aberdeen to Peterhead highway. The growth of clover on patches where this had been used, when the rest of the road was bare, suggested its use as a manure.
Page 285 Miscellaneous Facts.
Peats are the only fuel used here. The roads are kept in pretty good repair by the statute labour, though this is not fully sufficient. There are no turnpikes.
Seven ale-houses
Ellon is the nearest post-office.

Smuggling was very prevalent here and the caves on the coast afforded good hiding places for the contraband.
Page 596 Parochial Economy.
Market-Town.—Ellon is the nearest market and post town, 6 miles away.
Ale-houses.—Three ale-houses; one spirit dealer.

(v.13, p.171)

Page 175 Butter and cheese are taken to the market at Tarland, 9 miles away. Cattle are sold to Aberdeen burchers, or to drovers.
Forty years ago there were only one or two carts - creels being used for carrying dung and peats, a practice that continues in the upper part of the parish. In the lower part there are 50 or more carts. One gentleman has a carriage.
Page 185 The roads are not good; the statute labour is mostly done in kind, with some choosing to pay the commutation rate of 1s.6d.
There are 2 stone bridges on the Don, one just west of the church, the other at the castle of Corgarff, on the King's road from Edinburgh to Fort George.
Two ale-houses but no inn for travellers.

Military roads in Strathdon
Page 526 Mention of the old military road by Corgarff over to Fort George.
Page 531 In the floods of 1829 the water reached within a few feet of the keystone of the arch on the bridge of Pooldhulie Bridge, normally 24 feet above the river.
Page 544 There is a fortification just above the confluence of the Nochty and the Don. It is in line with traces of a Roman road mentioned by Chalmers and so could have been Roman, although there is also the possibility that it may have been later.
Page 549 Poaching in the hills still continues carried out by “bands of desperate characters”, though from outwith the parish.
Page 553 Parochial Economy. Market-Town.—The nearest is Aberdeen, 45 miles away, where grain and other produce is taken, and where coal, merchandize and groceries are obtained. There is a weekly market for butcher-meat at Rhynie, 18 miles away.
Means of Communication.— Eighteen miles of a turnpike road runs through to Corgarff and there are good cross roads made by the heritors on their estates. Three stone bridges over the Don and 7 over other rivers. There is an old bridge at Pooldhulie (it, and one other survived the floods of 1829), Luib bridge built in 1832, and an iron bridge over the Nochty on the turnpike road. A coach runs to Aberdeen every second day; in winter it stops at Mossat, 12 miles away.
Page 557 Fairs.—Five, for sheep, cattle, meal etc.
Inns and Alehouses.—One inn and 5 licensed houses. Seven have been closed through the exertions of the writer with the support of the heritors.
Fuel.—Peat and wood, although coal from Aberdeen is bought by the better-off.
Miscellaneous Observations.
Among the great improvements since the last accounts are the access to the strath given by the turnpike, the good cross-roads, and bridges. Unlike the last account when manure was still carried out in creels and there were only 50 carts, there are now 309 carts, and nearly all proprietors have a carriage.

Description of eighteen parishes in the shire and diocese of Aberdeen C.1720

Page 21 Boat of Alford over the river Don in Strathdone parish. The highway between Perth and Inverness passes through here. There is a new bridge over the Don at Pot of Pool d’oylie.
Page 37 Bridge of Peiduly near Strathdon kirk.

(v.7, p.416)

Page 417 Roads in good order. Yarn market.
Page 419 Post office. Five markets in the parish. Lime and peat available locally.

Page 689 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication - The Aberdeen to Fraserburgh turnpike road passes through; a mail-coach runs on this. There is also a turnpike between Peterhead and Banff, passing through Mormond, and a turnpike to Fraserburgh much used for transporting lime, bone, and manure as well as grain.
The mail comes from Aberdeen daily to the post office, and a carrier goes weekly to that town.
Page 692 Inns.—Three.
Fairs.—Five horse and cattle fairs.
1840. Revised 1842.

Description of the Parish of Strichen 1723

Page 60 There are three highways in the parish of Strichen. One comes in from Pitsligo and goes to Old Deer, Ellon and Aberdeen; another comes from Frazerburgh and goes to New Deer and Turriff; and a third that passes between Old Deer and Frazerburgh going by Rindrought. There is a ford at Rindrought and a timber bridge for horse and foot.
There are three bridges in the parish: Rindrought, as said; Howfoord for those on foot only though there is also a ford; and one just above the church with a nearby ford. There is another ford near the church at the old mill of Streechen on the way to Pitsligo and Aberdour.

Tarland and Migvie
(v.6, p.222)

The village of Tarland has a weekly market and 6 fairs. There are several shops and trades in the village.
Page 227 There is a stone bridge over the Deskry at Rippachy on the highway from Strathdon to Aberdeen. It allows access by another road to Tarland, and through Cromar.
Page 232 The roads, which are statute labour, are in good condition.


Page 843 Lime and coals brought from Aberdeen and elsewhere.
Tarland is the market-town for this area. There are 7 markets for cattle, horses, farm produce etc.
Parochial Economy.
—The village of Tarland has a post and stamp office, an inn and alehouses, and several shops for groceries etc.
Bridge over the burn of Tarland - it allows communication between Dee and Don-side. Recently a turnpike road was made to Aberdeen which passes through the parishes of Coull, Lumphanan, Kincardine O'Neil, and Midmar. Since the statute labour was commuted the cross-roads have improved. 1842

(v.5, p.309)

Page 311 Markets attended are in Aberdeen and Old Meldrum.
Peat used as fuel.
Miscellaneous Observations - The statute labour roads are adequate. There used to be fairs held nearly every month in the village near the church for black cattle etc. “Now there are only 5 or 6 fairs or markets in the parish.


Page 670 In describing farming 70 years before, he says that manure and peat were carried on creels on horseback, and meal was carried to market in sacks, also on horseback. It was only the landed proprietors who had carts or wheeled carriages.
Page 673 Cattle sent to Aberdeen for use there, or are taken by steamer to London.
Page 675 Parochial Economy.
Roads and Markets.
— There are good markets for farm produce and easy access by turnpike road to Aberdeen and Newburgh. English lime is brought up the Ythan to Waterton.
Roads have been made in the parish and are in excellent condition.
There are 6 long-standing markets here for cattle, horses, and grain. As said, many of the cattle are sent to London.

(v.8, p.261)

Page 267 Roads.—The roads are better than they ever were, though there is still room for improvement. Some lie too low on a clay bottom and so become “deep and heavy in the winter”; they need to be raised and gravel spread on them.
It is recognised by men of property in the district that good roads are needed for their estates to improve. At a recent meeting the plans and estimates for a new road to Aberdeen were approved and subscriptions given. Statute labour is commuted.
Fuel, etc.—Peat and turf obtainable close by.
Page 270 An inn is needed for travellers on the road from Aberdeen to Strathdon that passes through here.

Page 617 Parochial Economy.
Market-Towns.— Inverury and Kintore, each about 13 miles away.
Means of Communication.— Turnpike to Kintore - farmers sometimes take produce to the canal there and bring back lime. Mostly however they go to Aberdeen as terms are better. It is 22 miles by a relatively flat turnpike road.
Two turnpikes touch the parish: Aberdeen to Strathdon on which there is a stage and mail coach, and Aberdeen to Tarland. There is a post-office at Whitehouse. Bridges in good condition.
Page 619 Although there is no market in the parish, several are held in nearby places, e.g. Alford, Scuttry and Monymusk.
Inn.—There is a respectable inn at Whitely, on the high road.
Fuel.— Peat.
Miscellaneous Observations. - He discusses the problems caused by the wandering poor.
1835. Revised 1842.

(v.4, p.547)

Page 550 Some meal and bear is sold up country near the head of the rivers Dee and Don, and some to Aberdeen where sheep are also taken. Black cattle are bought up, here and in neighbouring parishes and taken south.
Page 552 Miscellaneous Observations. -“The scarcity of fuel, which is turf, peat, and heath, brought from hills far off, and the distance from a sea-port, are great disadvantages to this parish.
The roads here are indifferent. They were originally made, and are kept in repair by the statute labour, which is partly exacted in kind, and partly commuted. When paid in kind, it turns generally to little account. A general commutation seems to be the preferable mode.

Page 419 Means of Communication.— There are two roads to Aberdeen: the old road and the turnpike road. In addition to the 2 miles of turnpike there are about 10 miles of commutation road.
Ale-houses.— Two licensed ale and spirit-dealers.
Fairs.—Two cattle trysts and 2 feeing markets.
Miscellaneous Observations.
Although the roads are much improved, there is still much to be done, especially bye-roads to the farms.
There are 3 wooden foot-bridges on the Don but they are often impassable when the river is flooded; this is inconvenient and dangerous for school children.

Tullynessle and Forbes
(v.4, p.27) Tullynessle only; for Forbes see Forbes and Kearn

Page 28 Cattle bought by drovers.
Page 32 “The roads are in better repair in this than in most other parishes; the statute labour has hitherto been exacted in kind; and although a commutation has been proposed, it has not, in general, been agreed on as the most proper mode for this country.
The fuel generally made use of, is turf and heath from the hills, there being very little peat to be got in the parish.


Page 455 Parochial Economy.
—Aberdeen, more than 26 miles away, is the main market town. Lime is brought from quarries at Ardonald and Grange, both nearly 20 miles away, by a road that passes through Huntly. The bulk of the grain is carried to Aberdeen.
There are several monthly markets and two fairs in neighbouring Alford for cattle and grain.
Means of Communication.—Post-office served by the Aberdeen mail-gig that takes 3 hours for the journey. The Lord Forbes stage-coach runs every two days to Aberdeen. The Bridge-Inn is very fine, conveniently sited where the road from Huntly to Kincardine and the Grampians crosses the Aberdeen to Strathdon road, and promises to be a fine resort for fishing etc.
The bridge is very fine. It was damaged in 1829 but quickly repaired. There is also a wooden bridge, 3 miles upriver, built by the Master of Forbes near his mansion-house.
1838. Revised 1840.

Description of eighteen parishes in the shire and diocese of Aberdeen C.1720

Page 35 A highway between Edinburgh and Inverness runs through Tullinessel parish.


Page 397 In 1511 it was made a burgh of barony with the right to hold a market and fairs.
Five carriers in the parish.
Page 409 Cattle sold to drovers.
Page 410 Details of peat and turf used for fuel.

Page 993 Mention of the Boat of Magie.
Page 999 Cattle sent to London by steamer.
Page 1004 Eggs.—Several old women travel around the parish buying eggs and sending them by carrier to Aberdeen.
Fairs.—Eight fairs for cattle, sheep etc. Feeing-markets are also held though they do have a bad effect on morals.
Page 1005 Parochial Economy. Market-Town, Etc. and the nearest Sea Ports.—Although there is no weekly market, butcher meat is available and there are several shops where all commodities can be obtained. There are also many trademen and artisans.
The nearest posts are Banff and Macduff, both about 10 miles away. Grain is exported from both, and coal, lime, bone-dust and other merchandise brought in.

Means of Communication.—Post-office with deliveries twice a day. A stage-coach between Aberdeen and Banff passes through each lawful day, and a number of carriers both from these towns and others pass through regularly.
Roads.—The turnpike road that passes through here does not have the best line and was not constructed in the way roads are now which makes it difficult to repair. As a result it does not give a good return on the money laid out to construct it.
The statute labour is commuted - he gives details of how the money is raised both for the parish and the town.
Bridges.—A stone bridge was built in 1826 over the Doveron at a cost of L.2500, raised by subscription and a loan. There is a pontage, used to pay off the interest on the loan. There is a bridge over the burn of Turriff, and some smaller ones, all in good condition.
Page 1011 Coal Fund.—This was set up about 18 years ago, whereby coal brought from Banff and Macduff is supplied to those in need of it.
Page 1013 Inns, Etc.— Respectable inns and taverns in the town, and numerous ale-houses and spirit-shops.
Police, Etc.—The parish was formerly much troubled by vagrants and travelling mendicants, but they are much less since the rural police was established.
Fuel.—Mostly English coal.
November 1842.

Description of Countrey of Buchan Aberdeenshire 1721

Page 42 Bridge in Turriff.
Description Parishes of Ochterless, Tureff and Fyvie in Aberdeen 1723

Page 92 In Turriff parish there is a bridge over the Turriff near the town.. The king’s highway from Aberdeen to Banff passes through the town.

(v.6, p.138)

Page 144 Improvements - In talking about conditions 40 years before, he remarks that:
the communication from place to place was along paths which were to be known by the footsteps of beasts that passed through them,” and that “their peats were brought home in creels; the few things the farmer had to sell were carried to market, upon the backs of horses; and their dunghills were hard by their doors.


Page 724 Parochial Economy.
Market Town.
— Fraserburgh, 5 miles away.
Means of Communication.—Post office in New Pitsligo. Eight miles of turnpike.
Page 727 Fairs, Inns, Alehouses, Etc.—Four cattle-markets and, recently, a corn-market every fortnight.
Two inns and 6 alehouses in New Pitsligo.

(v.4, p.156)

Produce sent to Aberdeen.
The public roads are very bad and under poor management.

Page 135 Parochial Economy.
Means of Communication.
—There is a post-office here served daily from Aberdeen. Turnpikes from Aberdeen lead to the north and to Meldrum with another over to Newburgh. Coaches run on the two Aberdeen roads. Bridges on the main roads are excellent.
Page 137 Fairs.—Three well-attended fairs mostly for black cattle.
Fuel.—About half is peat, still gathered with much effort; the other half is coal which is much cheaper.