THE name is said to have been derived of one of the King Kenneths, and taken from a tradition that a grave stone (now within the walls of the old church), had originally been placed over "the grave of the Scottish Monarch." On the stone there is engraven a shield, on one quarter of which a boar's head is visible, and, under the shield, the date 1685 and the initials H. G. The stone is now placed on the burial ground of a family of the name of Gordon, and as the arms and initials refer to that family, there appears to be but little foundation for this tradition. The name is sometimes spelled Kinnethmont, which, in its literal translation, or acceptation, signifies "the head, or end of the hill." But as the etymology of names is generally matters of mere conjecture, its true Celtic meaning would be "the hill at the head or point where the water divides. Cean-neith-monadh, a name, or description which applies with peculiar propriety to the parish, as in the very centre of it the water shears, part falling to the Bogie and the Doveran on the west, and part to the Ury and the Don on the east.
Kennethmont is bounded on the north by the parish and barony of Gartly, on the east by the parish of Insch, on the south by Leslie aud Clatt, and on the west by the water of Bogie and the parish of Rhynie.
The extreme length of the parish in a direct line from the lowest point on the Shevach Water on the east, to the Bogie on the west is six miles, and from Seggyden on the Clatt boundary to the Cults boundary with Gartly on the north, it is 3½ miles, also in a direct line. The whole area is estimated to be 8,471 acres, 932 decs.
The Melsach and the ridges of the west Foudland Hills, form the northern bounding hills of the parish with Gartly, and the highest point on this division, is about 1,400 feet above sea level. The hill of Christs Church, in the Rathmoreal or east division of the parish is 1,021 feet, and the church of Kennethmont is 588 feet above sea level. The eastern division is hilly, and around Sleepy Kirk, the hills are steep. On the southern boundaries with Leslie and Clatt there is the lower rounded hills of Law, Duncanstown, and Ardlair, and on the west the small rocky hill of Craighall. The lowermost point of the parish on the Bogie Water is about 530 feet above sea level, and from this point, eastward, the half cultivated braes of Cults and Candie rise into the higher bounding ridges with Gartly, which terminate the west Foudland range of hills, while the southern slopes of these hills, and along the valley of Kennethmont, by Leith-hall and Wardhouse, are mostly covered with thriving plantations, presenting a favourable contrast to the bare bleak hills and hill slopes along Bogie-side.
[A New History of Aberdeenshire, Alexander Smith (Ed), 1875]
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