"MELDRUM, a parish and burgh of barony, in the district of Garioch, county of Aberdeen; containing 1873 inhabitants, of whom 1102 are in the burgh, 17 miles (S. S. E.) from Turriff, and 17¾ (N. N. W.) from Aberdeen. This place was anciently called Bethelnie, and is supposed to have derived that appellation, signifying in the Hebrew language "the House of God", from the early erection of a church, which at that time was the only religious edifice within a very extensive district. . . The town is situated on the turnpike-road from Aberdeen to Banff, and consists of several irregularly-formed streets; the houses are mostly well built, and many of them of handsome appearance. The cotton manufacture is pursued to some extent, there being two establishments belonging to the manufacturers of Aberdeen, in which a number of persons of both sexes are employed in hand-loom weaving. . . The PARISH is about seven miles and a half in extreme length, varying in breadth from two to five miles, and comprising an area of 7474 acres, of which 5774 are arable. . . Meldrum House, the seat of B. C. Urquhart, Esq., superior of the burgh, is a spacious and elegant mansion, completed in 1840, and beautifully situated in a demesne enriched with ancient timber and with thriving plantations of modern growth. For ECCLESIASTICAL purposes the parish is within the bounds of the presbytery of Garioch and synod of Aberdeen. . . Meldrum church, an ancient structure erected in 1654, and repaired and reseated in 1810, is centrically situated, and contains 700 sittings. There are places of worship for members of the Free Church and United Presbyterian Church, and an episcopal chapel. . . More"
[From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1851) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]