DUNNOTTAR, Kincardineshire - Extract from National Gazetteer, 1868
"DUNNOTTAR, a parish on the coast of county Kincardine, Scotland, 73½ miles from Perth, by the Perth and Aberdeen railway, which has a station at Stonehaven. This parish is watered by the river Carron, which falls into the North Sea at the village of Crawton. It is in the presbytery of Fordoun, and synod of Angus and Mearns. The minister's stipend is £233, in the patronage of the crown. Here is the parish church and schools. The chief antiquity and only object which renders this place of any importance is Dunnottar Castle. It stands on a rock rising 160 feet above the sea, and forms one of the finest ruins in the kingdom. Occupying an extensive area, surrounded by embattled walls, and consisting of numerous towers, it resembles more a ruined town than a decayed fortress. The building now termed the chapel was once the parish church. This castle played an important part in Scotch history. In 1296 it was taken by Sir William Wallace, and in 1336 was mortified by Edward III. In the Civil War it was besieged by the Marquis of Montrose. During the Commonwealth it was selected as the strongest place to protect the regalia from the English army. It was besieged by Cromwell, and surrendered after a protracted resistance. In 1685 it was used as a state prison for Covenanters, who were thrust into a vault, called the "Whig's Vault." It was finally dismantled in 1715."
"COWIE, a village in the parish of Dunnottar, in the county of Kincardine, Scotland, 2 miles N. of Stonehaven. It takes its name from the Cowie rivulet, which, rising near Glenbervie, passes by Cowie Moss and Cowie Common, and falls into the North Sea near Downey Point. The inhabitants are engaged in the herring fisheries."
"CRAWTON, a village in the parish of Dunnottar, in the county of Kincardine, 3 miles S. of Stonehaven."
"CRIGGIE, two villages of this name, one in the parish of Dunnottar, the other in that of St. Cym's, both in the county of Kincardine, Scotland."
"STONEHAVEN, a burgh of barony, market and seaport town in the parishes of Dunnottar and Fetteresso, county Kincardine, Scotland, 7 miles N.E. of Dumlithie, 15 S.S.W. of Aberdeen, and within half a mile of its station on the Aberdeen line of railway. It is situated on Stonehaven Bay, near Carron and Downy Points, and at the confluence of the rivers Carron and Cowie with the North Sea. It is strictly a burgh of barony under magistrates chosen by the superior and feuers, but enjoys most of the privileges of a royal burgh. It is a place of considerable importance, and is composed of an old and a new town, connected by a bridge forming a continuation of the road from the south to Aberdeen. The old town consists of two irregular streets, built on fens granted by the Earls Marischal, within whose estate it was situated; but the new town is laid out on a regular plan, having broad streets with a square in the centre. In this square stands a market-house, erected in 1827, and surmounted by a circular tower. It contains a spacious hall, with a news-room occupying the upper story, and shops underneath. Here also is the county gaol, and where the county courts are holden. The harbour is a natural basin sheltered on the S.E. by a lofty rock, which projects into the sea, and on the N.E. by a good quay. There are two fixed lights on the pier, 18 and 24 feet high, erected in 1839, and seen at a distance of 12 miles. The inside of the harbour has a depth of 16 feet of water. During the season the herring fishery is carried on, and a considerable coasting trade is done in coal, lime, and grain. The woollen manufacture is carried on by two firms, and there are a brewery and a distillery. The town contains gas-works, a water company, three branch banking houses, and several good inns. The sheriff's ordinary court is held every Wednesday in time of session, and a sheriff's small-debt court on the same day, having been removed here from Kincardine, in 1600, under an Act of Parliament. The parish churches of Dunnottar and Fetteresso are situated near the town, and there are also a Free church, an United Presbyterian and an Episcopal chapel; also a chapel, in which the Established Church has evening service, containing one of the finest organs in Scotland. There are two parochial schools, a Free Church school, Episcopalian school, Donaldson's free school, and several others. The Stonehaven Journal is published here every Thursday. At Fetteresso, Cowie, and Dunnottar are extramural cemeteries, and at the last-named place also a garden open to the public. The principal object of interest in the vicinity of Stonehaven is Dunnottar Castle, about 1½ mile S. of the town. This fortress, once of great strength, was built by the Earls Marischal during the contest between Bruce and Baliol, and is seated on a rock 150 feet above sea-level, and almost separated from the lend by a deep chasm. The entrance is by a square tower of great strength, and the ruins form one of the most majestic piles in Scotland. It withstood a long siege by Cromwell, and was often used as a state prison, where several of the nonconforming Presbyterian clergy were confined. It was finally dismantled about the middle of last century, when its proprietor, James Earl Marischal, was attainted of high treason for aiding the Pretender. The scenery is very fine, and Stonehaven has become a fashionable watering place in summer. The air is very salubrious. Market day is Thursday. Fairs are held on the Thursday before Candlemas, Thursday before Lammas, second Thursday in October, Thursday before Christmas (all old style), and on two fixed days in May and November."
[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of
Great Britain and Ireland (1868)
Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]