A New History of Aberdeenshire, Alexander Smith (Ed), 1875
The origin of the name of this parish is unknown. Tradition, which is here not very well supported, refers the origin of the name to the Gaelic word Each (?), signifying a horse, and to the natural instinct that animal is said to possess in finding out water.
The tradition bears, "that a division of an ancient Caledonian army having encamped in this parish, the officers and men, in the time of a severe drought, were reduced to great straits for want of water, when a horse which had been brought to the camp was seen to gallop to a spot where he had been accustomed to drink; and that, by pawing and scratching with his feet, some signs of water was discovered; in which spot, a well having been dug, afforded relief from thirst to the army. In memory of that event, this particular district, and afterwards the parish, is said to have been designated by the above term." [Statistical Account of Echt, 1842.]
The parish of Echt is bounded on the north by the parishes of Cluny and Skene; on the east by Skene and Peter Culter; on the south by Drumoak and Banchory-Ternan; and on the west by Midmar.
The greatest length of the parish, measured in a direct line from east to west, is 4¾ miles, and the greatest breadth, also in a direct line from south to north, is 4¼ miles, and the whole area is computed to be 12,004 acres.
The greater portion of the parish may be called slightly undulating. The northern division consisting of a series of gently rounded hills, commence with the hill of Knockquharn, on the west of the loch of Skene, vhich is 478 feet above sea level, and rising up by the hill of Wester Echt, 557 feet, to the top of the Barmekin, 900 feet, on the west boundary of the parish with Midmar. The lowermost point on the east boundary, is on the Leuchar burn, which bounds the parish with Skene, and it is 252 feet; the hill of Eddieston, on the Peter Culter boundary, is 316 feet, the Garlogie Mills are 258 feet, and the loch of Skene is 275 feet. Dun-echt house is 410 feet, the church of Echt is 332 feet, and the west boundary of the parish with Midmar near Mill of Hole, is 380 feet. The lowermost point on the Gormack, burn, which bounds the parish with Drumoak, is 190 feet, and the highest point on the hill of Fare, which occupies the south-west division, is 1,330 feet, and is the highest land in the parish. The bridge of Corskie, on the Alford turnpike road is 320 feet above sea level, and the bridge of Kinnernie, on the same road, is 365 feet.
[A New History of Aberdeenshire, Alexander Smith (Ed), 1875]