A New History of Aberdeenshire, Alexander Smith (Ed), 1875

The ancient name of this parish was Philorth, but no conjecture has ever been advanced as to its origin. In the early part of the sixteenth century, the sea port of Philorth was near to the old church and churchyard of Kirkton, then near to the mouth of the burn of Keithock, and it was called Faithlie; but in the middle of the century (1546), a town and harbour was built near the Warld's End and Kinnnaird's Head, by Sir Alexander Fraser of Philorth, which, from the name of the superior, was called Fraser-burgh,and in 1613, a charter was obtained, erecting the place into "a free port, burgh of barony and of regality," after which it became a place of considerable trade, and from it arose the present denomination of the parish. The town of Faithlie has long since disappeared, the burn of Keithock is now conveyed through the sand hills to the sea, by an arched conduit, and nothing remains but the ruins of the old church and burying-ground at Kirktown of Philorth.

The chief division of the parish is bounded on the north by the Moray Firth and the German Ocean; on the east and south it is bounded by the parish of Rathen; and on the west by the parish of Pitsligo. The parish of Rathen intersects it for about a mile in the centre, and the detached, or western division of Fraserburgh is bounded on the north and east by Rathen; on the south it is bounded by Strichen and the hill of Mormond; and on the west by the detached portion of the parish of Aberdour, and the parish of Tyrie.

The extreme length of the parish, measured in a direct line from Kinnaird's Head to the south-west most point of the disjoined portion (north-east to south-west), and including the interjecting part of Rathen is about 7½ miles; and the extreme breadth, measured in a direct line, from the mouth of the water of Philorth, to the boundary with Pitsligo on the sea shore (south-east to north-west) is about 3¾ miles. The area of the principal division of the parish is computed to be 5,920 acres, and that of the detached portion about 2,879 acres; together, 8,799 acres.

The general appearance of the principal division of the parish is flat, but somwhat undulatory. The lighthouse on Kinnaird's Head stands 61 feet above sea level; and the parish church, in Saltoun Square 41 feet. The south bay of Fraserburgh is skirted by low drifted sand-hillocks, covered by sea-reed (Ammophilla arundinacea), and the land along the water of Philorth, on the east, from the sea to the southern boundary of the parish, near to the church of Rathen, a distance of about three miles, is flat, and the flow upon the stream extremely sluggish, the rise upon the three miles being only 18 feet. On the western division, or disjoined portion of the parish, the land rises from the Mill of Techmuiry, to the Craighill of Tarwathie, into higher round-backed hills, with mossy flats between, and into the brown-backed ridge of Mormond, the highest point of which is 744 feet above sea level.

[A New History of Aberdeenshire, Alexander Smith (Ed), 1875]