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

The name of this parish in some ancient writings is spelled Gar-eun-tully, which, in Gaelic, signifies "the birds field among the knolls," while Gartly is derived from Gort-tully, signifying "the field of the knolls." The parish is intersected from south to north by the Bogie Water; the division lying on the west side of the stream is called the Braes of Gartly, and the division which lies on the east of the Bogie is called the Barony, and it belongs to Banffshire, but legally and politically it is in Aberdeenshire.

The parish is bounded on the north by the parishes of Huntly and Drumblade; on the east by Insch; on the south by Kennethmont and Rhynie; and on the west by the Banffshire part of the parish of Glass.

The extreme breadth of the parish, in a direct line from the Bogs of Noth to the top of the Clashmach, is 5¼ miles, and the extreme length, also in a direct line from east to west, is about 8½ miles. The whole area is computed to be 18,126 acres; the Braes, or Aberdeenshire portion, comprising nearly two thirds, or 11,778 acres.

The configuration of the parish of Gartly is, on the whole, hilly. The hills west of the Bogie, on the borders of Glass, Huntly, and especially on Rhynie, are mountainous. The valley of the Bogie Water is irregular in outline, being bounded east and west by low rounded hills, such as usually appear in all greywacke districts. The Braes, which lie on the west of the Bogie, are intersected from west to east by the glens of the Kirkney Waters and of Tillyminnet, which are of great pastoral beauty. Those formed by the burn of Drumfergue, the Priests' Water, the burns of Tillathrowie, Burngarry and Collithie, are generally narrow, and in their higher courses have less than a half cultivated aspect. The Clashmach-hill, on the Huntly boundary of the parish, is 1,146 feet above sea level. From the Clashmach, the bounding ridge of hills rise in a westerly direction by the Corseshalloch Hills to Glass, thence southward by the ridge along the Banffshire boundary to the top of the Craigwater in Rhynie. The hills on the southern boundary with Rhynie run from the Banffshire boundary at the source of the burn of Drumfergue, eastward by the southern ridge of Tillyminnet, and the northern slopes of the mountain of Noth to the Bogie; but the "Tap o'Noth" (1,852 feet) is in Rhynie, and beyond the boundary of Gartly. The highest point on the Bogie Water at the Bogs of Noth is 524 feet above sea level; the lowermost point of the stream is at the burn of Tullochbeg, at the bridge of Greenhaugh, and is about 386 feet; and the church of Gartly is 486 feet. The ridge of the Foudland Hills runs westward from the Melshach-moss to the Bogie, and forms the bounding range with Kennethmont on the south, and the highest point on these hills is about 1,400 feet. The eastern and northern ridges also run from the Foudland Hills northward by Glenniestown and the top of the water of Ury, and includes the Cothill of Bothwellseat (800 feet), on the Drumblade boundary, thence westward by the burn of Birkenhills to the Bogie at Bucharn.

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