A New History of Aberdeenshire, Alexander Smith (Ed), 1875
In ancient writings the name of this parish is spelled Lanfanan, Lonfanan, Lonfannan, Lunfanan, and now it is spelled Lumphanan, which is undoubtedly an English corruption of the name. It may have been Lan, Lon, or Lun, but, assuming it to have been Lunfanan, in Gaelic, Lan-fionan, it would signify --Lan, an enclosure, or fertile spot, fion, fair or white, and an, water; that is, "the enclosure by the fair stream." The author of the Statistical Account, 1843, says "that the name comes from three Celtic words, that is Llan or Lun, a church, fan, a descent, and an, water; a derivation which might naturally suggest itself to those who observed that the principal stream in the parish passes near to the church." We, however, presume to say that the prefix has no meaning in the Gaelic language for a church, and it must refer to the enclosure of the Peel-bog and the fair stream which passes near to it.
The author of the Statistical Account of the parish, 1794, says the name in Gaelic signifies "the bare little hollow," which might have been the case when he came to know it, but time has produced great changes - bare it is, but, little it has never been, neither does the ancient spelling of the name warrant such a conclusion, no more than Llan means a church.
It is bounded on the north and west by the parish of Coull; on the north by the parish of Leochel-Cushnie; on the east by the parish of Kincardine O'Neil; and on the south by the parish of Aboyne.
From the lowermost point on the water of Dess on the south, to the lowermost point on the water of Leochel on the north, the distance, in direct line is 5¾ miles; and from the lowermost point on the burn of Beltie on the east, to the boundary of the parish of Coull on the west, on the Tyrebeggar Hills, the distance is about 5¼ miles. The whole area is computed to be 8,757 acres, 648 decs.
The range of hills which lie to the west of the valley of Lumphanan are those of Tillylair, 1,573 feet (Tulach-iolare, the Knoll of the Eagles), and the Tyrebeggar road is 1,312 feet. On the east, the ridge of hills which partly bound the parish with Kincardine O'Neil, are those of Wester Kincardine, the Slock of Tillyching (the Tulach-choinich, the Sloch beside the mosses), and the hills of Cloak and the Clash, joined by the central spurs of the Milmaud Hills (Meall-meadh, the middle hill), which occupies a very prominent position about two miles north of the church. To the north of Milmaud lie the lands of Camphill, which slope to the water of Leochel; and to the north of Benaquhalie, 1,621 feet, are the lands of Kintocher, which are the lowest on the north side of the hills. The lowest point on the Commissioners' road, on the burn of Dess, is 420 feet above sea level; the junction of the Commissioners' road with the Raemoir road, near Bogloch, is 484 feet : the church of Lumphanan is 527 feet : the cross roads in Lumphanan is 937 feet; and the lowest point in the parish, on the burn of Beltie, below Pitmurchie (Murdochs hollow) is about 480 feet.
[A New History of Aberdeenshire, Alexander Smith (Ed), 1875]