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

The ancient name of this parish was Peter Ugie, in Latin Inverugy Petri, which is found in many old charters. It was formerly of much greater extent than at present, and extended westward for a distance of about nine miles, and included, till 1620, the parish of Longside, formerly called Western Ugie. "The town, previous to 1593, was called Keith Inch, and at one time belonged to the Abbey of Deer, afterwards to the Earl of Marischal, and sold in 1715 to the York Buildings, or Fishery Company of Scotland, which, breaking up in A.D. 1726, it was sold by them to the Governors of the Merchant Maiden's Hospital in Edinburgh."

It is bounded on the north by the Ugie and the parish of Saint Fergus; on the east by the German Ocean; on the south by the parish of Cruden; and on the west by the parish of Longside.

The greatest length of the parish in a direct line from the Cloven Stone, on the Cruden boundary, to the Ugie at New Seat (south-east to north-west), is 6½ miles; and the greatest breadth in a direct line, from Keith Inch to the march with Longside at Toddlehills (east to west), is 4¼ miles. The whole area is computed to be 9,449¼ acres.

The southern parts of the parish are hilly and bare. The Stirling-hill, which forms the well-known promotory of the Buchan-ness, has an elevation of 260 feet; and from it the land rises into the Blackhills, which are about 350 feet--the Saddle-hill, intervening, is 254 feet; the church of Boddam is about 70 feet; and the Reform Tower on the Meet-hill stands 181 feet above sea level. The junction of the Auchtygall with the Aberdeen road, at the burgh boundary is 91 feet; the parish church is 32 feet; the Howe o'Buchan is about 76 feet; the hill of Cocklaw is 300 feet; and the Longside parish boundary on the Buchan turnpike is 142 feet above sea level. The level, crossing at the Peterhead Railway Station is 46 feet, the old wind-mill of Blackhouse is 94 feet, the bridge over the Collie burn, on the Fraserburgh road, is 28 feet, and the bridge over the Ugie, also on the same road, is 16 feet. The Copland- hill is 112 feet, the Inverugie Railway Station is 86 feet; Mount- pleasant is 107 feet, the highest ground on Barnyards is 141 feet, on Smiddyhill it is 160 feet, and on the Longside boundary of the parish at Glendaveny it is about 150 feet.

From the south head at Peterhead, to the Buchan-ness light-house, nearly due south, inclining to west, the sea coast has two bays in it--the bays of Peterhead and Sandford--the Peterhead bay receding inland from a straight line drawn between the two headlands, about one mile and one furlong at the Brickwork--and the Sandford bay, about one mile. The headland which divides these bays--the Salthouse-head--recedes about half a mile. The Skerry-rock lies north east of the Buchan-ness about half a mile, and outside this line about 150 yards. On the southern extremity of the parish, and on the sea shore, is the Hare, or Cleft Stone, which marks the boundary between Peterhead and Cruden; and the Stirling-hill quarries, so well known for the large solid blocks which they produce. Opposite to these quarries, and a short distance seawards, is the rock or island of Dundony, where, in former times, it is said there was a salt pan. Within a few hundred yards of these quarries, northward, stands the old castle of Boddam, formerly the seat of Keith, Knight of Ludquharn. It stands between two deep gullies, into which the sea, in easterly gales, rushes with uncontrollable fury. South of the old castle is Boddam Lodge, and the village of Boddam, with the lighthouse, which was finished, and the light first exhibited, in 1827. The lighthouse stands on an insular rock at the southern extremity of the bay of Peterhead, from which it is distant fully two miles in a direct line. The lantern stands 130 feet above high water mark spring tides. It has a revolving light, flashing once every five seconds, and was the invention of the late Mr. Robert Stevenson. The Tower is seen, in clear weather, from the Girdleness light at Aberdeen, and the light at the distance at sea of sixteen nautical miles. Proceeding from Boddam northwards, we pass the Peterhead Granite Polishing Works Sandford, the MeetHill, the new Distillery Works at Invernettie, and the fishing village at Burnhaven, which lies on the south side of the Salthouse head, and the Brick Works, which are just within the boundary of the burgh of Peterhead, and a little over 32 miles from Aberdeen. The sea shore north of Peterhead is rather of a convex form, and its general direction inclines to the north-west, till it reaches the mouth of the Ugie, which divides the parish of Peterhead from St. Fergus. The northern anD western parts of the parish are all cultivated, and diversified with clumps of planting. The prospect is extremely pleasant when viewed from some of the higher ground. Along the valley of the Ugie, with its many windings, are the finely situate mansions of Balmoor, Mountpleasant, Ellishill, and the fine old ruin of Raven's Craig, by which a path leads along the river, through a rich and fertile strath, till entering the haughs of Rora, in the parish of Longside.

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