Towie Kinbetach


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

The ancient name of this parish was Kilbartha, or Bartha's cell or church. Kill meaning the residence of a saint, but it is more frequently applied to a chapel appropriated to the worship of a saint, and a small piece of ground around the chapel, which was considered sanctified. Latterly it was called Towie-Kinbattoch, and in the Cess-book of the County it is denominated Towie Brux; Tuath (the letters th not sounded), meaning "the north side." Kin, or Caenn, meaning a head, point, or end; and Battoch, "the fair prominent hill." It is now called Towie, which means "the north side of the hills," and is very descriptive of the southern division of the parish, in which the church is situated.

It is bounded on the west by the Glenkindie part of Strathdon and the parish of Kildrummy; on the east by that part of Kildrummy which lies south of the Don, and the parish of Leochel-Cushnie; on the south by part of Logie-Coldstone and Migvie; and on the west also by Logie-Coldstone and the Rippachy division of Tarland and Migvie.

In a direct line from Tillypronie, in Migvie, on the south, to Chapelhaugh of Glenkindie, on the north, it is five miles, exclusive of the detached portion; and from Hillockhead, on the east, to Kinbattoch, on the west, it is about 5¼ miles. The whole area of the parish is computed to be 12,214.328 acres, including 740 acres, the area of the detached portion which lies to the north of Chapelhaugh.

The southern bounding hills extend in a long ridge from the hill of Cushnie to Tillypronie and Foulis on the west, and on this ridge the Broomhill, or the hill of Dava, is 1,882 feet above sea level. Tombeith, which is on the west of Belnaboth, is 1,340 feet; the church of Towie is 748 feet; the hill of Trancie, on Nether Towie, is 1,078 feet; the Donside road at Milltown of Towie is 694 feet; and the same road, on the march with Leochel-Cushnie, at Hillockhead, is 832 feet. The lowest point on the Don, at the confluence of the burn which bounds the parish with Kildrummy, is about 600 feet; and the highest point on the river, at the boundary with the Rippachy division of Tarland and Migvie, is about 735 feet. The march of the parish in the top of the Den of Kildrummy is 912 feet; the Cairn of Fichley, on the Glasscull Hill, is 1,177 feet; and the highest point on the Garlet Hill is 1,595 feet. The highest land on the detached portion of the parish, on the Cabrach boundary, and near to the sources of the Doveran, is 1,734 feet above sea level.

Excepting some haughs on the banks of the Don at Drumallachy, Kinclune, Brux, and the Manse of Towie, the most of the cultivated land is steep, and in the glens along the lateral streams the hills rise very abruptly. Along the burn of Towie and the glen of Culfork some of the land is almost precipitous. On Drumallachy and Knowhead, the Fichleys, and on the Morlichs, there are some steep cultivated ground, and generally over the whole parish the surface is of a very undulating character. The higher land on the division north of the Don is mostly planted, and, excepting the detached portion, presents a favourable contrast to the mountainous hills in the southern division, particularly on the east and south boundaries, which are bleak and bare.

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