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Botriphnie, Banffshire

Historical Description

BOTRIPHNIE, a parish, in the county of BANFF, 5½ miles (S. W.) from Keith; containing 714 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated in the narrowest part of the county, is bounded by Aberdeenshire on the south, and on the north by Moray, and measures about four miles and a half from north to south, and three miles from east to west. It consists principally of a beautiful vale, lying between two ridges of hills, respectively on the north and south; and comprises 9386 acres, of which 4360 are in tillage, 3540 waste and pasture (430 of these being considered capable of profitable cultivation), and 1486 acres under natural wood and in plantations. The strath is watered by the small river Isla, which, taking its rise at a loch in the western portion, runs between banks beautifully ornamented with alder and birch trees. The soil is a rich black loam in some places, and in others a strong clay, incumbent on a bed of limestone, replete with numerous springs of fine water. A large extent of land, consisting of alluvial soil, has been added in later times to the cultivated ground, by the straightening of the course of the river, and now produces in good seasons heavy crops of grain. Extensive tracts, also, of moor or rough pasture have been brought under tillage, chiefly by the use of lime obtained from the limestone so plentiful in the locality. The annual value of real property in the parish is £2620. The only mansion is Botriphnie House, a shooting-seat. A public road from the upper districts passes through to Keith and Banff, and has two branches near the centre of the parish, one leading to Huntly, and the other to Fochabers and Elgin. A fair, called Fumach fair from a tutelary saint, is held on the 15th of February for general commodities and for horses, few, however, of the latter being brought for sale. Ecclesiastically the parish is in the presbytery of Strathbogie, synod of Moray, and in the patronage of the Earl of Fife; the minister's stipend is about £178, with a manse, and a glebe of six acres, valued at £10 per annum. The church was built in 1820, and has lately been repaired and renovated. The parochial school affords instruction in the usual branches; the master has a salary of £30, with a house, £7 fees, and a share of the Dick bequest.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland, 1851 by Samuel Lewis