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Cluny, Aberdeenshire

Historical Description

CLUNY, a parish, in the district of KINCARDINE O'NEIL, county of ABERDEEN, 15 miles distant (W. by N.) from Aberdeen; containing 959 inhabitants. The name of this place, signifying in Gaelic "meadows interspersed with rising grounds", is descriptive of the appearance of the locality. The parish is about ten miles in length from east to west, and about two in breadth; the soil is mostly warm and dry, and the lands are intersected by several rivulets, some of them of considerable size, descending from the surrounding hills in different directions, and sometimes overflowing the adjacent low grounds. In the western part is a mountain called the Forest of Corranie, forming the boundary of the parish in that direction, and which, though now destitute of wood, was formerly, it is said, remarkable for a profusion of it. The rent of land averages thirteen shillings per acre; agricultural improvements have been for a considerable time steadily advancing, and the generally level surface is favourable to the operations of husbandry. The annual value of real property in the parish is £4425. The gentlemen's seats comprise the Castle of Cluny, erected in the beginning of the fifteenth century, and lately rebuilt in a superior style; Castle-Fraser, erected also in the beginning of the fifteenth century; and the lately built mansion-house of Linton. The produce of the parish is usually sent to Aberdeen, the Skene and Alford turnpike-road passing through, and affording facility for its transit. Many of the inhabitants were formerly employed in the knitting of stockings. Ecclesiastically the parish is in the presbytery of Kincardine O'Neil, synod of Aberdeen; and the Crown, the proprietor of Cluny, and the proprietor of Castle-Fraser, are patrons in turn, the first exercising patronage on account of half the old parish of Kinnerny having been annexed to Cluny in 1743. The minister's stipend is £173. 16. 7., with a manse, and a glebe valued at £20 per annum. The church is a plain substantial edifice, erected in lieu of the former building, which had become ruinous, in 1789. There is a place of worship for members of the Free Church. The parochial school affords instruction in the ordinary branches: the master has a salary of £25. 13. 4., with an allowance for a garden, and £14 fees; he also shares in the Dick bequest, and receives the interest of £200, left by Mr. Robertson, for teaching eight poor children.

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