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Gilcomston, Aberdeenshire

Historical Description

GILCOMSTON, a district, and for a time an ecclesiastical parish, in the parish of Old Machar, city and county of Aberdeen; containing 5194 inhabitants. This place, which forms part of the northern suburbs of the city, is pleasantly situated on a gentle acclivity, and near a rivulet which in its course turns some mills. The streets are irregularly formed, apparently without any regard to uniformity of plan; and the houses are in general indifferently built, of mean appearance, and chiefly inhabited by labourers employed in agriculture and in the several manufactories in the neighbourhood. A distillery of whisky was established in 1750, by a joint-stock company, at the mill of Gilcomston; but for want of sufficient encouragement, it was in a few years discontinued, and a public brewery was subsequently established on the premises. To the west of the town is the celebrated chalybeate called the Well of Spaw; and the environs abound with picturesque scenery. The district was separated from the parish of Old Machar under act of the General Assembly in 1834, and was for a short time, for ecclesiastical purposes, a parish of itself; it comprised about 600 acres of tolerably fertile land in good cultivation. Gilcomston church, originally a chapel of ease, was erected in 1771, and enlarged by galleries in 1796; it is a neat structure, conveniently situated, and contains 1522 sittings. The minister's stipend is £230, derived solely from the seat-rents: patrons, the Subscribers. There are also an episcopal chapel, erected by subscription in 1812, and containing 386 sittings, and places of worship for members of the Free Church and United Original Seceders. Several Sabbath schools collectively contain nearly 300 children; and connected with them is a library of 400 volumes.

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