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Glenbucket, Aberdeenshire

Historical Description

GLENBUCKET, a parish, in the district of Alford, county of Aberdeen, 2 miles (N. E.) from Strathdon, on the road to Aberdeen; containing 542 inhabitants. This place derives its name from the stream of Bucket, which, rising among lofty mountains, intersects the parish, and falls into the Don near the castle of Glenbucket, the seat of the Gordons of Glenbucket. The last laird of this ancient family espoused the cause of the Stuarts, and held a distinguished command in the rebellions of 1715 and 1745: he was consequently compelled to make his escape (to France), when a very aged man, after the fatal battle of Culloden. The length of the parish is about ten miles, and its breadth about two and a half; it contains upwards of 12,000 acres, of which 1000 are arable, 200 planted, and there is some good pasture and meadow land. Glenbucket is bounded on the northeast by the parish of Cabrach, on the north-west by Banffshire, on the east by the parish of Towie, and on the south by the parish of Strathdon. It is altogether a mountainous district, and is entered from the east by a narrow and romantic pass, commencing at the confluence of the rivers Don and Bucket below the castle, which stands on the acclivity of the hill of Benneaw, an eminence rising 1800 feet above the level of the sea. The greatest elevation is the hill of Craigenscore, on the north, the height of which is about 2000 feet. The climate is subject to the extremes of heat and cold, the summers being sometimes intensely hot, and the winters bringing keen north winds, deep snows, and sharp and long-continued frosts. In Glennoughty there are red deer, roe deer, grouse, ptarmigan, blackcock, dotterel, plover, and hares both common and alpine; in the low grounds, snipe, ducks, and curlew. Fine trout-fishing is to be had in the Bucket and the Don.

In general the soil is good, and the improved system of husbandry is adopted; but the deficiencies in draining, inclosing, and planting, and the want of roads, form great obstacles to rapid advances in prosperity. The produce of the farms is usually sent to the markets of Aberdeen. The rocks consist of granite, gneiss, &c., with several others of the primitive formation: there is a good supply of superior limestone, which is wrought to advantage by the tenants, both for their own use and for sale. The inhabitants are all employed in agriculture: the parish is the property of the Earl of Fife, and its annual value as returned for the property-tax amounts to £989. There is a very handsome and commodious shooting-lodge, lately built by the Earl of Fife, at Badenyon, near the celebrated Lodge anciently inhabited by John of Badenyon, a relation of the Earls of Mar, who were lords superior of the whole country: the superiority is now held by Lord Fife. At Badenyon, Mowat of Abergeldie, and George Forbes, second son of Lord Forbes, settled a feud, as stated by President Forbes in what are called the Culloden Papers. Ecclesiastically the parish is within the bounds of the presbytery of Alford, synod of Aberdeen; patron, the Crown. The stipend is £158, of which £125 are drawn from the exchequer; there is an excellent manse, with a glebe of about £10 annual value. Glenbucket church, built about sixty years since, is a plain commodious edifice. There is a parochial school, the master of which has the medium legal salary, school fees, a house and garden, with three acres of land. A parochial library is also kept up. Burnett's mortification, shared in by all the parishes in the synod, and of which no parish can receive more than £50 nor less than £20, comes to Glenbucket about once in eight years. The old castle, now nearly in ruins, is a highly picturesque object.

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