BANCHORY-TARNAN,1 a parish in Kincardineshire; bounded on the east, north, and west, by Aberdeenshire; and on the south by Durris and Strachan parishes. It is of very unequal surface; and the whole is interspersed with muir ground covered with heath and hills. It contains 15,040 Scots acres. The rent, in 1792, was about £1,800, besides £’200 arising from the yearly sales of birch and fir wood. The valued rent is £3,450 Scots. Assessed property, in 1815, £4,366. Houses 398. Population, in 1801, 1,465; in 1831, 1,972. The river Dee – which intersects the southern and narrower portion of this parish from west to east, and forms its southern boundary for many miles – is here in general pretty rapid; and its banks are adorned with natural woods and plantations, forming beautiful and picturesque scenery in many places. This is much heightened at Banchory-Tarnan, by the junction with the Dee of a small, but impetuous and often impassable river called the Feugh, a collection of numerous streams which descend the Grampian hills; over this river, near a fine cataract and tall of its waters among rocks, and near its conflux with Dee, almost opposite to Banchory, the road from Stonehouse to Deeside is carried on a substantial stone-bridge of four arches. There is a loch, called the Loch of Drum, between 2 and 3 miles in circuit, on the north-eastern skirts of the parish; and another of the same dimensions, near the middle of the parish, called the Loch of Leys, “having,” says the Statistical report of 1792, “an artificial island on oak piles, with ruins of houses, and of an oven upon it; but there is no tradition concerning the use which may have been made of the ancient structure.” – This parish is in the presbytery of Kincardine O’Neil, and synod of Aberdeen. Patron, Sir T. Burnet of Leys, Bart. Stipend £287 10s. 9d., with a glebe of the value of £10. Church built in 1775. There are 3 parochial schools, attended by about 200 children. One of these has a small endowment. There are besides 4 private schools.
1 “The last part of the name is that of a saint; hence one of two annual fairs, held near by, is called St. Tarnan’s market, and a small fountain not far distant is called St. Tarnan’s well. Banchor is said to signify ‘fair’ or ‘goodly choir;’ and it is conjectured, that in some remote period there has been a kind of seminary of the clergy established at this place, by one of the above name.” – Old Statistical Account.