Deer, p.311.

[Gazetteer of Scotland Contents]

   DEER, or OLD DEER a parish partly in Aberdeenshire, partly in Banff, situated almost in the centre of Buchan; extending in length 12 miles from north to south, and in mean breadth 5½ miles. It is bounded by Strichen parish on the north; by Longside on the east; by Cruden and Ellon on the south; and by New Deer on the west. The high road from Aberdeen to Frazerburgh cuts it longitudinally; and it is intersected by the road from Banff and Old Meldrum to Peterhead. It is watered by two rivulets, – the Deer and the Strichen, – which afterwards form the Ugie. The surface consists of irregular ridges of rising ground, running in various directions, and forming a number of valleys of unequal extent. The tops of some of these ridges are covered with heath, some with plantations, and many of them are cultivated. Round the village is a plain of considerable extent, ornamented with the woods and pleasure-grounds of Pitfour. A considerable quantity of home-grown flax, spun into fine yarn, is annually exported; and a large bleachfield with extensive machinery exists here in the neighbourhood of Stewartfield. Besides the village of Old Deer, there are also other two populous villages: STEWARTFIELD and FETTERANGUS: which see. There are large quarries of excellent limestone, of which nearly 20,000 bolls are annually sold. On the south-west of the parish is great abundance of quartz or feld-spar, and pieces of the purest rock-crystal are met with occasionally. A fine dark blue, and a very white granite, are used for building. There are several Druidical circles, and the ruins of a small irregular village, supposed to have been inhabited by the Druids. Population, in 1801, 3,552; in 1831, including that part of the parish which is in Banffshire, 4,110. Houses, in 1831, in Aberdeenshire, 863; in Banffshire, 124. Assessed property in Aberdeenshire, £5,866; in Banffshire, £977. – The village of Deer is pleasantly situated on the north bank of the Deer; 10½ miles west of Peterhead, 4 south of New Deer, and 26 north of Aberdeen. Not far from this village stand the remains of the abbey of Deer, built in the beginning of the 13th century by Cummyn, Earl of Buchan, for some monks of the Cistertian order. It has been an extensive building, but is now very much in ruins. The revenues of this place at the Reformation were in money £805 8s. 6d.; wheat 14 bolls; bear 13 chaldrons, 10 bolls; meal 65 chaldrons, 7 bolls, 1 firlot, 3 pecks. In 1587, the lands belonging to it were erected into a temporal lordship in favour of Robert, son of William, 6th Earl Marischal, by the style and title of Lord Altrie. – This parish, formerly a prebend of Aberdeen, is in the presbytery of Deer, and synod of Aberdeen. Patron, the Crown. Church built in 1789; sittings 1,150. Stipend £219 2s. 8d.; glebe 29½ acres of good land. Unappropriated teinds £67 14s. A portion of the parish of St. Fergus was annexed to it in 1618. – There is an Episcopalian congregation at Old Deer, which has existed since before the Revolution. Chapel built in 1766; sittings 500. Stipend £82, with a manse. – There is also an Independent church at Old Deer, established in 1801. Chapel built in 1801; seats 300. Stipend £68, with manse and garden. – At Clola there is an Original Seceder congregation, established in 1769; church built in 1784; sittings 392. Stipend £70, with manse and glebe. – At Stewartfield there is a United Secession congregation, established in 1821; church erected in 1822; sittings 440. Stipend £90, with manse and glebe. – According to a census taken by the parish-minister in 1835-6, the population amounted to 4,488, of whom 1,731 were in communion with the Establishment, and 642 with other denominations. – There are 3 parochial schools. The 1st master has a salary of £31 6s. 7½d., with £24 10s. fees; each of the others has £10, with about £20 fees.

3 thoughts on “Deer, p.311.

  1. This is even more interesting than the entry for New Deer. The old parish church in Old Deer is worth a visit if your ever up these parts. Also Aden Park has a long history attached to the parish I believe. Was at the old cemetery last night and it was as I say interesting. Thank you again.

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