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County of Kincardine
- Total
Ranked 22nd
243,444 acres (985 km²)
County town Stonehaven
Chapman code KCD

The County of Kincardine, also known as Kincardineshire or The Mearns (from A' Mhaoirne meaning 'The Stewartry') was a local government county on the coast of northeast Scotland. It was bounded by Aberdeenshire on the north and west, and by Angus on the south.

The Kincardineshire name is retained for a lieutenancy area, and Kincardine and Mearns is a committee area of the Aberdeenshire Council.

The county town was originally the town of Kincardine (not, as many believe, the village of Kincardine O'Neil, which was in the County of Aberdeen). The town of Kincardine, however, ceased to exist during the Middle Ages. The only visible sign of its previous existence is the ruin of Kincardine Castle. In 1296, King John Balliol wrote a letter of surrender from the castle to Edward I of England after a short war which marked the beginning of the wars of Scottish independence. In 1600 Parliament caused the government of Kincardineshire to be conducted at the Stonehaven Tolbooth. The county used to go as far north as the River Dee but in 1891 the Royal Burgh of Torry was incorporated into Aberdeen.

The burgh of Stonehaven became the county town, and the county included three other burghs, Banchory, Inverbervie and Laurencekirk.

The county was abolished in 1975, and was subsumed into the Kincardine and Deeside district of the Grampian region. When the Grampian region was divided into unitary council areas in 1996, the district was absorbed into the Aberdeenshire council area.

Notable Structures and sites[]


There was a Kincardineshire constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of Great Britain from 1708 to 1801 and of the Parliament of the United Kingdom from 1801 to 1918, representing the county of Kincadineshire, minus the parliamentary burgh of Inverbervie. Inverbervie was a component of the Aberdeen District of Burghs from 1708 to 1832 and of the Montrose District of Burghs from 1832 to 1950.

In 1918 the Kincardineshire constituency was merged with part of the Western Aberdeenshire constituency to form the Kincardine and Western Aberdeenshire constituency.

In 1950 Kincardine and Western Aberdeenshire was divided between the West Aberdeenshire constituency and the North Angus and Mearns constituency. North Angus and Mearns then covered the whole of the county of Kincardineshire, including the former parliamentary burgh of Inverbervie, and part of the county of Angus, the latter being previously within the Forfarshire constituency.

In 1983, eight years after the abolition of the local government county of Kincardineshire, North Angus and Mearns was replaced by new constituencies.

Historic transportation routes[]

Map of Scotland showing roughly the historic district of The Mearns

The ancient Causey Mounth road was built on high ground to make passable this only available medieval route from coastal points south to Aberdeen. This ancient passage specifically connected the Bridge of Dee to Muchalls Castle, Cowie Castle (and effectively Dunnottar Castle)[2]. The route was that taken by the Earl Marischal and Marquess of Montrose when they led a Covenanter army of 9000 men in the first battle of the Civil War in 1639[3].

Notable People[]

The author Lewis Grassic Gibbon born James Leslie Mitchell, was a Scottish writer. His book Sunset Song is one the most important Scottish novels of the 20th century. It was voted Scotland’s favourite book, in a poll announced at the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2005.[4] The book, set in a fictional village in the Mearns, drew heavily from Mitchell's upbringing in Arbuthnott. One of the key features of the book (and some of his other writing) is the balanced and immersive use of the local Doric / Scots dialect mixed with standard English, in a manner to make it both easily and enjoyably accessible to someone unfamiliar with the North East of Scotland.

Natural features[]

There are numerous natural features within Kincardineshire. Among the rivers are Cowie Water, Carron Water, Luther Water, Burn of Muchalls, Burn of Pheppie, Burn of Elsick, Burn of Monboys and the lower reaches of the River Dee.


  1. ^ "Lewis Grassic Gibbon Centre". Retrieved 2007-04-29. 
  2. ^ C.Michael Hogan, History of Muchalls Castle, Lumina Press, Aberdeen (2005)
  3. ^ Archibald Watt, Highways and Byways around Kincardineshire, Stonehaven Heritage Society (1985)
  4. ^ {{cite web| url= author=Canongate Books

See also[]

External Links[]

56°55′N 2°30′W / 56.917, -2.5

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Kincardineshire. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.