Notes & Queries 3



Scottish Notes & Queries


An occasional series of articles gleaned from research into my NE Scotland ancestors. Lots of stories and odd snippets. I hope you find them as interesting as I do...

Scottish Notes & Queries, January, 1908

The Great Flood of 1829 - The following casualties are reported in the "Aberdeen Journal" of 12th August 1829:-

The beautiful haugh of Pitfodels, which a few years ago was embanked at a very great expense, was completely under water, and a part of the embankments destroyed.

On the haugh of Nether Banchory a deep excavation was made by the water flowing over the barrier and nearly an acre of ground was covered with sand and stones, in some places to the depth of about 3 feet.

The bridge at Ballater over the Dee is completely destroyed.

One of the arches of the Bridge of Invercauld was carried away.

The Bridge of Banchory has received so much damage that a part of it will require to be taken down.

The garden of the Earl of Fife at Mar Lodge has been entirely swept away, one of the bow window of the lodge driven in; and an accumulation of mud and gravel deposited in the lower part of the house, to the depth of two to three feet.

Mr Harvey of Bedlieston, in the parish of Dyce, lost several head of Cattle from the haughs, and the destruction of grain, turnips, etc., along the Don was incalculably great.

A part of the meal mill of Kemnay, and the whold of the moveable machinery, were carried off.

At Mr Davidson's paper mill (Mugiemoss) much injury was sustained. A house occupied by Mr Watson, jun., was reduced to a heap of ruins, and Mrs Watson nearly perished in the flood, she having remained by the house until part of the furniture had floated out. Another house adjoining was also swept away.

Considerable damage was done at the Printfield, and Persley bleachfield shared also in the general devastation. The sluices of the mill-lead gave way, and in a few moments the workmen were surrounded by the water. Boats were procured, and the people carried to place of safety.

Opposite to the Manse of Towie, the river has completely altered its course, striking out for itself a new channel, and leaving its former bed, and the bridge which crossed it, quite dry.

On Tuesday, a blacksmith, in rashly attempting to swim across the Don, at Towie, was drowned; and the assistant schoolmaster at Strathdon shared the same fate in endeavouring to ford the river there on horseback. Mr W Williamson, flesher, George Street, was drowned near Monymusk.

In some parts of the country scarcely a bridge is left.

In Stonehaven the houses in Cameron Street, Arbuthnot Street, Ann Street, and part of Barclay Street were inundated to the depth of many feet. Many of the inhabitants only received the first intimation of their perilous situation by the water coming in contact with their warm beds. Two wooden bridges over the Carron were swept down the stream.

The following bridges are either thrown down or so much damaged as to be rendered impassable:- the bridge over the Fiddich, near Craigellachie; two bridges on the Boharm road, and two on the road to Glass; the small bridge near Huntly, on the Keith road; three bridges on the road between Tarland and Alford, two bridges in the neighbourhood of Drumlassie on the turnpike road from Aberdeen to Tarland; and three on the road from Aberdeen to Kincardine O'Neil, by Garlogie.

Twenty houses have fallen at the lower end of Garmouth and Kingston, and the loss of shop goods, household furniture, etc., in both these places is to such an amount as to reduce many a respectable householder to destitution.

The river Isla destroyed several dwelling and other houses.

In the issue of the same newspaper of 14th October, 1829, it is stated that the loss caused by the flood in Inverness and Moray shires amounted to 20,000. The loss of the Duke of Gordon was 16,494 6s 4d, and that of Mr Grand of Ballindalloch 8500.