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BANFFSHIRE
Phis county, which is of no great extent, is bounded on the north by the Frith of Moray, on the south and on the east by Aberdeenshire,
and on the west by the shires of Moray and Inyerness. Its form is elongated— irregularly concave towards its south-eastern border, and
convex on its north-eastern, with a slip or apex inserted between the oonnties of Moray and Aberdeen. Its extent is fifty miles from
east to west, with an average breadth of twelve, containing 686 miles, or 439,219 acres ; it diminishes to an apex at the extreme western
end, but the base on the coast extends twenty-five miles. The course of the Deveron, for a considerable distance, forms the eastern
boundary between thi^ county and that of Aberdeen; and the Spey, with little impropriety, may be accounted its western limit with
Morayshire. This district was at one time a component part of the province of Moray, which altogether forms one of the finest tracts of
ground in the northern part of Scotland. On the eastern side of the Deveron, in the district of Buchan, the parish of Gamrie, and some
other spots of land, belong to Banffshire.
Soil,, SoEFACE AND CLIMATE, Peoddce AND MANtJFAOTnREs.— The Soil With fow exceptions is deep loam or tenacious clay. The
face of the county la agreeably diversified by an intermixture of valleys and flat ground, among the ranges of hiUs, with many beautiful
fertile braes, productive of the finest crops, or serviceable for the excellence of their green pasture. The Strath of Glen-Avon proceeds
from the forest of Glen- Avon, in a north-easterly direction, or on the left, and Strath Deveron on the right. Betwixt these is Glen-
Livet, from whence, in a north-easterly direction, diverges Glen-Feddick. The principal eminences in the county are — Noath, 1,880 ;
Buck, or Cabrach, 2,877 ; Knockhill, 2,500 ; Corryhabbie, 2,568; Belrinnes, 3,747; and Cairngorm, 4,244 feet above the level of the sea. The
principal crops raised are barley, oats, turnips, potatoes, flax, grass, and in some places a small extent of pease. Under the auspices of
parliamentary commissioners, the county experienced considerable improvement, in being opened by new roads. Limestone may ba
quarried beneath the surface of nearly the whole county, and at Portsoy is a fine vein of serpentine stone, called " Portsoy Marble," as
well as a species of granite, which, when polished, exhibits the resemblance of Hebrew characters. Freestone, marl and slate are also
found in various parts. . The curing of fish is a branch of some consequence in the towns of Banff, Cullen and Portsoy ; and there are
distilleries in several of the principal towns. The chief articles of export are black cattle, oats, salted or dried cod, ling, haddock and
skate; the salmon of the Spey and Deveron put together are also an article of great consideration ; Banff herring are much in demand
in the foreign markets. The imports may be, in general, comprised under the necessaries and luxuries of life, not produced in the
county. The climate of Banffshire is precarious. In the hilly districts, all the evils of cold and rain are often felt; and as frost and
snows frequently sot in without any interval of good weather, the harvests are not only endangered, but the operations of husbandry are
suspended for many of the winter months. The lower part of the shii-e, from Dufi'-house to Forglen and Kinnairdy (a tract of about
twelve nules along the river side), and from Banff to Gordon Castle including the districts of Boyne and Enzie, must be excepted, being
nearly equal to the climate of Moray, and greatly surpassing the most part of the county in the fertUity of the soil, the improvement of
its agriculture, and the richness of its productions.
RivEBS, Railways, &o.— The waters of this county are the Spey, the Livet, the Avon, the Feddick, the Deveron, the Isla, the Oonglae,
and several more minute streams. The Deveron is not navigable, but this, as well as the Spey, yields exceUent sahnon fishing, and as
such is the source of much comfort and wealth to the inhabitants. Along the coast there are a number of rivulets, which faU with a
quick descent, and are useful in propelUng machinery in different little towns and villages where manufactures are established, or have
begun to make their appearance. The Great North of Scotland line gives great facility for raUway commnnfcation-most of the towns
being connected therewith— by being either on the main Une or one of its numerous branches.
Banffshire comprehends twenty-eight parishes, or parts of parishes, some extending into, and others locally situate in, other counties ;
and it contains two royal burghs, Banff arid Cullen : these are also contributory burghs, or those which, in conjunction with others, are
represented in the senate. One member represents the shire at large. The present member for the shii-e is Robert W. Duff, Esq. The
number of inhabited houses in the shire in 1871 was 11,603, while the population at the same period was 62,028; the parliamentary con-
stituency in 1876-7 numbered 2,620.
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