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Title: Marykirk  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: James Blyth (engineer), Wind power in the United Kingdom, Wind turbine, Gourdon, Aberdeenshire, Catterline
Collection: Villages in Aberdeenshire
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Marykirk High Street after floods Nov 2009
Marykirk Church
Marykirk Ancient Kirk and Kirkyard

Marykirk (Scottish Gaelic: Obar Luathnait) is a small village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland next to the border with the county of Angus at the River North Esk.

The village is approximately 6 miles ENE of Montrose at the southern end of the Howe of the Mearns. The road bridge carrying the A937 over the River North Esk is a substantial structure with four arches. It was designed by Robert Stevenson and completed in 1815 at the cost of £1,000 replacing the previous route to the village an ancient ford. There is a rail bridge across the same river some 600 m north of the road bridge and the village once had a rail station to the north east.

The present parish church was rebuilt in 1806 replacing the previous church the remains of which can be found in the adjacent kirkyard. The older church was dedicated to St Mary and consecrated in 1242 by the Bishop de Bernham. The centre of the village has an ancient market cross. The grand gates to the now demolished mansion Kirktonhill House, built in 1799 for the Taylor family, once the home of oil merchant R W Adamson, can be found still in position (Google Street View). Once boasting many small businesses supporting the surrounding agricultural lands the village now only has a part-time Post Office. [1]

The village also has a small primary school of three teachers with between 30 and 40 pupils. [2] as well as an Hotel, the 19th century coaching House, The Marykirk Hotel. [3] (Google Street View)

Since 1996 the village has been holding an annual raft race in the River North Esk which normally takes place on the last Sunday in May. After six years of holding the race it came to a halt, as a committee couldn't be formed to organise it. Then in 2009 a committee formed and the raft race started once again. It still continues, and Marykirk holds its raft race on the third Sunday of May each year. Charities, fundraising, news and photos are all available at [4]

Marykirk was also the site of the world's first electricity-generating wind turbine, built by James Blyth to light his summer residence in the village.[1]

Up until the end of July 2010, the village also had its own amateur weather station [5]


  1. ^ (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)


  • Marykirk in the Gazetteer for Scotland.
  • Marykirk in The History of the Howe.
  • Marykirk Hotel.
  • Marykirk Primary School.
  • The Marykirk Raft Race
  • The Marykirk Weather Station (shut down July 2010)

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