"AUCHTERLESS, a parish, in the district of Turriff, county of Aberdeen, seven miles (S. by W.) from Turriff; containing 1685 inhabitants. The name of this place is derived from a Gaelic word signifying "a cultivated field on the side of a hill" . . . The villages are, Gordonstown, about two miles distant from the church, and the little hamlet of Kirktown. At the latter a market is held on the Wednesday after the second Tuesday in April (O. S.) for the sale of sheep and cattle, which is called Donan fair from the ancient tutelary saint of the parish. . . For ecclesiastical purposes Auchterless is within the bounds of the presbytery of Turriff and synod of Aberdeen; the patronage belongs to the family of Dulf of Hatton, and the minister's stipend is £191. 6. 5., with a good manse and offices, and a glebe of about six acres, valued at £18 per annum. The church, a plain edifice, built in 1780, and repaired in 1832, seats 750 persons. There is a parochial school, affording instruction in Greek, Latin, and mathematics, with all the usual branches of education; the master has a salary of £34, £21 fees, and a house and garden. Near the farming-village of Glen-Mailen is the strong and extensive Roman camp called The Rae-Dykes, situated on the south side of the Ythan, a mile below the two well-known springs of the river. . . This parish has been famed for the longevity of several of its inhabitants, one of whom, Peter Garden, a farmer, died about the year 1780 at the advanced age of 132, having lived under eight sovereigns, commencing with Charles I. . . More"
[From Samuel Lewis A Topographical Dictionary of Scotland (1851) - copyright Mel Lockie 2016]


Church Records

Presbytery of Turriff - Synod of Aberdeen

Here are details of the Birth, Marriage and Death records for this parish, available on the OPR films.


Description & Travel

Here is a detailed description of the parish, written in 1875.

You can see pictures of Auchterless which are provided by:





This parish appears on sheets 29 & 30 of the OS Landranger Series, and on sheet 182 of the OS Pathfinder Series.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference NJ702398 (Lat/Lon: 57.447892, -2.497506), Auchterless which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

Here is a list of place names in the parish.



A booklet containing extracts from the 1696 Poll Book for this parish is available from the Aberdeen & NE Scotland FHS.