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.
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). 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.
Elsick Mounth is a prehistoric trackway used by the Caledonian tribes as well as the Roman army in their northern invasion of the Scottish Highlands.
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.
Wording courtesy of http://www.wikipedia.org/
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