The History of the Howe - Luthermuir

Moving on from Marykirk in the direction of the Grampian foothills and across the more recently constructed dual carriageway, we head by Balmakewan, Hatton and Caldhame to Luthermuir.

This village, with its surrounding area, makes up the other half of Aberluthnott Parish. It originally got its name simply because of its situation. It was built on a moor, or muir, close to the River Luther, hence Luthermuir.

In the early years of the 19th Century Luthermuir, like Laurencekirk, was a community where weaving and the linen trade, along with agriculture, accounted for quite a slice of the population's livelihood. Indeed, until recent years Mr. William Taylor B.E.M., who is hailed as the last of the Lournie Weavers, still kept the weaving trade thriving in his small workshop in the garden of his home on Luthermuir's Main Street. Now his looms can be seen, still in action at times, at House of Dun and Glamis Museum.

The original village would appear to have been built up in an 'L' shape, with the remainder of the village made up of small farms and crofts. These have become even more integrated as new homes have been built to stretch along School and Church Roads.

At one time Luthermuir boasted a population of around 1000 souls and out-did Laurencekirk when it came to a head count. It is also a settlement which sits almost right at the heart of what could be called Castle Country. The nearest was Caldhame Castle, which no longer exists although its crests can be seen set in the steading walls of Caldhame Farm. On the Fettercairn side there is the 16th Century Balbegno Castle. There are ruins of a former fortification at Balmakewan, a mansion house of note at Hatton, and out towards Laurencekirk is Thornton Castle, the home of the Thornton-Kemsley family. On the Southerly side of Luthermuir is the Castle and Estate of Inglesmaldie, with its acres of forestry.

The religious history of the area is evident in the number of churches, in all states of repair, which are dotted aropund the landscape of Aberluthnott. They can be seen at the road junctions at Rosehill and Crosspoles, on neighbouring estates, and perhaps most notably at Sauchieburn, where one group of the Berean sect worshipped.

Other features of note in the area are the Bronze Age long barrows at Capo and Dalladies on the Lang Stracht near the former Edzell Base. The old North Water Bridge which used to form part of the main highway to Brechin and the North is also worth a mention. The bridge, which has now been bypassed, did not miss its role in the history of the area, for it was on its span that wretched Covenanter prisoners were forced to spend a stormy night on their journey to imprisonment at Dunnotar Castle in 1685.


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