Kirkmichael, Banffshire

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River Avon south of Tomintoul

Kirkmichael is a parish of southern Banffshire, containing the village of Tomintoul. Except the northern boundary with Inveravon, the other boundaries all coincide with Banffshire's borders with the surrounding counties. To the east and south are the Aberdeenshire parishes of Strathdon and Crathie and Braemar. To the west is the Inverness-shire parish of Abernethy and Kincardine and to the north is the Morayshire parish of Cromdale, Inverallan and Advie. Its utmost length, from north-west to south-east, is 17⅞ miles. Its width, from east to west, varies between two and 11⅞ miles. The total area is 76,331 acres.

The Avon, issuing from Loch Avon, winds 12 miles east-north-eastward and 16⅜ miles northward along Glenavon, until it passes off into the parish of Inveravon. During this course it is joined by the Builg Burn, flowing 2½ miles north-by-westward out of Loch Builg at the Aberdeenshire border. It is then joined by the Water of Caiplich or Ailnack, running 6⅝ miles north-eastward along the Abernethy border, then 3¼ north-north-eastward across the interior. Beyond Tomintoul, the Conglass Water joins the Avon having run eight miles north-westward through the eastern interior.

The surface, sinking along the Avon to 698 feet above sea-level, is everywhere hilly or grandly mountainous, the chief elevations to the east as one ascends it are:

to the west:

where asterisks mark those summits that lie on the boundaries of the parish.

The southern district, thus lying all among the Cairngorm Grampians, is wholly uninhabited. The northern, mainly consisting of ranges of mountains and congeries of hills, presents for the most part a moorish, desolate, forbidding aspect, and is inhabited only along the banks of the lower reaches of the Avon and of the Avon's principal tributaries.