Glenbervie Visitor Information Guide

  • Glenbervie Latitude 56.9167° N Longitude -2.3722° W
  • Glenbervie Postcode AB39
  • Glenbervie WOEID 21167
  • Glenbervie Map
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Glenbervie Kincardinshire, this upland parish with its neighbour to the south Arbuthnott is the country celebrated in the remarkable work of fiction “A Scots Quar” trilogy comprising the novels, Sunset Song, Cloud Howe and Grey Granite by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, whose real name was James Leslie Mitchell (1901-1935).

As Gibbon reminds us in Cloud Howe, it is also the country of the forefathers of Robert Burns of james Burnes, the poets great grandfather. Gibbon writes ‘His folk had the ups and downs of all flesh till the father of‘ Robert Burnes grew up and grew sick of the place and went off to Ayr and there the poet Robert was born, him that lay with nearly as many Women as Solomon did though not all at one time.

Bervie Water is a stream less than 20 miles long that rises in the foothills of the Grampians and flows roughly southward to the North Sea at Inverbervie to the east of the stream stand the small upland farms on which both the Burnescs and the parents of the modern novelist dwelt.

Although Gibbon was born (in l9Ol) at Hill of Seggat in the Buehan parish of Auchterless he spent his boyhood at Blaweary, the cottage of Bloomfield.

Above it, the moor called the Reisk mounts to the Hill of Bruxie which, with its snipe haunted lochan, overlooks the main road from Stonehaven to Laurencekirk Glenbervie House, in reality a castle otthe early 16th cent, built on an unusual plan with two great round towers projecting at either end of the inain front was besieged by Adam Gordon of Auchin doun on behalf of Mary Queen of Scots in 1572.

The upper parts of the main block and of the round towers were altered and rebuilt in the 18th and l9th century but the basement, including the two towers, is vaulted throughout and the towers have wide mouthed gun loops so disposed as to cover the approaches and rake with fire the front of the main building.

Glenbervie was held successively by the Melvilles, including that unpopular Sheriff of the Mearns who was ‘sodden and suppit in bree’ (boiled alive by his obstreperous neighbours) in 1420, and by the Douglases, earls of Angus who held it at the time of the siege.

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