History 4 – The 13th and 14th Centuries


The first bridge was built across the river Dee at Kincardine O’Neil by Thomas Durwood. The exact date is unsure but it may have been built as late as 1230. The bridge is believed to have been wooden (some believe it was made of stone). This was the only bridge over the Dee for three centuries until the next was built in Aberdeen in 1520-27.

In the olden days they believed that the river Gods required human sacrifices to allow people to cross in ferries. However the building of the bridge helped to stop the human sacrifices.


Alan Durwood founded the first hospice. It is believed to have been near the bridge his father built. In 1240 Alan Durwood built a church, which is believed to have been on the site of St Erchard’s church, This was later built over by St Mary’s Church, which is now a ruin.


Edward 1st of England camped overnight on the 9th of August with an army of 30,00 men at arms and 5,000 mail-clad Knights. It is said they took all the food to be had.

O’followers he haed a flock,

Left neither capon, hen nor cock,

Na, nor butter, bread, nor cheese,

Else my informant tells me lees,

An’ warst o’ a’ I’m wae to tell,

They left them neither maut nor ale.

Eight years late on 17th of October Edward again stopped at Kincardine O’Neil with his army. This was his last visit to Deeside.


St Mary’s church was built. It is also now known as the Auld Kirk.


Isobel Duff, Baroness of O’Neil. Gave orders to erect a cock-stool and a ducking-pool. This was done to punish women who had done wrong.

For scolds, an’ limmers, an’ sic cattle

Wha deal in fibs, an’ tittle-tattle