Rothiemay: Queen Mary's Bridge

Local Heroes (and Villains)


James Gordon (1617-1686)

James Gordon, fifth son of the famous antiquary and geographer Robert Gordon of Straloch, was minister at Rothiemay from 1641 to 1680.

Continuing his father's work, he produced invaluable maps including Edinburgh (1647) and Fife and Kinross (1642).

In 1661 he drew a map of Old and New Aberdeen and to accompany it wrote "A Description of Bothe Touns of Aberdeene":-

"The citie standeth upon thrie hills. The most northerlie and the highest of the thrie is the Gallowgait-hill, most ordinarlie callit the Windmilne-hill, because of the wind milne situated upon the tope thereoff. The next is callit the Castell-hill, from the castell which stood sometymes upon pairt of it. The third is callit St. Katherine-hill, from a chappell bearing that name of old standing on the tope of it. The citie itselff is situated betwixt thes thrie, or at least the best pairt of it; the swelling of thes hills hardlie to be decerned by such as walk along the streets, yit theyr hight is verie apparent to such as are without the toune. It is easie to conjecture that the closses, lanes and streets, have not been at the first building chaulked out or designed by any geometricall rule. The buildings of the toune are of stone and lyme, rigged above, covered with slaits, mostlie of thrie or four stories hight, some of them higher. The streets are all neatlie paved with flint stones, of a gray kind of hard stone not unlike to flint. The dwelling houses are cleanlie and bewtifull and net, both within and without, and the syde that looks to the street mostlie adorned with galleries of tymber which they call forestaires."

He also wrote a "History of Scots Affairs between 1637 to 1651".
In 1680 he gave over the ministry to his son Ludovic, but he remained at Rothiemay until his death in 1686.