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Parish Almshouses in Scotland

After 1845, poor relief in Scotland continued to be administered at the parish level. As well as providing out-relief, parishes, or 'combinations' of parishes, with a population of at least five thousand, could operate a 'statutory' poorhouse under rules prescribed by the central Board of Supervision. These establishments are listed on a separate page.

Many parishes, particularly in the east of Scotland, instead (or sometimes additionally) operated smaller and more informal poorhouse establishments variously known as almshouses, parish homes, parochial houses, or parish lodging houses. In 1861, the Board of Supervision identified two classes of parish poorhouses: those being used for the purposes of statutory poorhouses, and those that were merely dwellings for those receiving outdoor relief. Although a few of the larger institutions such as that at Peterhead were comparable in scale to statutory poorhouses, most were very modest establishments. Rather than the dormitories that characterised poorhouses, parish accommodation was more likely to be arranged as small apartments or cottages. The inmates ('persons of good character') could live with as much freedom as in their own homes, often with their own furniture, and buying and cooking their own food.

A list (by no means exhaustive) of parish almshouses/poorhouses is given below. In some cases, a link is provided to a page giving more details.

Aberdeenshire
Aboyne, Alford, Birse, Chapel of Garioch, Clatt, Cruden, Culsalmond, New Deer, Old Deer, Ellon, Forgue, Foveran, Fyvie, Gartly, Huntly, Insch, Inverurie, Keig, Kinellar, Kinnethmont, Kintore, Leochel Cushnie, Leslie, Lonmay, New Machar, Old Meldrum, Oyne, Peterhead, Premnay, Rathen, Rhynie, St Fergus, Strichen, Tarves, Tough, Tyrie, Turriff, Udny
Angus (Forfarshire)
Brechin, Kirriemuir, Montrose
Argyllshire
Ardnamurchan, Kilarrow, Lochgoilhead, Morven
Ayrshire
Auchinleck, Kilmaurs, Ochiltree
Banffshire
Cabrach, Cullen, Deskford, Gamrie and Macduff, Grange, Kirkmichael, Marnoch
Berwickshire
Ayton, Bunkle & Preston, Chirnside, Coldingham, Duns, Earlston, Stichill
Caithness
Dunnet, Halkirk
Clackmannanshire
Clackmannan
Dumfries-shire
Hoddom
Dunbartonshire
Kirkintilloch
East Lothian (Haddingtonshire)
Haddington
Elgin
(See Morayshire)
Fife
Ceres, St Andrews
Forfarshire
(See Angus)
Haddingtonshire
(See East Lothian)
Inverness-shire
Abernethy, Alvie, Boleskine and Abertarff, Dores, Duthil, Glenmoriston, Kilmallie, Kilmonivaig, Kilmorack, Kiltarlity, Kingussie, Kirkhill, Laggan, Portree
Kincardineshire
Banchory-Ternan, St Cyrus, Strachan
Kinross-shire
Kinross
Lanarkshire
Lesmahagow
Morayshire (Elgin)
Cromdale, Knockando
Orkney
Cross and Burness, Lady, Orphir, Stenness
Perth
Alyth, Blairgowrie, Coupar Angus, Kenmore
Ross and Cromarty
Alness, Applecross, Dingwall, Gairloch, Lochs, Glenshiel, Kintail, Lochcarron, Lochalsh, Urquhart
Roxburghshire
Canonbie
Shetland (Zetland)
Dunrossness, Unst
Stirlingshire
Logie
Sutherland
Assynt, Clyne, Durness, Eddrachillis, Kildonan, Rogart, Tongue
Wigtownshire
Kirkcolm, Penninghame
Zetland
(See Shetland)

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