Kincardineshire, also known as The Mearns (from A' Mhaoirne meaning "The Stewartry"), is a former county on the coast of northeast Scotland. It is bounded by Aberdeenshire on the north and west, and by Angus on the south.
The county town was originally the town of Kincardine (not, as many believe, the village of Kincardine O'Neil, which was in the County of Aberdeen). The town of Kincardine, however, ceased to exist during the Middle Ages. The only visible sign of its previous existence is the ruin of Kincardine Castle, 2 miles north-east of Fettercairn. In 1296, King John Balliol wrote a letter of surrender from the castle to Edward I of England after a short war which marked the beginning of the wars of Scottish independence. In 1600 Parliament caused the government of Kincardineshire to be conducted at the Stonehaven Tolbooth. The county extended to Hill of Fare north of the River Dee, but in 1891 the Royal Burgh of Torry on the south bank of the Dee was incorporated into Aberdeen.
The burgh of Stonehaven became the county town, and the county included three other burghs, Banchory, Inverbervie and Laurencekirk. Other settlements include Drumoak, Muchalls, Newtonhill and Portlethen.
The county lost its administrative status in 1975, and was subsumed into the Kincardine and Deeside district of the Grampian region. When the Grampian region was divided into unitary council areas in 1996, the district was absorbed into the Aberdeenshire council area.