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Check all the Clans that have DNA Projects. If your Clan is not in the list there's a way for it to be listed. Electric Scotland's Classified Directory An amazing collection of unique holiday cottages, castles and apartments, all over Scotland in truly amazing locations.

Places to go in Aberdeen & Grampian
We'd like to thank the Bard of Banff for most of the pictures on this page.


Visit Banffshire Maritime and Heritage Association


Aden Park and Farming Museum
Incorporating a Doo-cot, 1 mile west of Mintlaw, forest walks, pond and great playpark for the kids.

Archeolink
Archeolink is a multi-award winning history park and visitor attraction  which focuses on 'education, participation and fun'.  Travel 10,000 years back in time and visit the exhibits, which include an Iron age farm and hill fort, Roman marching camp, stone age camp, the sand pit, the henge, stone circle, bronze age smithy and cist.  Situated in the beautiful countryside on the north side of Bennachie.

Auchindoon Castle
In the 1470's Auchindoon was built, probably by master mason Thomas Cochrane.  According to an information panel at the castle -

In 1509 Sir James Ogilvy of Deskford grants the Mains of Auchindoon with its castle, fortalice and Castle Hill to his nephew Alexander Ogilvy.
In 1567 the castle was sold to Sir Adam Gordon.

In 1571 a party of Gordon's from Auchindoon Castle attacks and burns Corgaff Castle along with its occupants.
In 1594 it was sold back to the Ogilvy's.
In 1660 Auchindoon was granted to the Marquis of Huntly.
In 1724 the castle lies derelict, William Duff of Braco is granted permission to remove stones for his new house at Balvenie.
Today it is maintained by Historic Scotland.
Our thanks to Stan Bruce for the info and picture.

commanding position of Auchindoon looking from the south.

Balvenie Castle
At Dufftown on the A941.
Tel: 01340 820121.

A fine 13th-century castle of enclosure with a curtain wall, first owned by the Comyns. Balvenie was added to in the 15th and 16th centuries. Visited by Mary Queen of Scots in 1562.
Winter: closed.

Bow Fiddle Rock
The impressive 'Bow Fiddle Rock' situated on the coast at Portnockie NJ495688
Boyne Castle
Standing hidden away in the trees is this crumbling ruin, a wonderful piece of architecture which has been neglected since the 18th Century.

Approx 5 miles west of Banff.
Brandsbutt Symbol Stone
About one mile north west of Inverurie, 38 NJ 759 224
An early Pictish symbol stone, with an ogham inscription.

Picture by Duncan Fenton

Brandsbutt Symbol Stone

Brodie Castle Brodie Castle
Bruce's Seat
which formerly stood on Barra Hill, but now sited on the outskirts of Oldmeldrum very near the roundabout to the Inverurie road. It is said that Bruce sat here during the Battle of Barra (Otherwise known as the Battle of Inverurie) when his army beat Comyn Earl of Buchan in 1308. Our thanks to Stan Bruce for the info and this picture.

 

Burghead Well
In King Street, Burghead
A rock-cut well, identified by some as an early Christian baptistry associated with the local cult of St Ethan.

Colleonard Sculpture Garden
1 mile south of Banff on the A97

Free entry to garden & Gallery by Frank Bruce. (Now closed)

Corgarff Castle
8m W of Strathdon on the A939, 37 NJ 254 086
Tel: 01975 651460

A 16th-century tower house converted for use as a barracks for Hanoverian troops after Culloden. Its last military use was as a base to control the smuggling of illicit whisky in the early 19th century. Still complete with star-shaped fortifications; reconstructed whisky still and barrack room.
Winter:closed
Corgarff Castle
Cullerlie Stone Circle
Near Echt, 12 miles west of Aberdeen, 38 NJ 786 042
A circle of eight stones enclosing an area consecrated by fires on which eight small cairns were later built. About 4,000 years old.
The link on the page to the streetmap shows you the wrong location it is a couple of miles to the east of this.   Bronze Age Sepulchral stone circle consisting of eight stones and within this are eight cairns date 1800-1200 BC.
Culsh Earth-House
At Culsh, one mile east of Tarland, 37 NJ 504 054
A well preserved underground passage, with roofing slabs intact over the large chamber and entrance. About 2,000 years old.
This souterrain, or underground store-house is basically a hole dug in the ground lined with dry-stone with a roof made with stone slabs. Take a torch if you intend to visit, otherwise you won't see anything.  Used as a pre-historic larder or fridge, probably built in the 1st millenium A.D. (Stan Bruce Oct 2005).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delgatie Castle
Just of the A947, 10 miles south of Banff

The castle is situated two miles east of Turriff.  There is thought to have been a castle at Delgatie from around 1050.  Delgatie was once a stronghold of the Comyn Earls of Buchan but was given to Hay, Earl of Erroll, High Constable of Scotland by Robert the Bruce after the ‘Battle of Bannockburn’ in 1314.  The castle was re-built in 1570.  The castle has two rooms with fine painted ceilings of renaissance fantasy dated 1592 and 1597; strange animals are depicted with human heads.  Extended in the 16th and 17th centuries. The castle is open to visitors during the summer season. A famous ballad was written near here - 'The Barnyards o' Delgatie'. (S. Bruce Jan 2008).

Dallas Dhu Distillery
1m S of Forres off the A940.
Tel: 01309 676548.

A completely preserved time capsule of the distiller's craft built in 1898. Wander at will through this fine old Victorian distillery then enjoy a dram. Visitor centre, shop and audio-visual theatre.
Winter: closed Thursday afternoons and Fridays.
Dallas Dhu Distillery
Deer Abbey
Near Old Deer, 10 miles west of Peterhead, 30 NJ 968 481
The remains of a Cistercian monastry founded in 1219

Deskford Church
Four miles south of Cullen, 29 NJ 509 616
The ruin of a small late medieval church with a rcihly carved sacrament house of a type characteristic of north east Scotland.

Deveron Bridge
The bridge at Banff was designed by Smeaton and built in 1779 for the 2nd Earl of Fife.  The first bridge was built here in 1765 but was swept away in a storm.  Prior to the bridges the Deveron was crossed further up river at the Kings Ford.
Drinnies Observatory
2 mile north of Mintlaw Drinnies forest walks and Drinnies Observatory, find out the History of the Pitfour Estate. The Observatory was originally built to overlook the Lairds horse racing race track. Theres also a stone circle nearby.

The Observatory was built in 1845 by Admiral George Ferguson 5th Laird of Pitfour (Near Mintlaw, Buchan) The Octagonal tower gives outstanding views over Buchan and is thought to have been built by the Laird so he could watch his horses being run on his very own race track.  The Observatory was refurbished in 1993 and the Forest of Deer walks and the Observatory are both free to enter.  The top of the tower has historical information on the Pitfour Estate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Duff House
On the outskirts of Banff, 29 NJ 690 633
Tel: 01261 818181
A magnificent early Georgian mansion, designed by William Adam for Earl Fife and acknowledged to be his masterpiece. Now open as a Country House Gallery of the National Galleries of Scotland.
Open all summer from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Open Thursday to Sunday in winter 10.00am to 5.00pm.
Built in 1740 for the 1st Earl of Fife, was never completed to the original grand design which included east and west wings. The house as it stands was completed in 1754 by the 2nd Earl of Fife. Was used as a prisoner of war camp in world war two, has been a hotel and also a sanotarium.
Duffus Castle
Five miles north west of Elgin, 28 NJ 189 672
One of the finest examples of a motte and bailey castle in the north of Scotland and the original seat of the Moray family. (Thanks to Tam Fairley for the picture)
Dunideer Hill Fort
Near Insch, once an impressive Pictish hill fort settlement circa 1000BC and the Castle (Circ 1260) previous home of the Tyrie (Tyree) family up to the 18th century, sitting on the hill 876ft high.

Dunnottar Castle
2 miles south of Stonehaven, east of A92  NO 882839
Group of several buildings ranging from 12th to 17th C.
(Stan Bruce July 2009).
Dunnotter Church
The first Dunnottar Church was built in the fifth century and stood where Dunnottar Castle now stands.  A second church dedicated to St Ninian was built on the promontory in 1276.  In 1297 William Wallace burned it down with a garrison of English soldiers.  Sir William Keith Earl Marischal built the first Dunnottar Church in its present location in 1394 said to be a sanctuary away from the constant hostilities around the castle. The church was rebuilt in 1593 then replaced with a much larger building in 1782.  It was added to in 1869 and in 1903 it was completely restored and extended to the structure we see today. 

Adjacent to the church is the 'Marischal Aisle' on the wall is a plauqe which is inscribed as follows: “This building first erected in 1582 was restored by the University of Aberdeen in 1913.  It covers the last resting place of George Keith 5th Earl Marischal.  He founded Marischal College in Aberdeen in 1593 and is interred here along with other members of his famous house.  The hoarse sea winds and caverns of Dunnottar singing vague requiem to his honourable line and him in the imaginations of some few.”  The aisle was built by George Keith 5th Earl as a family burial place.  George Keith 5th Earl Marischal had ‘Old Stonehaven’ created as a burgh of barony in 1624, he also had Peterhead earlier created as a royal burgh in 1593.

To the rear of the Marischal Aisle is the ‘Covenanters’ Stone’ or ‘Martyrs Stone’ a memorial to the Covenanters’ 122 men and 45 women who where cruelly imprisoned in the ‘Whigs Vault’ of Dunnottar castle in 1685 and died as a result of the imprisonment.  (The stone was repaired by Robert Paterson in 1796). The stone reads:

HERE LYES JOHN STOT ATCHISON JAMES RUSSELL & WILLIAM BROUN AND ONE WHOSE NAME WEE HAVE NOT GOTTEN AND TWO WOMEN WHOSE NAMES ALSO WEE KNOW NOT AND TWO WHO PERISHED COMING DOUNE THE ROCK ONE WHOSE NAME WAS JAMES WATSON THE OTHER NOT KNOWN WHO ALL DIED PRISONERS IN DUNNOTTAR CASTLE ANNO 1685 FOR THEIR ADHERENCE TO THE WORD OF GOD AND SCOTLAND’S COVENANTED WORK OF REFORMATION REV JJ CH J2 VERSE.

The missing names are John White, William Breadie, Marie Gipsone and Jeane Muffet.  (S. Bruce Jan 2008).

Stoney
A poem about the Stone

Duthie Park
Duthie Park was donated to the City of Aberdeen by Elizabeth Crombie Duthie and was officially opened by HRH Princess Beatrice in 27 Sept 1883. The park consists of Winter Gardens, Victorian Bandstand, monuments, boating pond etc

 

Dyce 'Standing Stones'
(Also known as Tyrebagger Stone Circle) is a recumbent stone circle approximately 60 feet in diameter, and was erected around 3,000BC.  It is situated high on Tyrebagger Hill at Kirkhill, Dyce, Aberdeen.  The two pillar stones flanking the recumbent stone are an amazing eleven feet and nine feet five inches high; the other stones vary in height down to as little as three feet.  The photo shows ten upright stones of the eleven standing.  Up here it is so close to the city of Aberdeen yet is is so peaceful, from here wonderful views can be had, but don't venture up here unless you have an ordnance survey map.  Grid ref NJ 859132. (Stan Bruce Feb 2008).

Dyce Symbol Stones
Near Dyce, six miles west of Aberdeen, 38 NJ 875 154
In the ruined parish church, two Pictish stones, one with the older type of incised symbols, and the other with symbols accompanied by a Celtic cross and decoration.
The Dyce symbol pictish stones are inside the kirk.

 

Dyce Old Kirk
Also known as the 'Chapel of St Fergus' it is currently roofless although it has been consolidated.  It dates from pre-reformation times and was last in use in 1872.  An ancient (Now broken) baptismal font lies at the doorway to the kirk.  The Dyce symbol  stones are housed inside the kirk - photos also shown on this page.  Grid ref NJ875154  (Stan Bruce Feb 2008).

Easter Aquhorthies Stone Circle
About one miole west of Inverurie, 38 NJ 732 207
A recumbent stone circle about 4,000 years old.

Picture by Duncan Fenton

Easter Aquhorthies Stone Circle

Elgin Cathedral
In Elgin on the A96.
Tel: 01343 547171

The superb remains of a majestic and beautiful 13th-century cathedral. Almost destroyed in 1390 by Alexander Stewart, the infamous "Wolf of Badenoch". You can see the Bishop's home at Spynie Palace, 2 miles north of the town.
Winter: closed Thursday afternoons and Fridays.
Elgin Museum
Pictish symbol stones, the Burghead Bull etc  Model ships, old bagpipes etc. The kids can dress up with the old costumes and use the interactive computers..

Findlater Castle and Doocot
10 mile west of Banff sitting on the coast the ruin of a once impressive and well protected castle. Built by the Ogilvies in 1455 and abandoned in the 17th Century when they re-located at Cullen House.  Take GREAT CARE if you venture down to the castle it is a dangerous place.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fort Fiddes
Castle Point, Troup, promontory fort sited on 100 feet high cliffs of old red sandstone, the first settlement here is thought to have been around 200 to 300 BC based on radio carbon dating of pottery found on the site.  In the 13th century Norman ‘De Trop’ built a tower house here which was abandoned in the 17th century.  During the unsettled period of the Jacobite risings (early 18th century) Captain Fiddes built a fort here which became known as 'Fort Fiddes', it was later abandoned around 1800AD.  On the east side of the promontory is a beach known as 'Cullykhan Beach' this is thought to have been used by the Picts as a natural harbour, today it used by locals and some tourists as a great secluded spot for sun-bathing.  From the promontory looking west you can see a large hole in the hillside this is known as 'Hells Lum' and in certain seastates and bad weather it looks as if it's smoking.  Grid Ref NJ837661. (Stan Bruce Feb 2008).

Fraserburgh Heritage Centre
A great collection of Fraserburgh's (The Broch as it's known locally) heritage.  History of the town, the Fraser's Lord Saltoun.  Displays of Thomas Blake Glover, WW2 'Little London' as Fraserburgh was known due to the great amount of bombing, Fishing and the fish factories, RNLI, railways, famous Brocher's etc etc not to be missed!

 

 

 

 

Glenbuchat Castle
14 miles west of Alford, 37 NJ 397 148
A fine example of a Z-plan tower house, built in 1590. Its last laird, John Gordon, was a notable Jacobite.

Picture by Duncan Fenton

Glenbuchat Castle

Glover House
Aberdeen
Glover House was originally built as a single storey house in 1815.  When Thomas' father retired from the Coastguard service Glover bought the house as a retirement home for the family.  The House in 79 Balgownie Road, Bridge of Don, Aberdeen is another piece of the North East's hidden treasure.  Thousands of people drive past this house everyday but have not seen the secrets this house keeps.  Thomas Blake Glover born in Fraserburgh in 1835 was instrumental in the building of modern day Japan.  He built the first dry-dock in Kosuge, Japan, he had the first modern warships introduced in Japan (Built in Aberdeen), he brought the first railway locomotive to Japan and built Japan's first railway line.  He developed the first coal mine, he was instrumental in developing the first mint, he helped overthrow the Shogun, opened his own brewery (Now Kirin beer) he even helped form and cut the growth for Japan's first golf course (1903). This house in Aberdeen was even used to smuggle out Japanese youth to get educated in the UK, which includes their first prime minister Hirobumi Ito (1841 - 1909) and much, much more.  The house has been restored thanks mainly to Mitsubishi who donated a considerable sum in recognition of Glover's contribution toward modern day Japan.  The shipyard Glover opened in Nagasaki later became Mitsubishi.  The house serves as a memorial to Thomas Blake Glover and has many interesting articles such as the clan chiefs ceremonial armour shown and loads of Japanese items, swords, china, etc.  (Stan Bruce Sep 2005)


 

 

 


 

Gordon, General Patrick (1635 to 1699)
Patrick Gordon was born in Auchleuchries, Aberdeenshire.  He was educated at the parish schools of Cruden and Ellon.  At the age of fifteen he left Scotland and enrolled at the ‘Jesuit College’ in Braunsberg, Prussia.  He didn’t like the school and decided to leave and head back to Scotland, however he never made it back to Scotland instead enrolling in the Swedish Army (1655).  He spent the next ten years fighting for the Swedes, the Polish and then the Russians.  In 1678 the Russian army appointed him as major-general.  In 1683 he was promoted to lieutenant-general, and in 1689 he was promoted to General.  He gained great respect and friendship from the ‘Tsar Peter I’ and later became ‘General-in-chief’ of the Russian army, he died with the Tsar ‘Peter the Great’ at his bedside in Russia in 1699.  General Patrick Gordon’s unmarked memorial cairn can be found mile from the ‘Halfway House’ just off the A952 heading west, it sits on the top of a dyke separating two fields.  Grid ref NK009360.  (S.Bruce Jan 2008).

Grampian Transport Museum
Alford
Packed with vintage cars, old motorbikes,trams, old police cars, AA Memorabilia and there's even a massive old organ from the continent. 

 

 

 

 

Gordon Highlanders Museum
The museum is located in a greatly extended St Luke's, Viewfield Road, Aberdeen, once home to Sir George Reid PRSA (1841 to 1913) artist and president of the Royal Scottish Academy.  The museum is home to a large collection of medals including several Victoria Crosses.  There is a small theatre which gives an introduction to the history of the Gordon Highlanders.  The Grant room exhibition explores the 200 year history, the Armoury contains a large selection of guns, swords and Gurka knifes.  Regimental silver, crystal and crockery can be seen in the Lakin Room and some of Sir George Reid's paintings can also be seen.  For the kids there's the opportunity to dress up as a soldier.  The facility also has a very nice cafe which can e used even if you're not entering the museum, well worth a visit; telephone  01224 311200.
www.gordonhighlanders.com

Huntly Castle
In Huntly on the A96.
Tel: 01466 793191.

Set in a beautiful wooded riverside setting this fine hall house, built in the 16th and 17th centuries for the Gordon family, is famed for the fine heraldic sculpture and inscribed stone friezes.
Winter: closed Thursday afternoons and Fridays.

Huntly Castle

Kildrummy Castle
10m SW of Alford on the A97.
Tel: 01975 571331.

Called the "Queen of Highland Castles" this was the stronghold of the Earls of Mar, and headquarters for organising the 1715 Jacobite Rising by the last Mar owner "Bobbing John". Scotland's most complete 13th-century castle.
Winter: open weekends only. Picture by Duncan Fenton

Kildrummy Castle

Kilduthie Monument - Corrichie Battlefield
This monument is a 12 foot high (3.6m) granite pillar erected in 1951 by the Deeside Field Club. Corrichie Battlefield lies approx. 4 mile northeast of Banchory on the southeast slopes of the Hill of Fare. On 28th October 1562, Mary, Queen of Scots’ (1542 to 1587) army led by James Stuart (1531 to 1570) Earl of Moray, fought against a much smaller force led by George Gordon (1514 to 1562) 4th Earl of Huntly. George Gordon’s army was routed and he was killed. Queen Mary is said to have watched the battle from a granite crag on Berry Hill thereafter known as the Queen's Chair.
Picture by Stan Bruce
Kinloss Abbey
Founded in 1150AD by King David I for the Cistercian Order initially probably as a wooden building. The Abbey was badly damaged by fire mid 13th century and extensively rebuilt c1269 using locally quarried stone. It maintained powerful religious and secular control over the northeast of Scotland until its demise in 1560. The Abbey has been a ruin since 1650. To the south of the Abbey is a second ruin which was once the Bishops House.

Kinneff Church
Near Stonehaven, off A92.
Smuggled out of Dunnottar Castle by Mrs. Grainger, the minister's wife, the Honours of Scotland - the crown, sword & sceptre - were hidden under the pulpit to prevent Oliver Cromwell from seizing them in 1652.  Most of present church dates from 1738, but part of old church survives.  Contains monument to Rev. Grainger & Ogilvy, Governor of Dunnottar castle. Honours lay hidden for 8 years & were brought out in 1660 at the restoration of the monarchy.

Kinneff Church

Picture by Duncan Fenton

Kinneff Church

Kinkell Church
Two miles south of Inverurie, 38 NJ 785 190
The ruins of a 16th century parish church, with fine sacrament house dated 1524, and the grave slab of Gilbert de Greenlaw, killed in battle in 1411.

Picture by Duncan Fenton

Graveslab of Gilbert De Greenlaw in Kinkell Church (near Inverurie).  he was killed at the Battle of Harlaw in 1411, but the gravestone had been economically re-used in 1592, possibly by a Forbes.

Kinnaird Head Lighthouse
On a promontory in Fraserburgh on the A92
Tel: 01346 511022
A fascinating example of fitting new wine into an old bottle. This fine 16th century castle built for the Fraser family was altered to take the first lighthouse built by the Commissioners of the Northern Lighthouses in 1787. It is still in working order but has now been replaced by a small unmanned light nearby. The lighthouse remains much as it was left by the last lighthouse crew. managed by the Kinnaird Head Trust.
Open all year seven days a week.

Kinnaird Head Lighthouse

Loanhead Stone Circle
Near Daviot, five miles north west of Inverurie, 38 NJ 747 288
The best known of a group of recumbent stone circles, enclosing a ring cairn. Beside it is a small burial enclosure. From 4,000 to 4,500 years old.
Maggie’s Hoosie
No. 26 Shore Street, Inverallochy built around 1750 was opened to the public. Maggie’s Hoosie is a typical ‘But and Ben’ fisher cottage. The cottage has since been fully restored by the ‘Maggie’s Hoose Prevention Trust’ and is open to the public currently – June to September, Monday to Thursday 2pm to 4pm, or by appointment. When originally built this house would have probably had a turf or thatched roof, not the pan tiled roof we see today. The house is a wonderful example of how the fisher folk lived in the 19th century. Maggie Duthie (1867 to 1950) lived here all her life, even when she died there was still no electricity, lighting, or heating in the house, up to her death she still used paraffin lamps, open fires, and an antiquated cooking range. In 1950, the house did not even have running water; Maggie still used the well across the road, which had been modernised to include a pump. But – The best or parlour room. Ben – the main living room. (Text from Fraserburgh Through the Years by Stanley Bruce 2010).

Picture from Stan Bruce

Maiden Stone
Near Chapel of Garioch, four and a half miles north west of Inverurie, 38 NJ 703 247
A Pictish cross-slab of 9th century date, it bears on one side a Celtic cross and, on the other, a variety of Pictish symbols.

Picture by Duncan Fenton

Maiden Stone

Memsie Cairn
Near Rathen, three and a half miles south of Fraserburgh, 30 NJ 976 620
A large stone-built cairn, possibly of Bronze Age date, but enlarged during field clearance during the last two centuries.

Mortlach Church Dufftown
Mortlach Kirk stands on the outskirts of Dufftown in Moray and is one of the earliest Christian Kirks in Grampain.  According to legend a monastery was founded here circa 566 by 'St. Moluag of Bangor', however the current church only dates back to the 13th century.  There are several ancient graves in the cemetery and there is a watch-house at the rear of the church where a man would have stayed-in to deter grave-robbers.  Two Pictish stones are to be seen here and these are: 'The Battle Stone' which is 1.8m high and is situated on a path in the lowest graveyard extension.  It is elaborately carved with a large relief cross, two fish, and a grotesque beast on one side; and on the other side the incised forms of a bird, a serpent, an ox skull, and a horseman and dog.  The second stone, thought to be of an earlier date is located in the vestibule of the church it is incised with a Pictish beast and a unique curved symbol which may depict an early type of brooch.  Grid ref: NJ 324392.

Peel Ring of Lumphanan
Half a mile south west of Lumphanan, 37 NJ 576 036
A flat top motte or mound, one of Grampian's earliest medieval earthworks.  Built by the Durward family in the 13th century consists of a 9m high flat topped mound 36.6m x 45.7m which is encircled by a ditch or moat. A Manor house known as Ha'ton House was built here in 1487 by Thomas Charteris of Kinfauns in Perthshire and was occupied as late as 1782.  Macbeth is reputed to have been slain here in 1057 after the battle of Dunsinane by Malcolm Canmore son of King Duncan I.  Macbeth's well can be seen nearby at the parish church at burnside.  Macbeth's cairn where Macbeth was buried can be seen north of the village at Perk Hill.  In the 19th century locals used to use the pond here for curling. (Stan Bruce Oct 2005).

Peterhead Library
Also houses the Arbuthnot Museum, this building was opened in 1892 and was funded by Andrew Carnegie, who was the richest man in the world at the time.  Entry to the museum is free and there are several interesting exhibits regarding the fishing, whaling and the peterhead prison.
Picardy Symbol Stone
Near Mireton, Insch, 29 NJ 609 302
One of the oldest, simplest Pictish symbol stones, possibly of 7th century date.

Picture by Duncan Fenton

Picardy Symbol Stone

Pitmedden House and Gardens
Situated one mile west of Pitmedden village and maintained by the National Trust for Scotland since 1952.  The five acre garden was created by Sir Alexander Seton, Lord Pitmedden and his wife Dame Margaret Lauder in the late 17th century (1675).  The grounds also contain a visitor centre, a nature trail, a picnic area, and a farming museum based around the collection of 19th and 20th century implements of the late William Cook from Tarves donated to the Trust in 1978.   The present Pitmedden House is a 17th-century house, remodeled in 1853 and again in 1954.  It may also incorporate part of a much earlier building.  The castle has been in many hands over the years including the Seton’s.  (S.Bruce Jan 2008).

Pitsligo Castle
Sited near Rosehearty is the former seat of Alexander Lord Forbes of Pitsligo who fought with Bonnie Prince Charlie at the Battle of Culloden.  The castle dates from 1424 with later additions and is now owned by Pitsligo Castle Trust who took ownership from the estate of the late Malcolm Forbes of Forbes Magazine, New York.  The castle is currently in a state of disrepair and is considered dangerous.
http://www.pitsligo-castle.org.uk/

Pitullie Castle
A seat of the Fraser's lies within view of Pitsligo castle, this ruin was built in the 16th century and was abandoned in 1850.
Slains Castle, New – New Slains Castle sited one mile north of Cruden Bay was built by Francis Hay the 9th Earl of Errol in 1597 to replace Old Slains Castle.  It was altered in 1664, 1707 and 1837, and abandoned in 1925 to 1926.  Slains is one of Scotland’s most famous castles due to its association with Bram Stoker the author of Dracula.  Stoker started to write his novel Dracula while staying in Cruden Bay in 1895.  There is a car park at the side of the main road however there is a bit of a walk to get to the castle.  Grid ref NK102362. (S. Bruce Jan 2008).

 

Slains Castle – Referred to locally as ‘Old Slains’.  Old Slains Castle is located four miles south of Cruden Bay and was originally a seat of the Comyn Earl of Buchan, the castle was given to William Errol by Robert the Bruce after the Comyn’s were defeated at the Battle of Barra and the Battle of Aikey in 1308.  The castle was destroyed by King James IV in 1590’s after the ninth Earl of Errol took part in an unsuccessful catholic rebellion against the crown.  The Earl fled to France and only returned in 1597 after being pardoned by the king.  On his return he built New Slains to the north of Cruden Bay.  All that remains of the castle is basically one wall.  Although this castle stands at the coast it is very difficult to find and we recommend if you want to visit it you take with you an ordnance survey map - Grid ref NK053300.  (S. Bruce Jan 2008).

St Drostan’s Church, Baptismal Font and Well, New Aberdour
(Situated about half way between Banff and Fraserburgh). 

Some time after 300 BC it is believed that there was a Druid settlement in Aberdour, where they held their annual festivals and ceremonies.  St Columba and his nephew St Drostan landed here in the 8th century, and parts of St Drostan’s church are reputedly the oldest in Scotland. The current church was built in the 16th century alongside the earlier church (date unknown).  Situated in the church is a stone Hexagonal Baptismal Font which is also thought to be of an earlier date than the current church.  In the churchyard the oldest legible inscription is 1433 on a tombstone of one of the Bairds of Auchmedden.  St Drostan’s well is situated near the beach, its pure spring water was used by St Drostan to baptise local people and was famous for giving miracle cures.  It is now considered unfit for human consumption but is regularly used by many a visiting dog.  The view of the cliffs and the caves is brilliant and well worth a visit.

Baptismal Font  in St Drostan's church cave at Aberdour beach

St Drostan's well lower par

St Drostan's well upper part

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Drostan's church Aberdour

St Machar's Cathedral Transepts
In Old Aberdeen
The nave and towers of the Cathedral remain in use as a church, and the ruined transepts are in care. In the south transept is the fine tomb of Bishop Dunbar (1514-32).
The nearby bridge 'Brig o' Balgownie' over the Don in Old Aberdeen was built under the instruction of Robert the Bruce in 1320.

Inside the Cathedral showing heraldic shields
A 3.9Mb .pdf file with lots of pictures

St Mary's Kirk, Auchindoir
Near Lumsden, three miles north of Kildrummy, 37 NJ 477 244
One of the finest medieval parish churches in Scotland, roofless, but otherwise entire. There is a rich early Romanesque doorway and a beautiful early 14th century sacrament house, comparable with those as Deskford and Kinkell.

  Sacrament house st marys auchindoir

St Mary’s first existed as a parish church in the 13th century.  What we see today is the ruin of a church extensively altered in the 17th century.  Key features of this church which have managed to survive from mediaeval times are the richly detailed round arched south door, the sacrament house designed to hold the consecrated host, and a simple piscine (A basin used to wash sacred vessels).  My favourite item in the churchyard is a small angel statue on the headstone of a previous minister’s wife.  This church was in use until 1810 when a replacement was built. (Stan Bruce Nov 2005).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Mary's Church yard
In the old part of Banff. The recently restored 16th century vaulted Aisle in St Mary's historic medieval church yard in Banff (Church was demolished in 1830).

St Medden's Kirk, Aberdeenshire
Mediaeval kirk situated within a cluster of trees on the north side of the Don river. The kirk is roofless and not in very good order.  Inside a sacrament house van be seen and in the small graveyard two interesting stones. One an upright headstone shows a maltese cross and a dagger, the other which is lying horizontal shows incised circles with crosses inside perhaps of Pictish origin. Grid ref NJ873156 (S. Bruce Nov 2007).

St Peter's Kirk and Parish Cross, Duffus
Duffus Churchyard
The roofless remains of the kirk include the base of a 14th century westewrn tower, a 16th century vaulted porch and sopme interesting tombstones. The cross is of 14th century date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

St Peter's Kirk, Fyvie
The present church dates from 1808AD, however the first St Peter's church was referrred to as far back as 1178AD. There are two bells in the bellcote one dated 1609 and the other 1809.

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Spynie Palace
2m N of Elgin off the A941.
Tel: 01343 546358

Opening to visitors this summer, Spynie Palace was the residence of the bishops of Moray from the 14th century to 1686. The site is dominated by the massive tower built by Bishop David Stewart and affords spectacular views across Spynie Loch.
Winter: open weekends only.

Spynie Palace

Sueno's Stone
At the east end of Forres, 27 NJ 046 595
The most remarkable sculptured monument in Britain, probably a cenotaph, standing over 20 feet high and dating to the end of the first millennium AD. Covered by a protective glass enclosure.

Picture by Duncan Fenton

Sueno's Stone

Tarves Medieval Tomb
In Tarves kirkyard, 15 miles north north west of Aberdeen
A fine altar-tomb of William Forbes, the laird who enlarged Tolquhon Castle. The carving is a remarkable survival.

 

Temple of Venus
Standing high on top of Doune hill between Banff and Macduff, built by the Earl of Fife in the 1700's. From here you get brilliant views of Banff, Banff Bay the Deveron Bridge and Duff House.  The seven arch Deveron bridge was built in 1799 for the 2nd Earl of Fife and was designed by the well known architect John Smeaton.

 

 

 

 

The Plainstones in Low St, Banff
Here we find several interesting historic pieces:
The market cross dating from the 16th Century.
The Biggar fountain dated 1878.
The Stuart Royal Coat of Arms dated 1634. Adjacent to the coat of arms is a panel dated 1628 which may have been part of the original base of the market cross, the market cross has been moved twice and originally stood approximately where the Biggar fountain now stands, (Also stood above the Sandyhills doo-cot for a while).

Sebastopol Cannon from the Crimean war (1855).  A similar cannon was taken form Sebastopol and the cascabels are used to make the Victoria Cross.

Town House built 1797 and the Steeple was built 1794.
The Carmelite Monastery once stood on the ground here.
The Tolbooth hotel built in 1801 is on the site where James McPherson the Freebooter in 1700 was locked up before being hanged, the clock in Banff was reputedly put forward one hour to ensure he was hanged because a reprive was on it's way.  He may have been hanged either on the gallowhill or perhaps on the hill where Sandyhills doo-cot is located.

BIGGAR FOUNTAIN AND BANFF TOWN HALL 6 AUG 2004 sebastopol cannon
memsie cairn

Stuart Royal coat of Arms

Town hall+plainstones Banff

banff mercat cross

The Red Well
1.5 miles west of Banff on the coast, a chalybeate spring dating back to roman times.  The well is reputedly haunted by an old woman who is believed to be a ghost of an old woman who was once the caretaker of the well. 

Tolquhon Castle
15m N of Aberdeen on the A920.
Tel: 01651 851286.

Noted for its highly ornamented gatehouse and pleasance, Tolquhon was built for the Forbes family. The early 15th-century tower was enlarged between 1584 and 1589 with a large mansion round a courtyard.
Winter: open weekends only.
Tolquhon Castle
Tomnaverie Stone Circle
Near Mill of Water Coull, about three miles north west of Aboyne, 37 NJ 486 034
Recumbent stone circle around 4,000 years old recently restored.and a new car park has been made by Historic Scotland. (Stan Bruce Oct 2005).

 

 

 

 

Troup Head
10 mile east of Banff.  Clinging to the cliffs you can see Guillemots, Razorbills and all types of seagulls, but the most amazing site is the colony of Gannets, the only colony in mainland Scotland, (the only other place they can be seen are on St Kilda and Bass Rock).  You can also see puffins swimming in the water or flying past, one of the secret places of 'The Graet North East Corner'  accessible from a farm track or from one of the pleasure craft which operate from Banff or Macduff.

 

 

 

 

 

Hallforest Castle
4 miles south of Inverurie, north of B994  NJ 777154
14th C keep.  Built as a hunting lodge for Robert The Bruce.

Photo by Duncan Fenton

Hallforest Castle
War Memorials  

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