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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 57°01′N 3°24′W / 57.01°N 3.4°W / 57.01; -03.40

Scottish Gaelic: Bràigh Mhàrr
Braemar is located in Scotland

 Braemar shown within Scotland
Population 839 (2001) (Crathie and Braemar Civil Parish) [1]
OS grid reference NO150913
Council area Aberdeenshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BALLATER
Postcode district AB35
Dialling code 013397
Police Grampian
Fire Grampian
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Braemar is a village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, around 58 miles (93 km) west of Aberdeen in the Highlands. It is the closest significantly-sized settlement to the upper course of the River Dee sitting at an altitude of 339 metres (1,110 ft).

The Gaelic Bràigh Mhàrr properly refers to the area of upper Marr (as it literally means), i.e. the area of Marr to the west of Aboyne, the village itself being Castleton of Braemar (Baile a' Chaisteal Bhràigh Mhàrr).



Braemar is approached from the South on the A93 from Glen Clunie and the Cairnwell Pass - and from the East also on the A93 from Deeside. Braemar can be approached on foot from the West through Glen Tilt, Glen Feshie, Glen Dee (by the Lairig Ghru), and Glen Derry (by the Lairig an Laoigh). Braemar is within a one-and-a-half hour drive of Aberdeen, Dundee, and Perth.

The village is overlooked (from roughly northwest) by Carn na Drochaide (818 m), (from roughly northeast) by Creag Choinnich (538 m), (from roughly southwest) by Carn na Sgliat (690 m), and (from roughly southwest) by Morrone (859 m).

Braemar is the coldest low lying place in the UK with a mean temperature of 6.5OC. Braemar has twice entered the UK Weather Records with the lowest ever UK temperature of -27.2oC, on February 11, 1995 and January 10, 1982.[2]


Historically the village is situated in the upper end of the historical Earldom of Mar or literally the Braes o' Mar.[3] In Scottish Gaelic, Bràigh Mhàrr (upland of Mar) referred to the general locality rather than the village itself.[4]

The use of Braemar to specifically refer to the village dates to around 1870. Previously, two independent hamlets existed on the banks of the Clunie Water named on the West bank; Auchendryne, on the East bank; Castleton, the name referring to Kindrochit Castle (within the modern-day village) rather than Braemar Castle[3] (immediately south of the village). The names Auchendryne and Castleton are clearly marked on the current Ordnance Survey maps below the larger and bolder Braemar.

Ruins of Kindrochit Castle

Traditionally, Malcolm III with his first Queen came to the area in around 1059, and according to legend held a great gathering at the original settlement of Doldencha, situated under the present-day graveyard. He is also credited with having built a timber bridge across the Clunie and the original Kindrochit Castle, the siting of which was derived from a strategic relation to the crossings of the Grampian Mounth.[5] The ruins of Kindrochit Castle on the east bank of the Clunie Water, slightly upriver from the bridge in Braemar, are considered to be largely of 14th century origin replacing the presumed timber-construction of the original castle. The name Kindrochit (bridge end)[3] is the source of the name Castleton being Bail Chasteil.[4]

On 6 September 1715 the Earl of Mar raised the Jacobite standard at Braemar, instigating the 1715 rising against the Hanoverian Succession.

In 1795 a Roman Catholic chapel was built on the high-ground to the west of Auchendryne giving the name to Chapel Brae which, according to Wyness, was being used as a school.[3]

Into the 20th century the village was almost completely owned and divided by the adjoining estates of Mar: Auchendryne and Invercauld on one side; and Castleton on the other. To some extent the inter-estate rivalry led to the building of the Fife Arms Hotel in Auchendryne, and the Invercauld Arms Hotel in Castleton. Interestingly, the Invercauld Arms was built over the mound where John "Bobbing John" Erskine, 6th Earl of Mar raised the Jacobite standard in 1715.[3]

Auchindryne (to use the spelling by Wyness) from ach' an droighinn (field of the thorn) belonged to a branch of the Farquharsons until it was forfeited in the aftermath of the Jacobite rising of 1745. Later that century it was acquired by William Duff, 1st Earl Fife.

Catholicism has traditionally been strong in the Braemar area, and the bones of Saint Andrew rested in Braemar before being taken to the place now known as St. Andrews. The Catholic church in Braemar is dedicated to Saint Andrew was built in 1839.[3]


In the 1891 census, 59.2% of the population of Braemar spoke the Gaelic language "habitually", the percentage of those actually able to speak the language (despite not having much opportunity to) would have been somewhat higher. The small crofting township of Inverey (Inbhir Èidh) was 86.3% Gaelic-speaking, most non-speakers being originally from Lower Deeside. The Gaelic spoken in the Aberdeenshire Highlands shared most features in common with the Gaelic of Strathspey and East Perthshire. The last native-speaker of the local Gaelic dialect died in 1984, though there are still surviving native-speakers of the similar Strathspey dialect. At the 2001 census, out of a total population of 839 in Crathie and Braemar Civil Parish, only 5 (0.6%) claimed to be Gaelic speakers. [6]

Braemar Gathering

Known colloquially as The Games - and originating from those believed to have been held by Malcolm III - Braemar holds an annual Highland Games Gathering on the first Saturday in September, traditionally attended by the British Royal Family.

In 1746 the Act of Proscription stopped all clan gatherings, but following its repeal in 1782 the old enthusiasms for such events returned.[3] About 1826 the Braemar Highland Society was created; the first modern-day games taking place in 1832. On the 14th September 1844 Queen Victoria attended the gathering at Invercauld. In 1866 Royal was added to Braemar Highland Society and in 1906 the Duke of Fife presented 12 acres (49,000 m2) of Mar Estate to the Society and The Princess Royal and Duke of Fife Memorial Park, the current home of the Braemar Gathering, was created.

Since Queen Victoria's time the reigning Monarch has been the patron of the Braemar Royal Highland Society.


Gallery - 2006 Gathering

This gallery shows general views of the 2006 Braemar Gathering


Braemar has a golf course, two large hotels (Fife Arms and Invercauld Arms) as well as many smaller hotels and private homes offering bed and breakfast style accommodation and a large SYHA hostel. On the southern edge of the village there is also a caravan site. A tourist information centre is opposite the Fife Arms Hotel. Braemar also has a small Post Office/village shop and mountain bike hire.

Morrone Birkwood Nature Reserve

Morrone Birkwood Nature Reserve

The Morrone Birkwood Nature Reserve is a nature reserve on the edge of the village reached from the car park at the top of Chapel Brae.


This gallery shows general views of Braemar.

See also

Other articles of local-interest include:

Notes and references

  1. ^ Census 2001
  2. ^ United Kingdom Meteorological Office statistics
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Fenton Wyness (1968). Royal Valley : The Story Of The Aberdeenshire Dee. Aberdeen: Alex P. Reid & Son.  
  4. ^ a b Adam Watson (1975). District Guide: The Cairngorms. Edinburgh: The Scottish Mountaineering Trust.  
  5. ^ C. Michael Hogan, Elsick Mounth, Megalithic Portal, editor: Andy Burnham (2007)
  6. ^ Census 2001 : Knowledge of Gaelic

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Braemar is a village near Aberdeen in Scotland.

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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

BRAEMAR, a district in S.W. Aberdeenshire, Scotland, extending from Ballater in the E. to Glen Dee in the W., a distance of 24 m. with a breadth varying from 3 to 6 m. It is drained throughout by the river Dee, both banks of which are bounded by hills varying from 1000 to nearly 3000 ft. in height.

The whole area is distinguished by typical Highland scenery, and is a resort alike for sportsmen and tourists. The villages and clachans (Gaelic for hamlet) being situated at an altitude of from 600 to more than 1000 ft. above the sea, the air is everywhere pure and bracing. The deer forests comprise the royal forests of Balmoral and Ballochbuie, Glen Ey Forest, Mar Forest and Invercauld Forest. At various points on either side of the Dee, granite castles, mansions and lodges have been built, mostly in the Scottish baronial style, and all effectively situated with reference to the wooded hills or the river. The chief of these are Balmoral and Abergeldie Castles belonging to the crown, Invercauld House, Braemar Castle, Mar Lodge and Old Mar Lodge. Castleton of Braemar is the foremost of the villages, being sometimes styled the capital of the Deeside Highlands. Its public buildings include halls erected by the duke of Fife and Colonel Farquharson of Invercauld to commemorate the Victorian jubilee of 1887. Not far from the spot where the brawling Clunie joins the Dee the earl of Mar raised the standard of revolt in 1715. His seat, Braemar Castle, reputed to be a hunting-lodge of Malcolm Canmore, was forfeit along with the estates. The new castle built by the purchasers in 1720 was acquired at a later date by Farquharson of Invercauld, who gave government the use of it during the pacification of the Highlands after the battle of Culloden in 1746. Population of Crathie and Braemar (I 901)1452.

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