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Coordinates: 56°58′N 2°13′W / 56.96°N 2.21°W / 56.96; -2.21

Stonehaven
Scottish Gaelic: Cala na Creige
Scots: Steenhive
Stonehaven-Square.jpg
Market Square, Stonehaven
Stonehaven is located in Scotland
Stonehaven

 Stonehaven shown within Scotland
Population 9,577 (2001 Census)
OS grid reference NO8786
Council area Aberdeenshire
Lieutenancy area Aberdeenshire
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town STONEHAVEN
Postcode district AB39
Dialling code 01569
Police Grampian
Fire Grampian
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
Scottish Parliament West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
List of places: UK • Scotland •

Stonehaven (Scots: Steenhive; Scottish Gaelic: Cala na Creige) is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It lies on Scotland's northeast coast and had a population of 9,577 in 2001 census.

Stonehave, county town of Kincardineshire, grew around an Iron Age fishing village, now the "Auld Toon" ("old town"), and expanded inland from the Seaside. As late as the 16th century, old maps indicate the town was called Stonehyve or Stonehive.

The town is served by Stonehaven railway station.

Contents

History

Stonehaven is the site of prehistoric events as witnessed by finds at Fetteresso Castle and neolithic pottery excavations from the Spurryhillock area[1]. The town lies at the southern origin of the ancient Causey Mounth trackway, which was built on high ground to make passable this only available medieval route from coastal points south to Aberdeen. This ancient passage specifically connected the Bridge of Dee to Cowie Castle via the Portlethen Moss and the Stonehaven central plaza[2]. The route was that taken by the Earl Marischal and Marquess of Montrose when they led a Covenanter army of over 9000 men in the first battle of the Civil War in 1639[3].Originally the settlement of Stonehaven grew and prospered and was known as Kilwhang. With ‘Kil’ meaning hill and ‘whang’ the name, or sound of a whip, possibly, the name is derived from the cliffs above the original settlement and the sound of wind whistling around their meagre shelters.

The Covenanters were imprisoned in Dunnottar Castle, where many died. A memorial to them can be found in Dunnottar Church. Other castles in the vicinity are Fetteresso Castle and Muchalls Castle, both of which are in private ownership and not open to the public. The oldest surviving structure in Stonehaven is the Stonehaven Tolbooth at the harbour, used as an early prison and now a museum.

Dunnottar Castle, perched atop a rocky outcrop, was home to the Keith family, and during the Scottish Wars of Independence, the Scottish Crown Jewels were hidden there. In 1296 King Edward I of England took the castle only for William Wallace to reclaim it in 1297, burning down the church in the process with the entire English garrison still in it. In 1650, Oliver Cromwell sacked the castle to find the Crown Jewels following an eight month siege (having previously destroyed the English Crown Jewels). However, just before the castle fell, the Crown Jewels were smuggled out by some ladies who took them by boat to a small church just down the coast in the village of Kinneff, where they remained undetected for eleven years.

Near the Cowie Bridge, at the north of Stonehaven. was a prior historic fishing village known as Cowie, which area has now been subsumed into Stonehaven. Somewhat further north are the ruins of Cowie Castle. Slightly to the west of Stonehaven is the ruined Ury House, originally a property of the Frasers.

The fossil of what is said to be the oldest air-breathing invertebrate discovered was found at Stonehaven's Cowie Beach. This was Pneumodesmus newmani, a species of millipede.[4][5]

Geography

Stonehaven from the air

Stonehaven is 15 miles (24 km) south of Aberdeen in a sheltered position on Stonehaven Bay between the Carron Water and the Cowie Water.[6] Stonehaven lies adjacent to a deeply indented bay surrounded on three sides by higher land between Downie Point and Garron Point. The harbour, consisting of two basins, was improved in the 1820s by the engineer Robert Stevenson (grandfather of the author Robert Louis Stevenson) and became an important centre of the 19th century herring trade;[7] the harbour is bordered on the north by Bellman's Head and at the south by Downie Point. At the western edge of Stonehaven west of the A90 road lies the village of Kirkton of Fetteresso. Stonehaven is also the site of one of Europe's largest permanent and purpose built outdoor radio controlled car circuits (www.sdrcc.co.uk).

Stonehaven has grown rapidly since the oil boom in Aberdeen. The increasing demand for new, middle-class housing has seen four new estates being appended to the town, creating an expanse of suburbs.

Landmarks

Places of Worship

Stonehaven has three Church of Scotlands, one baptist church, an episcopal church and a catholic church. South Church and Dunnottar Parish Church are to share a minister at some point in the near future. Fetteresso Parish Church is an evangelical Church of Scotland.

Commerce and culture

Historically the chief commerce of Stonehaven lay in fishing. Led by the herring fishery, the catch peaked around the year 1894 with a peak catch of about 15 million fish per annum and an employment in the fishing industry of 1280 people. Due to overfishing to serve the expanding regional population, the fishing industry declined with diminishing catches, such that by 1939 only a remnant of the earlier fishing fleet continued to exist,[3] and the catch mostly supported the local population from that point onward.

At present day the town's primary industries are marine services and tourism, with Dunnottar Castle, a local landmark, bringing in a large number of tourists every year. Dunnottar Castle is regularly used in promotional material by the Scottish tourism industry; in addition, it was used in the 1990 movie Hamlet, and appeared as a featured desktop background in the UK edition of Micorosoft Windows 7.

The town has a long beach facing the cold North Sea, with large cliffs at either end sheltering small rock pools and inlets. It is also famous for its olympic-sized outdoor swimming pool, which is heated and filled with a mixture of tap water and filtered seawater. Another attraction is the local harbour, which features the Tolbooth, the town's tiny museum of local heritage.

Stonehaven Fireballs Ceremony 2003
Stonehaven Harbour
Stonehaven Beach

During Hogmanay festivities, the High Street comes alive with crowds watching the annual fireballs ceremony, in which volunteers walking down the High Street swing huge balls of fire around and around at the ends of chains. The Fireball Festival was part of the content of stv's Hogmanay coverage. The fireballs are finally thrown into the harbour[8 ].

Every July Stonehaven holds a Highland Games. All those competing in the heavy events (which include the Hammer, the Heavy Stone and Tossing the Caber) must wear full Highland dress. Other events include the Stonehaven Folk Festival regularly attended by famous Glaswegian comedian Billy Connolly. On the first Saturday in June the Feein' Market recreates a 19th Century agricultural hiring fair. The RW Thomson Classic Car Rally is an annual celebration of the inventor of the pneumatic tryre and attracts an impressive range of vintage and classic cars. There are two harbour festivals each summer. A farmers market is now held once a month in the market square where local food suppliers and producers can sell fresh fruit, vegetables, poultry and other types of meat.

The town's Haven Fish Bar was the likely origin of the Deep-fried Mars Bar,[9] a snack now culturally associated with Scotland - and its health record - as a whole. The premises are now the award-winning Carron fish and chip shop.

Stonehaven, known informally to locals as Stoney, has three primary schools (Dunnottar, Arduthie and Mill O'Forest) and a large secondary school (Mackie Academy). Population expansion has led to the expansion of primary schools and extra spaces built for classrooms in the secondary school. The town supports a Rugby club - Mackie Academy Former Pupils Rugby Football Club - which plays in the BT National League Division 5. The town also has a junior football club who play in the North Region SuperLeague at Glenury Park.

Stonehaven's long established pipe band plays at events throughout the year, including the folks festival and fireball ceremony. The band has competed at various levels throughout its illustrious history including several years at the prestigious Grade 1.

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Notable people

Stonehaven was the birthplace of Robert William Thomson, inventor of the pneumatic tyre and the fountain pen, of journalist James Murdoch and Lord Reith of Stonehaven, first Director-General of the BBC.

Stonehaven was a holiday retreat of the poet, Robert Burns.

The novelist Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell) attended school at what was the old Mackie Academy (now Arduthie Primary). As a state secondary school Mackie Academy now serves over-1000 pupils and they study his work.

Famous historical visitors include William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots.

Local Radio

Alongside the commercial enterprise of the local newspaper, The Mearns Leader, Stonhaven has a Local Community Radio Staion in Mearns FM. Broadcasting from Stonehaven Townhall to the town and surrounding Mearns area, Mearns FM helps to keep Stonehaven up to date with local and charity events, as well as playing a wee bit of music. Staffed completly by volunteers, Mearns FM is run as a not for profit organisation, broadcasting under a Community Radio licence, with a remit to provide local focus news events and programming. Jointly funded by local adverts and local and national grants. Mearns FM has one of the largest listening areas of any Community Radio Station owing to the Mearns' distributed population, Mearns FM was setup to try and bring these distant communities together.[10]

References

  1. ^ Clarke, C M 1997 "Palaeoenvironmental results" in Alexander, D 'Excavation of pits containing decorated Neolithic pottery and early lithic material of possible Mesolithic date at Spurryhillock, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire', PSAS 127, 17-27
  2. ^ C.Michael Hogan, History of Muchalls Castle, Aberdeen (2005)
  3. ^ a b Archibald Watt, Highways and Biways around Kincardineshire, Stonehaven Heritage Society (1985)
  4. ^ Pneumodesmus article on Independent news website
  5. ^ Pneumodesmus article on science section of Red Orbit website
  6. ^ United Kingdom Ordnance Survey Map Landranger 45, Stonehaven and Banchory, 1:50,000 scale, 2004
  7. ^ Gazeteer for Scotland. "Stonehaven". http://www.geo.ed.ac.uk/scotgaz/towns/townfirst184.html. Retrieved 2007-04-28.  
  8. ^ '[1]' at Stonehaven Fireball Association. Retrieved 31 December 2007.
  9. ^ French batter Mars bars menu publisher:BBC B News http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/654750.stm BBC News
  10. ^ Mearns FM launch release

External links


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Stonehaven is in North East Scotland.

  • Train - From Aberdeen it is the first stop South after Portlethen, and costs less than 5 pounds round trip.
  • Bus 45-60 minute trip from Aberdeen even less expensive than the train. Get the 107,x7 or 117 from the Aberdeen bus station, next to the train station
  • Stonehaven is a very small town, so walking is your best bet
  • There are taxis in the area
  • Dunnottar Castle, [1]. By far one of the most amazing sites in Scotland. The castle is perched on cliffs overhanging the North Sea and provides stunning views. The best way to get there for adventurous folk is the mile-long hike from the town of Stonehaven. The hike is a narrow path along the cliffs that provides stunning views the entire way. Definitely a must-see.  edit
  • Stonehaven Harbour - The harbour forms what I would call the town center. There is a collection of local pubs and restaurants, though as it is a small town, we are talking about maybe 4 or 5 places. However, having a pint at a table overlooking the harbor and hanging with locals is a great experience. This town is very small, and in the town there are very few travelers, so it is a great chance to meet and talk to locals.
  • Play golf at the Stonehaven Golf Course. [2] Probably one of the most tremendous golf courses you will play in your lifetime. Absolutely stunning.
  • Run and Swim with Splash'n'Dash from the Leisure Centre on Tues/Thurs evenings [3]
  • There are a couple of gift shops actually - Purdies, in the Market Square sells an eclectic mix of gifts, cards, jewellery and shoes.
  • Charles Michie, also in the Market Square is a pharmacy, but sells trinkets, gifts, ornaments etc.
  • The Shell Hoosie at the harbour sells sea/marine based gifts as well as ice creams, coffee to take away etc.
  • Mimi's, in the Market Square does the best hot chocolate around!
  • Here and Now, in Barclay Street, has lovely homebakes, sandiwches and snacks. Also sells fairtrade goods, gifts etc.
  • Gino's, just up from the Market Square is a wee Italian run cafe, and sells good quality food at reasonable prices.
  • Molly Gunnings, at the beach is open all day and sells good Scottish breakfasts, as well as the usual homebakes, paninis etc.
  • The Tollbooth, in the harbour, [4]. For World Class seafood.
  • The Carron, town centre, [5].
  • If you simply want to buy produce then Charles McHardy in the Market Square is good [6], also Lembas Organic eggs are sold there [7].
  • Be sure to have a pint around the harbor and a summer evening.
  • Stonehaven should be more of a side excursion from Aberdeen than an overnight thing.
  • A camp site is available in season beside the open air pool with reasonable rates
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

STONEHAVEN (locally Stanehive), a police burgh, seaport and county town of Kincardineshire, Scotland, 15 m. S.S.W. of Aberdeen by rail. Pop. (1901), 4577. It consists of two quarters, the old town picturesquely situated on the south bank of the Carron and the new on the land between this stream and the Cowie, the two being connected by the bridge which carries the main road from the south to Aberdeen. The principal buildings are the market-house and town hall, and the industries include distilling, brewing, tanning, the making of net, rope and twine and woollen manufactures. The harbour, a natural basin, is protected on the south-east by cliffs and has a quay. The trade is mostly in coal and lime and the exports are chiefly agricultural. The town is an important centre of the fishing industry, and has become a favourite watering-place. On the decay of Kincardine, the original capital, Stonehaven became the county town in 1600, and suffered heavily during the covenanting troubles, Montrose setting it on fire in 1645. The Slug Road to Banchory-Ternan, or Upper Banchory (pop. 1475), 15 m. distant, a favourite residential resort of Aberdeen citizens, begins at Stonehaven. It pursues mainly a north-western direction, at one point being carried over the shoulder of Cairn mon-earn (1245 ft.).


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Simple English

Stonehaven
Gaelic - Cala na Creige
Scots - Steenhive

Population 9,577 (2001)
OS grid reference NO8786
Council area Aberdeenshire
Lieutenancy area Aberdeenshire
Constituent country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town STONEHAVEN
Postcode district AB39
Dialling code 01569
Police Grampian
Fire Grampian
Ambulance Scottish
Scottish Parliament West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
UK Parliament West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
European Parliament Scotland
List of places: UK • Scotland
Coordinates: 56°58′N 2°13′W / 56.96°N 2.21°W / 56.96; -2.21

Stonehaven (Steenhive in the Doric dialect of Scots) and Cala na Creige in Gaelic is a town with around fourteen thousand inhabitants (9,577 in the 2001 census) on the northeast coast of Scotland. It is the county town of the historic county of Kincardineshire or The Mearns and the present day county of Aberdeenshire. It grew around an Iron Age fishing village, now the "Auld Toon" ("old town"), and expanded inland from the Seaside. As late as the 16th century, old maps indicate the town was called Stonehyve or Stonehive.

= Famous People

= Stonehaven was the birthplace of Robert William Thomson, inventor of the pneumatic tyre and the fountain pen, of journalist James Murdoch and Lord Reith of Stonehaven, first Director-General of the BBC.

Stonehaven was a holiday retreat of the poet, Robert Burns.

The novelist Lewis Grassic Gibbon (James Leslie Mitchell) attended school at what was the old Mackie Academy (now Arduthie Primary). Mackie Academy now serves over 1000 pupils and they study his work.

Famous historical visitors include William Wallace and Mary Queen of Scots.

References

Other websites

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