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Gardenstown Visitor Information Guide

  • Gardenstown Latitude 57.6722° N Longitude -2.3372° W
  • Gardenstown Postcode AB45
  • Gardenstown WOEID 20827
  • Gardenstown Map
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The Bay of Gamrie in which this village lies is a geological spot in which old red sandstone usurps the domain of clay slates. As spectacle it is the high point of l5mile stretch of coastline of peculiar character that begins with Macduff and ends on the western outskirts of Roseharty. In this world apart cliffs are not merely cliffs, they are mountainous green ledges that rise in waves out of the plain of Buchan and soar as high as 600 ft to confront the Moray Firth.

Only at three points at Aberdour, Pennan Gamrie Bay is the resulting Wall of rock sufficiently broken to permit human settlement. It is on the site of the ruined Church of St John the Evangelist. Whose gable bears the startlingly improbable date 1004 that the human annals of Gainric open with an invasion of of Norsemen.

The invaders were forced to a last stand and cut down to a man with the Bloods of Pits still the name of the site of the massacre.

An observer who had visited the Kirk of St John. before it was abandoned as a place of worship in I832 and wrote, I have seen the Norsemen's skulls grinning horrid and hollow in the wall where they had been fixed directly cast into the pulpit.

After the church was abandoned, the heads were pilfered bit by bit by sightseers, although one was recovered and placed in the Banff Museum.

Now roofless, the church of Gamrie has not been allowed to fall to pieces altogether, Indeed a workman has inscribed in cement on a shored up plaque ‘Built 1OO4, repaired l96l’. But the oldest authentic monument inside commemorates an honourable man, Patrick Barclay, laird of Tolly, and Janet Ogilvy his spouse, who died January 6. 1547.

The village of Gardenstown was founded by Alexander Garden of Troup in the year 1720. By l842 the Rev. Thomas Wilson, the third in the  direct line of his family to be minister of the parish, presided over a community in which an intense family spirit had developed, with few exceptions we are told. The families of the whole of the farms on the estate of Troup are related in some way to each other. This system of clanship is carried still further among the fishing population of the villages most of whom in Crovie or Gardenstown are of the name ot‘Watt or Wiseman, so that they are obliged to have recourse to nicknames for the sake of distinction, This is still roughly true today.

1 customer review

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Great afternoon spent at Gardenstown Heritage Centre
2 months ago
Your review
Spent a good hour chatting to the local hosts who told us about life in the village over the years. Whilst they described the decline of the local population sadly affecting many seaside places these days, they were friendly and seem to enjoy looking at the old photographs and telling stories about fishing life over the bye gone years.
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