- Kintore Latitude 57.2332° N Longitude -2.3461° W
- Kintore Postcode AB51
- Kintore WOEID 25305
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- Kintore Reviews
Kintore this tiny former royal burgh‘s ﬁrst extant charter was granted by James IV in 1506, but it claims to have acquired its heraldic emblem a branch oft he oak tree, as the result of assisting Kenneth ll to triumph over Norse invaders in A.D. 854.
The tale is the rather familiar one of how cattle dressed in oak leaves were driven on to the scene of battle and thus deceived the enemy into thinking that reinforcements had arrived. At a later date, however, Kintore had its royal castle, in the heart of a royal forest. and from it Alexander III issued various charters.
The forest was granted by Robert Bruce in 1309 to Sir Robert dc Keith, Marisehal ot‘Scotland, and about this time was built Hallforest Castle a keep that strongly resembles the tower of Drum on Decside.
Twice vaulted and 60 ft high, the great oblong tower has walls 7 ft thick. Two lofty barrel-vaults, one on top of the other were each subdivided to make four storeys containing cellar kitchen hall and solar.
Hallforest was inhabited until 1639, but is now a very precarious ruin.
The handsome old Town House with its two curving ﬂights of stone forestairs. clock tower and ogival-slated roof. was built about 1740 at a cost of £850 Scots largely subscribed by the Earl of Kintore, and contained originally a council room a tolbooth, a school, and schoolhouse and a meal girnal, where the grain of the tenants on the Earl of Kintore’s estate who paid their rents in kind was deposited.
Visitors to Kintore should know of one of the most interesting castellated buildings in Scotland: it lies in a quiet and retired glen on the other side of the river Don from the royal burgh. This is Balbithan Castle, built by William Chalmers about 1667 the last of the turreted L-plan manors in the country. It is beautifully preserved and still occupied.