- Collieston Postcode AB41
- Collieston Latitude 57.3477° N Longitude -1.9366° W
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Collieston Aberdeenshire is a quaint old fishing village in the parish of Slains 15 miles north of Aberdeen on the rocky slopes of a sandy cove, between high and picturesque cliffs with many spectacular caves. It was famous for Speldins a small fish that were split salted, and dried in the sun.
Between l840 and 1871 the population rose. The pier and small harbour were built in 1894.
The speldins. at one time dried on hooks attached to rails on the Peerman Braes, and later at every cottage door, have gone for ever. But the village now flourishes as a holiday resort with many weekend cottages; as a result of which the permanent winter population has dwindled.
On a mound to the north of the village is the Kirk of Slains, a modern building erected in 1806 after a spartan period during which the congregation worshipped in the kirkyard, where, in Erroll’s Aisle, the earls and countesses of Erroll were buried from l585 to 1758.
Near the door of the kirk is the gravestone of Philip Kennedy, most famous of the smugglers of the 18th century, he was Fatally injured a mile from Collieston by an exciseman who was afterwards tried and acquitted of murder in 1798.
Kennedy’s cloven skull, it is said, was repeatedly dug up in excavating graves for the many other Kennedys buried here.
John Skelton‘s novel “The Craolred Meg” celebrates the most famous of the Slains smuggling luggers.
Near the manse is a splendidly preserved doo'cot. Where pigeons were reared to supply food for the large manse household at the end of hard winters. A traditional dance known as the ‘lang reel of Collieston‘ was danced at every fisher wedding in the village. Modern Collieston owes much to a distinguished son of the village, Sir Douglas Ritchie, who was vice-chairman of the Port of London authority from 1946 to l955.