Rhynie and Tap o' Noth

The pretty village of Rhynie is notable for its large green with the war memorial and the kirk behind. The war memorial is one of a series erected in the north-east of Scotland, each with a granite sculpture of a soldier. The memorial in Rhynie is particularly fine showing the soldier with head bowed and rifle reversed. It was carved by Robert Warrack Morrison, the so-called king of the granite-carvers, and is one of his finest works.

The village stands below Tap 'o Noth, a hill of about 500 m. height, about two miles to the west, of particular interest because of the remains of a vitrified Pictish fort at its summit. From the summit there are panoramic views towards the highlands in the west, and almost to sea in the east. The views have been disfigured and are continuing to be further disfigured by the proliferation of wind-farms permitted with philistine short-sightedness by Aberdeenshire Council.

The Pictish fort at the summit of Tap o' Noth is reputed to be second highest in Scotland. The vitrification was caused by extreme heat that melted the surfaces of the constituent stones allowing them to fuse together; and there is debate about the reasons for the vitrification and about the technology by which it was achieved. The fort itself surrounds the summit though there is an opening allowing entry to the enclosed region.

There is access to the hill from the A941, and the slope to the summit is gentle, but the track is rough, and sensible shoes, or better, boots, are recommended to those intending to visit the summit.

(Revision date: Friday 4th October 2013)