The villages and towns of Buchan

A street scene

The originally unforgiving and barren land of Buchan has been cleared and cultivated by generations of farmers and improving landlords. In the 18th and 19th centuries feus were rented at low rates to attract people to live and work in Buchan. A consequence of this movement was the improvement of ancient villages and the building of new planned villages; evidence of this is the prevalence of the prefix New on many of the village-names: New Aberdour, New Leeds, New Pitsligo, New Deer, and so on. Many of these villages retain much of their 18th and 19th century architecture and structure and have a unique, if rather austere charm.

In order of distance from Old Deer are the villages of Stuartfield, Mintlaw, Maud, Longside, Strichen, New Pitsligo, New Deer, New Leeds and Cuminestown, and the town of Turriff. They all have interest, partly because of the variety of building stone, but also because they reflect the period from 1750s to the middle of the last century when these villages were still self-contained communities, each one with its own character.

StuartfieldNew DeerEllon