“The Brig o’ Balgownie (originally Bridge of Don) is a 13th-century bridge spanning the River Don in Old Aberdeen, Aberdeen, Scotland.Wikipedia Page
Construction of the bridge was begun in the late 13th century by Richard Cementarius, although its completion was not until 1320 at the time of the Scottish War of Independence. After falling into disrepair in the mid 16th century it was extensively renovated in 1605.
Throughout its history the bridge has been considered an important asset. For five centuries possession of the bridge was the only way to move large armies quickly along the eastern coast of Aberdeenshire. It also provided a trade route to the wealthy areas of the north-east of Scotland.
The bridge is constructed of granite and sandstone. Its single gothic arch has span of over 12 metres and at low tide the apex of the arch lies over 17 metres above the water-line.”
Local legend suggests that this bridge was started by Bishop Henry Cheyne in the late 13th or early 14th century and completed by Robert the Bruce. Whilst this may or may not be true, historical documents show that the bridge we see today was the result of rebuilding work in three phases in the early 17th century.
This was the main crossing on the Don leading to the north from Aberdeen and vice versa prior to the construction of the adjacent Bridge of Don in 1831. Today the Brig o’ Balgownie is a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
It is situated over a deep pool known as the Black Neuk. It has attracted much interest from various sources and features in Lord Byron (1788 – 1824)’s poem, Don Juan:
“As ‘Auld Lang Syne’ brings Scotland, one and all,VisitAberdeenshire
Scotch plaids,Scotch snoods, the blue hills, and clear streams,
The Dee, the Don, Balgounie’s brig’s black wall,
All my boy feelings, all my gentler dreams
Of what I then dreamt, clothed in their own pall,
Like Banquo’s offspring; – floating past me seems
My childhood in this childishness of mine:
I care not – ’tis a glimpse of ‘Auld Lang Syne.”
|Brig o’ Balgownie at The Doric Columns|
If you are going to be here on the Saturday or Sunday prior to the conference (and are not involved in a Working Group or the Doctoral Consortium), you may want to wander around the City for an hour or two. Here are three different walks which take you around different parts of Aberdeen.
“Braemar is a village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, around 58 miles (93 km) west of Aberdeen in the Highlands. It is the closest significantly-sized settlement to the upper course of the River Dee sitting at an altitude of 339 metres (1,112 ft).Wikipedia Page
The Gaelic Bràigh Mhàrr properly refers to the area of upper Marr (as it literally means), i.e. the area of Marr to the west of Aboyne, the village itself being Castleton of Braemar (Baile a’ Chaisteil).”
“Braemar is situated in the heart of the outstanding landscape of the Cairngorms National Park in the highest and most mountainous parish in the UK.
Surrounded by mountains, heather moorland, pine and birchwood, it spans the rocky gorge of the Clunie water. For generations, the scenery and pure mountain air have attracted visitors. They come to enjoy walking, climbing, wildlife watching, cycling, canoeing, fishing, stalking, golf and skiing. Within close proximity to over a quarter of Scotland’s Munro’s, the area has been the inspiration for countless writers, artists and photographers and many visitors return again and again.
A cohesive and supportive community of around 450 inhabitants, the village is known around the world for the annual Braemar Gathering. The event attracts around 15,000 people on the first Saturday in September each year and has the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen.
Braemar is situated on the tourist route from Perth to Aberdeen, which climbs over the Cairnwell Pass, the highest through road in the country and follows the River Dee along its picturesque valley. Surrounded by unspoilt and unpopulated countryside, it is however within an hour and a half’s drive of three major cities, Perth, Dundee and Aberdeen
Almost all Braemar is now a conservation area. The village is compact with a mix of grand Victorian houses, modest cottages, narrow roads and lanes and retains a unique character.”BraemarScotland
From the VisitAberdeenshire blog
“Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire is well known for its granite buildings and sea transports links, but it also has a thriving arts and culture scene in addition to a rich and colourful history. Long sandy beaches lay adjacent to quaint fishing villages, city parks are nestled among some of the oldest buildings and structures in the UK.VisitAberdeenshire blog
The region is home to world famous food, showcased through Michelin Guide restaurants just a short stroll from medieval castles and local ice cream producers like Mackie’s of Scotland putting North-east Scotland on the map as a top foodie destination.”
“Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, near the village of Crathie, 6.2 miles west of Ballater and 6.8 miles east of Braemar.Wikipedia Entry
Balmoral has been one of the residences of the British royal family since 1852, when the estate and its original castle were purchased privately by Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria. It remains the private property of the royal family and is not part of the Crown Estate.
Soon after the estate was purchased by the royal family, the existing house was found to be too small and the current Balmoral Castle was commissioned. The architect was William Smith of Aberdeen, although his designs were amended by Prince Albert.
The castle is an example of Scottish baronial architecture, and is classified by Historic Environment Scotland as a category A listed building. The new castle was completed in 1856 and the old castle demolished shortly thereafter.
The Balmoral Estate has been added to by successive members of the royal family, and now covers an area of approximately 50,000 acres. It is a working estate, including grouse moors, forestry, and farmland, as well as managed herds of deer, Highland cattle, and ponies.