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Scottish Gaelic: Beannchar
Banchory (Scotland)

Banchory shown within Scotland
Population est. 6,270 (2004) [1]
OS grid reference NO698958
Council area Aberdeenshire
Lieutenancy area Kincardineshire
Constituent country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BANCHORY
Postcode district AB31
Dialling code 01330
Police Grampian
Fire Grampian
Ambulance Scottish
European Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
Scottish Parliament West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine
List of places: UKScotland

Coordinates: 57°03'18?N 2°29'24?W? / ?57.055, -2.49

Banchory (Scottish Gaelic: Beannchar, 'blessed place') is a burgh or town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, lying approximately 18 miles west of Aberdeen, near where the Feugh River meets the River Dee.


[edit] Overview

The name is thought to be derived from an early Christian settlement founded by St Ternan. It is claimed that Ternan was a follower of St Ninian. He established a college on the banks of the River Dee to teach Christianity and agriculture to the local Picts.[citation needed] The village and parish was called Banchory Ternan until the 1970s. The original Gaelic form is almost identical to that of Bangor, of similar meaning, and also the site of a monastery, in Northern Ireland. Relics associated with St. Ternan were preserved by hereditary keepers at Banchory until the Scottish Reformation. Two early Christian cross-slabs survive in or near the old churchyard on the site of the early church. One is built into a corner of the 'mort house' in the churchyard, and shows two crosses incised in a worn pink granite slab. The other is a ringed cross in relief built into the wall facing the main road outside the churchyard.

Banchory is the largest town in the area and has a fine High Street. There are a number of hotels and restaurants including the Stag Hotel, the Burnett Arms, and the Douglas Arms. The shops include newsagents, sports shops and chemists. Since the 1970's, the town has grown steadily. Since 2001 there has been rapid expansion. A large forested area 'the Hill of Banchory', owned by the Burnett family (owners of Crathes Castle), to the north east of the town has been replaced by a large housing estate and an influx of new residents. The Hill of Banchory primary school was opened in 2006 to cater for the increased population.

[edit] Land use

Development pressure continues to be strong and the town's population is now approaching 10,000. As Banchory expands, local infrastructure such as doctors, dentists, sports facilities, swimming pool, schools and shops are increasingly unable to meet the demands of residents. The development process leads to a perpetual state of overstretched infrastructure, playing a continual game of catch-up with the ever expanding local population. In recent years, the Bellfield Doctor's Surgery, the Fountain Dental Surgery, the Somerfield Supermarket and Banchory Academy have all undergone extended and upgraded facilities.

Banchory Academy is a state (public) secondary school, with a school role of over 950. Despite strong opposition from the local community, a retirement home 'Dalvenie Home' was built on land next to the Academy in the 1990's. The planning process was taken to the Scottish Office where local opposition was overruled. The retirement home opened in 2001 and has restricted expansion of the Academy and the adjacent sports centre. It is no surprise that elderly residents living in a retirement home built next to an overcrowded Academy have complained about noise from young people.

The pressure for development and the value of land in Banchory means that the Primary and Secondary School Campus area is being considered for sale to housing developers, with sites for a new Academy and a new Primary being investigated.

[edit] Tourism and culture

Banchory is a tourist destination as the gateway to Royal Deeside. It is surrounded by lovely rural countryside and attractive hills. For the visitor, the town has much to offer with two famous castles nearby, Crathes and Drum - both run by the National Trust for Scotland. The Bridge of Feugh offers the chance to see salmon leaping and there are numerous fine golf courses nearby.[1]

The small town museum recognises that this is the birthplace of James Scott Skinner. Local landmarks include Scolty hill; a hill topped by a tower monument, a memorial to General Burnett who fought alongside Wellington.

Local sports teams include Banchory St Ternan football club, the Banchory Beavers swimming team and the Banchory Stags Basketball Club. Banchory has three other football teams (Banchory thistle, Banchory youngstars and Banchory stoats) which compete in the mid-Deeside summer league.

Despite an inadequate and shallow 20metre swimming pool, which cannot be used for swimming competitions, Banchory Beavers swim team achieves national success. Despite the local community raising over £100,000 towards the building of a new pool, efforts to bring a respectable swimming pool to the town have so far been unsuccessful.

The Banchory show is held every July and attracts a good sized crowd to King George V Park. There are an Agricultural Show, Dog Show, Craft Fair, Highland Dancing Competition and the Scolty Hill Race, as well as traditional fairground stalls and games.[2]

The Royal Deeside Railway originating at Milton of Crathes will shortly to run to Banchory; this line is part of the original line to Ballater.

[edit] See also

[edit] Line notes

  1. , Banchory Royal Deeside. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.
  2. , Banchory Show. Retrieved on 2007-05-07.

[edit] External links

Coordinates: 57°3'18?N, 2°29'24?W

(Source: Wikipedia)
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