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Glenbuchat Heritage

38 History Timeline - Glenbuchat and Scotland
The Glenbuchat Image Library
38 History Timeline - Glenbuchat and Scotland

History Timeline – Chronological list of events for Glenbuchat

Adapted from ‘Glenbuchat Ancestors’ by Dr. Jennifer Carter (20/4/10)

706-729 Nectan Pictish King. foundations to St Peter were placed at Glenbuchat
733 Death of St Walloch
800 Suggested construction of Doune of Invernochty
1438 The first mention of Haltoun de Glenbuchat in the national accounts of revenue from the
Earldom of Mar, of which Glenbuchat was a small part.
1455 Belnaboth appears in the same accounts.
1472 Glenbuchat established as a Parish by Bishop Thomas Spens.
1473 St Peter’s church built at Kirkton. It was rebuilt in 1629, and again c. 1792, and is still in occasional use today.
1507 With the break-up of the Earldom of Mar, King James IV of Scotland gifted land in and around Glenbuchat to Alexander Elphinstone, 1st Baron Elphinstone, as a wedding present when Elphinstone married Elizabeth Barclay. The charter confirming the gift mentions Inuernochty, Bellabege with its mill, field and woods, the glennya of Glennochty, Inuemechty, Ledmakey, Colquhony, Culquhary.
1513 Alexander Elphinstone was killed at the Battle of Flodden.
1547 His son was killed at the Battle of Pinkie.
1572 Glenbuchat was bought from the 4th Lord Elphinstone by John Gordon of Cairnbarrow.
1590 John Gordon and his second wife, Helen Carnegie, built Glenbuchat Castle at the mouth of the Glen. He was succeeded by his second son, Sir Adam Gordon of Park, and Gordons retained the Glenbuchat Estate until 1701
1654 . In Bleau’s atlas, complied by Robert Gordon of Straloch from surveys by Timothy Pont, the places shown in Glenbuchat (or Inverbuchat) are: Badenyon, Kilhalach, Belnacraig, Beltamot – all on the north bank of the Water of Buchat – Kirktoun and Glenbuchat Castle are the only places shown on the south side of the Water of Buchat.
1655 Alleged publication of the. epic poem ‘Don’
1695 A poll Tax was introduced: the ‘List of Pollable Persons within the Shire of Aberdeen, 1696’ is one of the few remaining records of this tax. Farms listed in the Parish of Glenbuchat are: Cottartoun, Badenyon, Dulaks, Nethertoune, Crofts, Uppertoune, Torrentoule, Belnacraige, Beltom, Tombreck, Belnaboth, Beltimor, Miltoun of Glenbuchat, Backhillock.
1699 In the ‘List of Heritors who have Given Bond for Peaceable Behaviour of their Men’ there is ‘John Gordon of Knockespock his men in Glenbuchat’ : in Dowlacks (Dulax) Alaster Gillenders; Archibald Reid in Crofts; Wm Reid, Francis Reid, John Kellas in Nethertoun; Adam Bettie, Wm Bettie, John Bettie and James Bettie in Ovrtoun; Wm Hay in Torenteute (Torrentoule); Wm Mckyoak in Miltoun; Patrick Gordon, Robert Gordon his servant.
1701 John Gordon of Knockespock bought the Glenbuchat Estate. He was from a different branch of the Gordon family from those who had owned Glenbuchat since 1572.
His son was the famous, Jacobite leader John Gordon who fought in the ’15 and the ’45, and
was the last Gordon Laird of Glenbuchat.
1736 John Gordon sold the estate to, William Duff of Braco later Earl of Fife. For the next 150 years the Fifes were absentee landlords, and Glenbuchat was a small part of their huge landholdings in North East Scotland. Little encouragement was given to agriculture in the Glen, and most revenue for the landlord came from letting the shooting. Farming was hampered by bad weather, especially in 1740/41 and 1782, but the use of lime from the mid-18th century improved cultivation. Glenbuchat had several lime kilns which are still standing today
1795 In The Old Statistical Account of Scotland (1791-99) the Rev. William Spence wrote that in 1795 there were 449 souls in the parish : 229 men and 220 women. ‘The people are sober, and very industrious. There are few that do not make their own ploughs and carts, and also their brouges or shoes’.
1801 Census shows 420 people in Glenbuchat.
1807 Death of the Rev. John Skinner, Episcopal minister of Longside in Buchan. He was also a poet, author of John o’Badenyon – see The Book of Glebuchat, pp 131-7
1808 The Rev. Robert Scott was ordained minister of Glenbuchat. A ballad collector, his manuscript of 68 ballads completed in 1818 was published in 2007 as The Glenbuchat Ballads
1813 The Fife Estates reorganised their property in Glenbuchat in 1813 and 1815, and jointly-tenanted clachans gradually gave way to single-tenanted farms and crofts, ending the old run-rig farming system. Severe winters and wet summers also disrupted farming in the first 40 years of the 19th century.
1820 Sometime in the 1820s the Parish Schoolhouse on Belnacraig was burnt down, and at a date unknown a new Schoolhouse was built further up the hill, where the present Old Schoolhouse stands opposite Whitehillock.
1826 Castle Lodge was built by John Grassik, tenant farmer of the Mains of Glenbuchat. From 1901 it became home to James Barclay and successive Lairds of Glenbuchat.
1840 Glenbuchat Lodge, a hunting lodge, was built at the head of the Glen for the shooting tenant, the Duke of Buckingham. It was extended in 1899 by the then shooting tenant, Percy Hargreaves of Manchester
1843 Death of Sandy Davidson, poacher, on Creag an Sgor
1845 In The Second Statistical Account The Rev. Robert Scott reported the population in 1831 as 539 : 282 men and 257 women. Population was growing, he said, ‘in consequence of the increase of cleanliness of the people, greater attention to children in extreme infancy, vaccination, but, above all, the annihilation of smuggling. The improvements in every respect, since illicit distillation has been happily put down, are truly astonishing…. The people are particularly anxious to have their children educated, and there is not an individual but can read and write’.
1851 Census shows 542 people in Glenbuchat
1861 Census shows 552 people in Glenbuchat
1865 The Free Church built its own Kirk and Manse at Craigton, and the Netherton Free Church School - there was also a small Free Church school at Bowiebank. Following the 1872 Education Act and the demise of church-run schools, the Netherton Free Church School became a private house, now known as Dulax Cottage.
1868 Glenbuchat Parish School built (previously the pupils had been taught in the Schoolhouse). The school was closed in 1960 and is now a private house (Whitehillock) as is The Old Schoolhouse. Also in 1868 the Balloch School was built by the Scottish Society for the Propagation of Christian Knowledge to serve the children of the upper Glen and of Glen Nochty. It finally closed in 1948.
1871 Census shows 570 people in Glenbuchat. This was the peak of population, and the long decline thereafter was not due to any policy of eviction, but rather to the big social and economic trends against agriculture which set in from the 1870s.
1881 Census shows 506 people in Glenbuchat.
1883 Henry Burra of Rye in Sussex bought the Glenbuchat Estate from the Earl of Fife. His daughter married Reginald Blomfield, the distinguished architect, who was commissioned to restore Glenbuchat Castle as a residence for the new owner. However, Henry Burra died in 1886 and the plan was not carried out. For the next 15 years the Estate was managed by Henry Burra’s Trustees.
1891 Census shows 403 people in Glenbuchat.
1899 Glenbuchat Public Hall (later called the Community Hall) was opened. It was built by the local people on a piece of land gifted by the Burras. Henry C. Burra, who opened the Hall, was father of the noted 20th century British artist Edward Burra.
1901 Census shows 403 people in Glenbuchat. The Glenbuchat Estate was purchased by James W. Barclay. He was a wealthy businessman and Liberal MP who was deeply interested in agricultural reform. He devoted a large part of his fortune to improving the agricultural economy of the Glen, building and refurbishing the cottages and tradesmen’s houses, and encouraging good farming methods. He also got the name ‘Glenbuchat’ reinstated in place of the common 18th and 19th century usage ‘Glenbucket’. His essay ‘The Glen and its Folk’,written in 1906, is included in The Book of Glenbuchat.(1942). Barclay writes ‘Up to the middle of the 19th century the people lived for the most part in clachans, irregular groups of ten to twenty…houses… built partly of stone with lime and clay and having thatched roofs…The old houses were wretched abodes unfit for human habitation’.
1907 James Barclay died, and the Glenbuchat Estate passed to his daughter, Florence, whose husband was Col. George Milne of Logie. Together they carried on the work of improvement in the Glen and were both active in local politics. Mrs Milne was Chairman of the Parish Council and Col. Milne a County Councillor and Deputy Lieutenant. She campaigned vigorously for the reopening of the Balloch School, closed by the Education authorities in 1921. It reopened in 1927 and was not finally closed until 1948.
1911 Census shows 340 people in Glenbuchat.
1921 Census shows 260 people in Glenbuchat.
1927 Florence Milne died and Col. George Milne became Laird of Glenbuchat. By this time the economic slump was causing desperate times on the farms and crofts of the Glen. The most vulnerable were the small farmers on the higher, marginal land. Their farms became pasture for the larger farms lower down the Glen, and their cottages became ruinous. The story of Upperton is told by John Nisbet and Joe Wallace, Upperton: the life and death of a “Fermtoun”, published on the web.
1931 Census shows 222 people in the Glen.
1932 After the reunion of the Presbyterian churches in Scotland, the former Free Church became the main place of worship in the Glen. Its Manse was sold in 1988, becoming a private house, and the church itself was sold in 1999. St Peter’s continues to hold one service a year.
1939 Col. George Milne died and was succeeded by his son, Col. James Barclay Milne, MC, of Kinadlie.
1940 Pupils from St Margaret’s School in Aberdeen were evacuated to the Glen. Their school premises had been requisitioned as a government food office. Courtesy of Col. Barclay Milne, whose daughter attended St Margaret’s, the junior girls were accommodated in the Castle Lodge, and the seniors in Glenbuchat Lodge. After a year the school moved to another temporary home nearer to Aberdeen.
1945 Col. Barclay Milne gave Glenbuchat Castle to the state, and the following year the Deeside Field Club purchased the Castle Park and handed that over to the nation ‘in order that Glenbuchat Castle might be preserved in a worthy setting’.
1951 Census shows 195 people in Glenbuchat.
1960 In The Third Statistical Account (1960) the Rev. J S Mutch and the Rev. P J MacEwen report the fall in population recorded in the Census returns since 1871 and say, ‘This decrease, seen in practically all rural areas, is due principally to the higher standards of living which… country people have come to look for and expect, and which the small crofts cannot provide…. Family life is still a real entity in the parish. Some boys remain on the farm, but most young people have to find employment outside the Glen, although practically all come home for the weekend’.
1961 Census shows 138 people in Glenbuchat. Mains electricity reached the Glen.
1966 Col. Barclay Milne died and was succeeded by his daughter, Mrs Jean Sole, who with her family took up residence in Castle Lodge in the 1970s. High taxes and the death duties levied on the estates of Col. Milne and Col. Barclay Milne meant that the Glenbuchat Estate had to sell much of its land. The North Glenbuchat Estate was created, comprising most of the land lying north of the Water of Buchat, and running from Easter Buchat at the mouth of the Glen to Glenbuchat Lodge at the head of the Glen. It was bought by Major Michael Smiley of Castle Fraser, whose wife, Lavinia, was the daughter of the 2nd Viscount Cowdray. The Cowdrays of Dunecht also bought some land north of the river, including Craig Wood, Sunnybrae and Mill of Glenbuchat, and this land remains with the Dunecht Estate today, although houses in Craigton were sold to individual buyers. Over time most houses and farms within the North Glenbuchat Estate were likewise sold (e.g. Easter Buchat, Blackhillock, Milton, Upperton and Netherton) but the Estate retained the hill shooting above the line of cultivation. In the 2000s the Glenbuchat Estate was able to repurchase some of its former land, e.g. Milton.
1971 Census shows 97 people in Glenbuchat. In the 1970s the shop and post office, long managed by the Davidson family closed. The shop was one of James Barclay’s buildings and it was run from 1909 to 1946 by Walter Davidson, and then by his son James.
1981 Census shows 91 people in Glenbuchat. The North Glenbuchat Estate was sold to Mr William Tulloch whose family owned it until 2005, when it was sold to Mr Dominic Caldicott.
1991 Census shows 74 people in Glenbuchat
2001 Census shows 60 people in Glenbuchat.
2005 The Glenbuchat Community Association was formed to refurbish the Hall and revive its social functions.
2008 The North Glenbuchat Estate was sold to the Marquess of Milford Haven, who began an ambitious programme of renovating Glenbuchat Lodge and its dependent properties, and improving the grouse moor.
2010 Mrs Sole died, and the Glenbuchat Estate passed to her son David. David Sole is a renowned rugby player. He first played for Scotland in 1986, thereafter winning 44 caps, 25 as Captain. In 1990 he led the Scottish team to a famous Grand Slam victory.
2015 saw many changes of land and home ownership in the Glen. The Sole family left the Glen, and the old Glenbuchat Estate was dispersed: At the same time some Dunecht property was also sold on. The Auld Kirkhouse, Beltamore, and the Smiddy were all extensively reconstructed and lived in again.

Picture added on 22 February 2010 at 11:43
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Following the death of Col Milne in 1939, his son James Barclay Milne inherited and ran Glenbuchat Estate.
In the year 2000, there were several working farms e.g. The Mains, Easterbuchat,Smiddyford Sunnybrae.

Thanks for the corrections : Administrator
Anonymous comment added on 23 February 2010
The 1946 bit is wrong. Only the castle was gifted. See Undiscovered Scotland for the correct version
Thanks- administrator
Added by Alan Johnston on 15 March 2010
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History Texts

126 Cattle Rustling in the Glen88 1696 Poll Book Belnacraig87 Original 1696 Poll Book91 Wandering in the Highlands 188185 Sketch of 'Old Glenbucket' about 174575 Peatfold70 New Statistical Account of Strathdon 184571 Descendants of the Great Glenbucket69 My First Detachment -The Glenbucket Inn4 St Margarets Chronicle Free afternoon Glenbuchat