Ballater

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Ballater
Ballater Kirk.jpg
Glenmuick Parish Church, in the square
Aberdeenshire UK location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Ballater
Location within Aberdeenshire
Population1,430 (mid-2020 est.) [1]
OS grid reference NO369958
  Edinburgh 76 mi (122 km)
  London 400 mi (644 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BALLATER
Postcode district AB35
Dialling code 01339
Police Scotland
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
UK
Scotland
57°02′41″N3°02′58″W / 57.0448°N 3.04942°W / 57.0448; -3.04942 Coordinates: 57°02′41″N3°02′58″W / 57.0448°N 3.04942°W / 57.0448; -3.04942

Ballater ( /ˈbælətər/ , Scottish Gaelic : Bealadair) is a village in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, on the River Dee, immediately east of the Cairngorm Mountains. Situated at an elevation of 213 metres (699 feet), Ballater is a centre for hikers and known for its spring water, once said to cure scrofula. It is home to more than 1400 inhabitants and has had a long connection with the British Royal Family.

Contents

History

The old railway station now used as a visitor and exhibition centre Ballater visitor centre 26.03.14R.jpg
The old railway station now used as a visitor and exhibition centre
Victoria and Albert Halls Ballater Library (geograph 5786439).jpg
Victoria and Albert Halls

The medieval pattern of development along this reach of the River Dee was influenced by the ancient trackways across the Grampian Mounth, which determined strategic locations of castles and other Deeside settlements of the Middle Ages. [2]

In the early 14th century, the area was part of the estates of the Knights of St John, but the settlement did not develop until around 1770; first as a spa resort to accommodate visitors to the Pannanich Mineral Well, then later upon the arrival of the railway in 1866 it was visited by many tourists taking advantage of the easier access thus afforded. The Victoria and Albert Halls, opposite the railway station, were completed in 1895. [3]

Ballater railway station, the former terminus of the Deeside Railway, was closed in 1966, but remains in use as a visitor centre with an exhibition recording the village's royal connection. Many buildings date from the Victorian era and the centre of the village is a conservation area. The old visitor centre was substantially damaged by fire in May 2015 but has subsequently been restored and reopened. [4]

Glenmuick Church

After the bridge over the River Dee had been built the village developed with a "Centrical Church" replacing the churches at Tullich, Glengairn and Foot o' Gairn which had become ruins. [5]

A foundation stone was laid in 1798 and the first service was held on 14 December 1800. The church was designed by Mr Massey of Aberdeen and cost £670. It measured 72 feet (22 m) long by 34 feet (10 m) wide. Doors, at the east and west ends, each had a stair leading to a gallery. The building had four windows at the front and two gable windows, all glazed with plain glass. In the interior was a pulpit, a sound board, a latron and stair and rail. In 1879 a clock was manufactured by Messrs Gillett & Brand of Croydon; the winding mechanism was electrified in 1982. A vestry was added in the early 1850s. [5]

Royal connection

Balmoral Castle, the British Royal Family's holiday home, lies 7 miles (11 kilometres) west, and the family has visited the town frequently since the time of Queen Victoria. Birkhall lies 1 mile (1.5 kilometres) southwest of Ballater. Victoria Barracks is used by the Royal Guard for the castle. [6]

For decades, local stores had Royal Warrants bestowed upon them. Five years after the death of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, who had granted them, the warrants lapsed and, to the chagrin of many townsfolk and especially shop owners, they were not renewed. [7] Shops which still display the arms marking the royal warrant include the butchers, H. M. Sheridan. [8]

In September 2022, following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the cortège bearing her coffin passed through the village, on its way to Edinburgh. [9]

Climate

A Met Office weather station collects weather data at Balmoral, just over 7 miles (11 kilometres) west of Ballater. Like the most of Scotland and the British Isles, Ballater experiences a maritime climate with cool summers and mild winters. Its upland position means temperatures throughout the year are cooler than lower-lying areas, and snowfall more plentiful during winter months.

Climate data for Balmoral (283 m or 928 ft asl, averages 1971–2000, extremes 1960–present)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)15.8
(60.4)
13.9
(57.0)
17.8
(64.0)
22.7
(72.9)
25.3
(77.5)
28.3
(82.9)
29.0
(84.2)
29.5
(85.1)
25.4
(77.7)
20.9
(69.6)
17.3
(63.1)
14.2
(57.6)
29.5
(85.1)
Average high °C (°F)4.6
(40.3)
5.0
(41.0)
7.0
(44.6)
9.6
(49.3)
13.1
(55.6)
15.8
(60.4)
18.2
(64.8)
17.5
(63.5)
14.1
(57.4)
10.7
(51.3)
7.0
(44.6)
5.2
(41.4)
10.7
(51.2)
Average low °C (°F)−2.0
(28.4)
−1.9
(28.6)
−0.3
(31.5)
0.8
(33.4)
3.2
(37.8)
6.2
(43.2)
8.3
(46.9)
7.8
(46.0)
5.9
(42.6)
3.3
(37.9)
0.2
(32.4)
−1.3
(29.7)
2.5
(36.5)
Record low °C (°F)−23.5
(−10.3)
−19.5
(−3.1)
−18.2
(−0.8)
−10
(14)
−6.7
(19.9)
−3.3
(26.1)
−1.0
(30.2)
−3.0
(26.6)
−4.8
(23.4)
−7.8
(18.0)
−16.7
(1.9)
−22.7
(−8.9)
−23.5
(−10.3)
Average precipitation mm (inches)96.72
(3.81)
59.04
(2.32)
65.26
(2.57)
57.92
(2.28)
57.31
(2.26)
52.76
(2.08)
51.09
(2.01)
58.75
(2.31)
75.3
(2.96)
93.3
(3.67)
84.89
(3.34)
80.56
(3.17)
832.9
(32.78)
Source 1: Royal Dutch Meteorological Institute/KNMI [10]
Source 2: Met Office for December record high [11]

Attractions

Ballater is a centre for tourism in Royal Deeside, with the Cairngorms and Balmoral Castle nearby. There are two bike hire shops in the village.

The old Ballater station, containing Queen Victoria's waiting room, was for many years a visitor centre with a replica royal carriage. [12] However, the building was almost completely destroyed by fire in 2015. The rebuilding of the station, bistro and adjoining visitor centre was undertaken and subsequently completed in Autumn 2018. [13] Balmoral Castle is a 10-minute drive from the village.

There are many walks from the village. For the easy going walker, there is Craigendarroch, a small, peculiarly shaped hill near the village. About 12 km (7 miles) south-west of Ballater is Loch Muick. From there experienced walkers can head up the prominent mountain, Lochnagar. Ballater is the home of many challenging walks due to the abundance of Munroes in the area.

There are many well-mapped cycle routes from Ballater into the surrounding areas, including the Deeside Way and a number of popular mountain biking trails. The forests at Cambus o'May have trails for experienced riders. [14]

The River Dee flows through Ballater, and is famous for salmon fishing.

Events in the town include:

The village has its own 'tongue in cheek', on-line newspaper, the Ballater Bugle. [18]

Recently five Ballater residents refurbished the Automobile Association's Patrol Box at Cambus o'May, one of only an estimated 8 to 10 such historical call boxes remaining in situ in Great Britain. [19]

Transport

There is a bus garage located near to the village centre which provides an hourly public service to Aberdeen's Union Square bus station. The bus company was granted permission to build a new site at Pannanich Road in December 2014. [20] In April 2015 the bus station was re-opened as a Co-op supermarket. [21]

Notable residents

Government

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Balmoral Castle</span> Royal residence in Scotland

Balmoral Castle is a large estate house in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and a residence of the British royal family. It is near the village of Crathie, 9 miles (14 km) west of Ballater and 50 miles (80 km) west of Aberdeen.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alexander Duff, 1st Duke of Fife</span> British politician (1849–1912)

Alexander William George Duff, 1st Duke of Fife, styled Viscount Macduff between 1857 and 1879 and known as The Earl Fife between 1879 and 1889, was a British peer who married Princess Louise, the third child and eldest daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">River Dee, Aberdeenshire</span> River in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

The River Dee is a river in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It rises in the Cairngorms and flows through southern Aberdeenshire to reach the North Sea at Aberdeen. The area it passes through is known as Deeside, or Royal Deeside in the region between Braemar and Banchory because Queen Victoria came for a visit there in 1848 and greatly enjoyed herself. She and her husband, Prince Albert, built Balmoral Castle there which replaced an older castle.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mounth</span>

The Mounth is the broad upland in northeast Scotland between the Highland Boundary and the River Dee, at the eastern end of the Grampians.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">A93 road</span>

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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 elevation of 339 metres (1,112 ft).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Aboyne</span> Human settlement in Scotland

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deeside Railway</span> Closed railway in Aberdeenshire, Scotland

The Deeside Railway was a passenger and goods railway between Aberdeen and Ballater in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Opening in 1853 to Banchory, an extension reached Aboyne in 1859. A separate company, the Aboyne & Braemar Railway, built an extension to Ballater and this opened in 1866. By 1855 there were five services a day over the 43+14-mile (69.6 km) long line, taking between 1 hour 50 minutes and 2+12 hours. The line was used by the Royal Train for travel to and from Balmoral Castle from 1853 and a special 'Messenger Train' ran daily when the Royal Family was in residence.

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Dinnet is a village in the Marr area of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Approximately equidistant from Deeside towns Aboyne and Ballater and situated on the main A93 road in the valley of the River Dee, it is said to be the gateway to both the Highlands and the Cairngorms National Park. It is the first village along the Dee to be located inside the park.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ballater railway station</span> Disused railway station in Ballater, Aberdeenshire

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Royal Lochnagar distillery is a single malt Scotch whisky distillery based on the Abergeldie Estate, near Balmoral Castle in Royal Deeside. It is close to the mountain Lochnagar. The distillery is in the Highland whisky-producing area of Scotland. The distillery holds a Royal Warrant.

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Aberdeenshire West is a constituency of the Scottish Parliament (Holyrood) covering part of the council area of Aberdeenshire. It elects one Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) by the first past the post method of election. Also, however, it is one of ten constituencies in the North East Scotland electoral region, which elects seven additional members, in addition to ten constituency MSPs, to produce a form of proportional representation for the region as a whole.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cambus O'May railway station</span> Disused railway station in Scotland

Cambus O'May railway station or Cambus O'May Halt, served Aberdeenshire, Scotland from 1876 to 1966 on the Deeside Railway. It was intended to serve the anglers on the River Dee, tourists, the 1874 Cambus O'May House hunting lodge and the local population of this rural district and stood 39 3⁄8 miles (63.4 km) from the Aberdeen (Joint) station. It was the last stop before Ballater.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cambus O' May bridge</span> Bridge in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK

The Cambus O' May bridge spans the River Dee to the east of Ballater, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It was paid for by the estate of Alexander Gordon, who had grown up nearby. The bridge was built in 1905 and is a suspension footbridge 164 feet (50 m) long and 4 feet (1.2 m) wide. The bridge was rebuilt in 1988 for safety reasons but was badly damaged in the December 2015 Storm Frank. It was repaired and reopened in April 2021.

References

  1. "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. C. Michael Hogan. "Elsick Mounth, The Megalithic Portal". ed. A. Burnham. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  3. Historic Environment Scotland. "Station Road, Albert Memorial and Victoria Halls and Gordon Institute (LB21833)" . Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  4. "Ballater iCentre, Ballater – VisitScotland iCentres" . Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  5. 1 2 "The Church". glenmuickchurch.org.uk. 2022. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  6. "Temporary Barrack at Ballater for the Queen's Guard of Honour". The Illustrated London News. 21 September 1850. Retrieved 31 December 2015.
  7. "Town loses Queen Mother Warrants" BBC report, 31 December 2007
  8. "H. M. Sheridan". Royal Warrant Holders Association. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  9. Belam, Martin; Ratcliffe, Rebecca (11 September 2022). "Queen's coffin leaves Balmoral for Edinburgh – live". theguardian.com. Retrieved 11 September 2022.
  10. "Balmoral averages and extremes". KNMI . Retrieved 2 November 2011.
  11. "Exceptional warmth, December 2015". Met Office. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  12. "The old Royal Station at Ballater". Royal Deeside. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  13. "Ceremony marks rebuilding of Ballater Station after fire". BBC News. 8 February 2017.
  14. "MTBtrails.info". www.mtbtrails.info. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
  15. "Ballater Walking Festival". Royal Deeside. Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  16. "Ballater Boules Challenge" . Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  17. "Queen Victoria: Spirit Of Ballater" . Retrieved 13 August 2008.
  18. Ballater Bugle website
  19. "The Start of it all". Saving AA Box 472 Campaign website. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
  20. "Ballater set to get new bus depot - Cairngorms National Park AuthorityCairngorms National Park Authority". cairngorms.co.uk. 19 December 2014. Retrieved 29 July 2016.
  21. yunorisson BALLATER BUZZ NEWS CHANNEL (2 April 2015), Ballater, Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK New Co Op Opening, archived from the original on 12 December 2021, retrieved 29 July 2016
  22. Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783-2002: Biographical Index (PDF). Vol. I. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. p. 347. ISBN   978-0-902198-84-5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 October 2006. Retrieved 5 February 2011.
  23. "Community Council Ballater". Ballater and crathie community council. Retrieved 24 August 2021.