It takes its name from the County of Aberdeen which has substantially different boundaries. The Aberdeenshire council area includes all of the area of the historic counties of Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire (except the area making up the City of Aberdeen), as well as part of Banffshire. The county boundaries are officially used for a few purposes, namely land registration and lieutenancy.
Aberdeenshire Council is headquartered at Woodhill House, in Aberdeen, making it the only Scottish council whose headquarters are located outside its jurisdiction. Aberdeen itself forms a different council area (Aberdeen City). Aberdeenshire borders onto Angus and Perth and Kinross to the south, Highland and Moray to the west and Aberdeen City to the east.
Traditionally, it has been economically dependent upon the primary sector (agriculture, fishing, and forestry) and related processing industries. Over the last 40 years, the development of the oil and gas industry and associated service sector has broadened Aberdeenshire's economic base, and contributed to a rapid population growth of some 50% since 1975. Its land represents 8% of Scotland's overall territory. It covers an area of 6,313 square kilometres (2,437 sq mi).
Siorrachd Obar Dheathain
Aberdeenshire within Scotland
|• Body||Aberdeenshire Council|
|• Control||Con + LD + Ind (council NOC)|
|• Total||2,437 sq mi (6,313 km2)|
|Area rank||Ranked 4th|
|• Rank||Ranked 6th|
|• Density||110/sq mi (41/km2)|
|ISO 3166 code||GB-ABD|
Aberdeenshire has a rich prehistoric and historic heritage. It is the locus of a large number of Neolithic and Bronze Age archaeological sites, including Longman Hill, Kempstone Hill, Catto Long Barrow and Cairn Lee. The area was settled in the Bronze Age by the Beaker culture, who arrived from the south around 2000–1800 BC. Stone circles and cairns were constructed predominantly in this era. In the Iron Age, hill forts were built. Around the 1st century AD, the Taexali people, who have left little history, were believed to have resided along the coast. The Picts were the next documented inhabitants of the area, and were no later than 800–900 AD. The Romans also were in the area during this period, as they left signs at Kintore. Christianity influenced the inhabitants early on, and there were Celtic monasteries at Old Deer and Monymusk.
Since medieval times there have been a number of traditional paths that crossed the Mounth (a spur of mountainous land that extends from the higher inland range to the North Sea slightly north of Stonehaven) through present-day Aberdeenshire from the Scottish Lowlands to the Highlands. Some of the most well known and historically important trackways are the Causey Mounth and Elsick Mounth.
Aberdeenshire played an important role in the fighting between the Scottish clans. Clan MacBeth and the Clan Canmore were two of the larger clans. Macbeth fell at Lumphanan in 1057. During the Anglo-Norman penetration, other families arrives such as House of Balliol, Clan Bruce, and Clan Cumming (Comyn). When the fighting amongst these newcomers resulted in the Scottish Wars of Independence, the English king Edward I traveled across the area twice, in 1296 and 1303. In 1307, Robert the Bruce was victorious near Inverurie. Along with his victory came new families, namely the Forbeses and the Gordons.
These new families set the stage for the upcoming rivalries during the 14th and 15th centuries. This rivalry grew worse during and after the Protestant Reformation, when religion was another reason for conflict between the clans. The Gordon family adhered to Catholicism and the Forbes to Protestantism. Aberdeenshire was the historic seat of the clan Dempster. Three universities were founded in the area prior to the 17th century, King's College in Old Aberdeen (1494), Marischal College in Aberdeen (1593), and the University of Fraserburgh (1597).
After the end of the Revolution of 1688, an extended peaceful period was interrupted only by such fleeting events such as the Rising of 1715 and the Rising of 1745. The latter resulted in the end of the ascendancy of Episcopalianism and the feudal power of landowners. An era began of increased agricultural and industrial progress. During the 17th century, Aberdeenshire was the location of more fighting, centered on the Marquess of Montrose and the English Civil Wars. This period also saw increased wealth due to the increase in trade with Germany, Poland, and the Low Countries.
The present council area is named after the historic county of Aberdeenshire, which has different boundaries and was abandoned as an administrative area in 1975 under the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973. It was replaced by Grampian Regional Council and five district councils: Banff and Buchan, Gordon, Kincardine and Deeside, Moray and the City of Aberdeen. Local government functions were shared between the two levels. In 1996, under the Local Government etc (Scotland) Act 1994, the Banff and Buchan district, Gordon district and Kincardine and Deeside district were merged to form the present Aberdeenshire council area. Moray and the City of Aberdeen were made their own council areas. The present Aberdeenshire council area consists of all of the historic counties of Aberdeenshire and Kincardineshire (except the area of those two counties making up the City of Aberdeen), as well as northeast portions of Banffshire.
The population of the council area has risen over 50% since 1971 to approximately 261,800, representing 4.7% of Scotland's total. Aberdeenshire's population has increased by 9.1% since 2001, while Scotland's total population grew by 3.8%. The census lists a relatively high proportion of under 16s and slightly fewer people of working-age compared with the Scottish average.
Aberdeenshire is one of the most homogeneous regions of the UK. In 2011 82.2% of residents identified as 'White Scottish', followed by 12.3% who are 'White British'. The largest ethnic minority group are Asian Scottish/British at 0.8%.
The fourteen biggest settlements in Aberdeenshire (with 2011 population estimates) are:
Aberdeenshire's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is estimated at £3,496m (2011), representing 5.2% of the Scottish total. Aberdeenshire's economy is closely linked to Aberdeen City's (GDP £7,906m) and in 2011 the region as a whole was calculated to contribute 16.8% of Scotland's GDP. Between 2012 and 2014 the combined Aberdeenshire and Aberdeen City economic forecast GDP growth rate is 6.8%, the highest growth rate of any local council area and above the Scottish rate of 4.8%.
A significant proportion of Aberdeenshire's working residents commute to Aberdeen City for work, varying from 11.5% from Fraserburgh to 65% from Westhill.
Average Gross Weekly Earnings (for full-time employees employed in work places in Aberdeenshire in 2011) are £570.60. This is lower than the Scottish average by £4.10 and a fall of 2.6% on the 2010 figure. The average gross weekly pay of people resident in Aberdeenshire is much higher, at £641.90, as many people commute out of Aberdeenshire, principally into Aberdeen City.
Total employment (excluding farm data) in Aberdeenshire is estimated at 93,700 employees (Business Register and Employment Survey 2009). The majority of employees work within the service sector, predominantly in public administration, education and health. Almost 19% of employment is within the public sector. Aberdeenshire's economy remains closely linked to Aberdeen City's and the North Sea oil industry, with many employees in oil related jobs.
The average monthly unemployment (claimant count) rate for Aberdeenshire in 2011 was 1.5%. This is lower than the average rates for Aberdeen City (2.3%), Scotland (4.2%) and the UK (3.8%).
|1. Banff and District||3||1 Con, 1 Ind, 1 SNP|
|2. Troup||3||1 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Ind|
|3. Fraserburgh and District||4||1 Ind, 2 SNP, 1 Con|
|4. Central Buchan||4||1 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Ind, 1 Lib Dem|
|5. Peterhead North and Rattray||4||1 Con, 1 SNP, 2 Ind|
|6. Peterhead South and Cruden||3||1 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Ind|
|7. Turriff and District||4||1 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Ind|
|8. Mid Formartine||4||1 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Ind, 1 Lib Dem|
|9. Ellon and District||4||1 Con, 2 SNP, 1 Lib Dem|
|10. West Garioch||3||1 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem|
|11. Inverurie and District||4||1 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Ind, 1 Lib Dem|
|12. East Garioch||4||1 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Grn, 1 Lib Dem|
|13. Westhill and District||4||2 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem|
|14. Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford||4||2 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem|
|15. Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside||3||1 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem|
|16. Banchory and Mid Deeside||3||1 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem|
|17. North Kincardine||4||1 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem, 1 Lab|
|18. Stonehaven and Lower Deeside||4||2 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem|
|19. Mearns||4||2 Con, 1 SNP, 1 Lib Dem|
|Scottish National Party||21|
The Council's Revenue Budget for 2012/13 totals approx £548 million. The Education, Learning and Leisure Service takes the largest share of budget (52.3%), followed by Housing and Social Work (24.3%), Infrastructure Services (15.9%), Joint Boards (such as Fire and Police) and Misc services (7.9%) and Trading Activities (0.4%).
21.5% of the revenue is raised locally through the Council Tax. Average Band D Council Tax is £1,141 (2012/13), no change on the previous year. The current chief executive of the Council is Jim Savege and the elected Council Co-Leaders are Richard Thomson and Alison Evison. Aberdeenshire also has a Provost, who is Councillor Hamish Vernal.
The council has devolved power to six area committees: Banff and Buchan; Buchan; Formartine; Garioch; Marr; and Kincardine and Mearns. Each area committee takes decisions on local issues such as planning applications, and the split is meant to reflect the diverse circumstances of each area. (Boundary map)
The following significant structures or places are within Aberdeenshire:
There are numerous rivers and burns in Aberdeenshire, including Cowie Water, Carron Water, Burn of Muchalls, River Dee, River Don, River Ury, River Ythan, Water of Feugh, Burn of Myrehouse, Laeca Burn and Luther Water. Numerous bays and estuaries are found along the seacoast of Aberdeenshire, including Banff Bay, Ythan Estuary, Stonehaven Bay and Thornyhive Bay. Aberdeenshire is in the rain shadow of the Grampians, therefore it is a generally dry climate, with portions of the coast, receiving 25 inches (64 cm) of moisture annually. Summers are mild and winters are typically cold in Aberdeenshire; Coastal temperatures are moderated by the North Sea such that coastal areas are typically cooler in the summer and warmer in winter than inland locations. Coastal areas are also subject to haar, or coastal fog.
Aberdeenshire or the County of Aberdeen (Scots: Coontie o Aiberdeen, Scottish Gaelic: Siorrachd Obar Dheathain) is a historic county and registration county of Scotland. The area of the county, excluding the city of Aberdeen itself, is also a lieutenancy area. The county borders Kincardineshire, Angus and Perthshire to the south, Inverness-shire and Banffshire to the west, and the North Sea to the north and east. It has a coast-line of 65 miles (105 km).
Between 1890 and 1975, Aberdeenshire was one of the administrative counties of Scotland, governed by a county council. In 1900, the county town of Aberdeen became a county of a city and was thus removed from the administrative county. In 1975 the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 reorganised local administration in Scotland into a two-tier system of regions and districts. The administrative counties of Aberdeenshire, the City of Aberdeen, Banffshire, Kincardineshire and most of Morayshire were merged to form Grampian Region, with the area of county being divided between the districts of City of Aberdeen, Banff and Buchan, Gordon and Kincardine and Deeside for administration. In 1996 Scottish local government system was reorganised a second time to form a single tier of unitary council areas. The name was revived in local government for the council area of Aberdeenshire, which has vastly different boundaries.
The area is generally hilly, and from the south-west, near the centre of Scotland, the Grampians send out various branches, mostly to the north-east.Ballater
Ballater (, Scottish Gaelic: Bealadair) is a burgh in Aberdeenshire, Scotland on the River Dee, immediately east of the Cairngorm Mountains. Situated at an elevation of 213 m (700 ft), Ballater is a centre for hikers and known for its spring water, once said to cure scrofula. It is home to more than 1500 inhabitants.Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle () is a large estate house in Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, near the village of Crathie, 6.2 miles (10 km) west of Ballater and 6.8 miles (11 km) east of Braemar.
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 (20,000 ha). It is a working estate, including grouse moors, forestry, and farmland, as well as managed herds of deer, Highland cattle, and ponies.Banff, Aberdeenshire
Banff is a town in the Banff and Buchan area of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Banff is situated on Banff Bay and faces the town of Macduff across the estuary of the River Deveron. Banff is a former royal burgh, and is the county town of the historic county of Banffshire.Braemar
Braemar (listen) 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).
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). The village used to be known as Cinn Drochaid (bridge end); Baile a' Chaisteil referred to only the part of the village on the east bank of the river, the part on the west bank being known as Ach an Droighinn (thorn field).Ellon, Aberdeenshire
Ellon (Scottish Gaelic: Eilean) is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, approximately 16 miles (26 km) north of Aberdeen, lying on the River Ythan, which has one of the few undeveloped river estuaries on the eastern coast of Scotland. It is in the ancient region of Formartine. Its name is believed to derive from the Gaelic term Eilean, an island, on account of the presence of an island in the River Ythan, which offered a convenient fording point.Fraserburgh
Fraserburgh (; Scots: The Broch or Faithlie; Scottish Gaelic: A' Bhruaich) is a Parish town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland with a population recorded in the 2011 Census at 13,100. It lies at the far northeast corner of Aberdeenshire, about 40 miles (64 km) north of Aberdeen, and 17 miles (27 km) north of Peterhead. It is the biggest shellfish port in Scotland and one of the largest in Europe, landing over 5,450 tonnes in 2016. Fraserburgh is also a major port for white and pelagic fish.Fyvie
Fyvie is a village in the Formartine area of Aberdeenshire, Scotland.Huntly
Huntly (Scottish Gaelic: Srath Bhalgaidh or Hunndaidh) is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, formerly known as Milton of Strathbogie or simply Strathbogie. It had a population of 4,460 in 2004 and is the site of Huntly Castle. Its neighbouring settlements include Keith and Rothiemay. Both Huntly and the surrounding district of Gordon are named for a town and family that originated in the Border country.
Huntly is the historic home of the Gordon Highlanders regiment which traditionally recruited throughout the North-East of Scotland. Huntly has a primary school (Gordon Primary) and a secondary school (The Gordon Schools) beside Huntly Castle. There is an active cultural organisation called Deveron Projects.It is the home of the Deans bakers, which produce shortbread biscuits. In November 2007, Deans of Huntly opened their new visitor centre.There is also a falconry centre just outside the town which does flying displays in their visitor centre during the season between April and October.List of civil parishes in Scotland
This is a list of the 871 civil parishes in Scotland.List of stone circles
A stone circle is a monument of stones arranged in a circle or ellipse. Such monuments have been constructed in many parts of the world throughout history for many different reasons. The best known tradition of stone circle construction occurred across the British Isles and Brittany in the Late Neolithic and Early Bronze Age, with over 1000 surviving examples, including Avebury, the Ring of Brodgar and Stonehenge. Another prehistoric tradition occurred in southern Scandinavia during the Iron Age, where stone circles were built to be mortuary monuments to the dead. Outside Europe, examples of stone circles include the 6300~6900 BCE Atlit Yam in Israel and 3000~4000 BCE Gilgal Refaim nearby, and the Bronze Age monuments in Hong Kong. Stone circles also exist in a megalithic tradition located in Senegal and the Gambia.This is an incomplete photographic list of these stone circles.Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire
The Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire, is the British monarch's personal representative in an area consisting of the county of Aberdeen as it existed immediately prior to abolition for local government purposes by the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973 except that part within Aberdeen City.The office was created on 6 May 1794.Maud, Aberdeenshire
Maud (Gaelic: Am Mòd) is a small town in the Buchan area of the Scottish county of Aberdeenshire. Population 780 (2006 estimate). Located 13 miles west of Peterhead on the South Ugie Water, Maud rose to prosperity in the nineteenth century as a railway junction of the Formartine and Buchan Railway that ran through Maud to Fraserburgh and Peterhead, but has always been the meeting place of six roads. It has had a variety of names:
Bank of Behitch
New Maud,the 'New' having since fallen out of use, leading to the town's current name.Peterhead
Peterhead (listen ; Scottish Gaelic: Ceann Phàdraig, Scots: Peterheid listen ) is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is Aberdeenshire's biggest settlement (the city of Aberdeen itself not being a part of the district), with a population of 18,537 at the 2011 Census.Peterhead sits at the easternmost point in mainland Scotland. It is often referred to as The Blue Toun (locally spelt as "The Bloo Toon") and people who were born there as Blue Touners (locally spelt as "Bloo Tooners"). More correctly they are called blue mogginers (locally spelt as "Bloomogganners"), supposedly from the blue worsted moggins or stockings that the fishermen originally wore.River Dee, Aberdeenshire
The River Dee (Scottish Gaelic: Uisge Dhè) 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 to love the place and built Balmoral Castle there.Deeside is a popular area for tourists, due to the combination of scenic beauty and historic and royal associations. The scenic beauty of Deeside is recognised by its inclusion in the Cairngorms National Park and the Deeside and Lochnagar National Scenic Area. The Dee is popular with anglers, and is one of the most famous salmon fishing rivers in the world.The New Statistical Account of Scotland attributed the name Dee as having been used as early as the second century AD in the work of the Alexandrian geographer Claudius Ptolemy, as Δηοῦα (=Deva), meaning 'Goddess', indicating a divine status for the river in the beliefs of the ancient inhabitants of the area. There are several other rivers of the same name in Great Britain, and these are believed to have similar derivations, as may the Dee's near neighbour to the north, the River Don.Turriff
Turriff (from Scottish Gaelic Torraibh, meaning 'place of round hills') is a town and civil parish in Aberdeenshire in Scotland. It lies on the River Deveron, about 166 feet (51 m) above sea level, and has a population of 5,708. In everyday speech it is often referred to by its Scots name, Turra, which is derived from the Scottish Gaelic pronunciation.West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine (UK Parliament constituency)
West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine is a county constituency of the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (Westminster), which elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. It was first used in the 1997 general election, but has undergone boundary changes since that date.
There was also a Holyrood constituency of West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, a constituency of the Scottish Parliament, created in 1999 with the same boundaries as the Westminster constituency at that time.Westhill, Aberdeenshire
Westhill is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, approximately 7 miles west of the city of Aberdeen.Yonder Bognie
Yonder Bognie is a stone circle in Aberdeenshire, Scotland.It is located in an agricultural field under private ownership and is a scheduled ancient monument.
Areas and primary settlements in Aberdeenshire (see also: Aberdeen City)
|in Banff and Buchan|
|in Kincardine and Mearns|