Edzell

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Edzell
Scottish Gaelic: Eigill
Scots: Aigle
Edzell is located in Angus
Edzell
Edzell
 Edzell shown within Angus
OS grid reference NO601686
Council area Angus
Lieutenancy area Angus
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BRECHIN
Postcode district DD9
Dialling code 01356
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Angus
Scottish Parliament Angus North and Mearns
List of places
UK
Scotland

Coordinates: 56°48′26″N 2°39′18″W / 56.807198°N 2.655042°W / 56.807198; -2.655042

Edzell (Scots: Aigle,[1] Scottish Gaelic: Eigill) is a village in Angus, Scotland. It is 5 miles (8 km) north of Brechin, by the River North Esk.[2] Edzell is a Georgian-era planned town, with a broad main street and a grid system of side streets. Originally called Slateford, Edzell was renamed in 1818 after an earlier hamlet 1.5 miles (2.5 km) to the west, which by then had been abandoned. Edzell's population in 2004 was 780.[3]

History[edit]

Early village[edit]

The original village of Edzell was located around the walls of the first Edzell Castle, a motte and bailey structure to the south of the present castle. Of this village, only part of the church now remains, within the original churchyard.

Present village[edit]

The existing village of Slateford was expanded in the early 19th century by the Earl of Panmure. The new parish church, replacing the one in the old village, was built in 1818 on the village's north boundary, and led to the official renaming of the village as Edzell.

In 1861, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Edzell, as part of a Royal progress through Angus and Kincardineshire, just weeks before Albert's sudden death. Edzell was not connected to the railway until 1896, and only had a passenger service until 1931, although it reopened experimentally in the summer of 1938. The line closed to freight traffic in 1964. In the twentieth century, the increasing popularity of golf led to more tourists visiting Edzell Golf Club. At one point the village had three large hotels, but it now has only two, along with a series of B&Bs. There are two tearooms, a pharmacy, a post office, two shops and two hairdressers.

Description[edit]

The Dalhousie Arch

The most distinctive landmark of the village is the Dalhousie Arch, which spans the main road into Edzell from the south. It was erected in 1887 to commemorate the deaths of the 13th Earl of Dalhousie and his wife, both of whom died on the same day. Confusion with a similar arch in the neighbouring village of Fettercairn, built in 1864 to commemorate Victoria and Albert's stay at the village's Ramsay Hotel, has led some to believe that Edzell's arch was built to commemorate the Queen's Golden Jubilee in 1887, but this is not the case.[citation needed]

Other significant buildings in the village include the Inglis Memorial Hall, a gothic building gifted to the village by Sir Robert Inglis in 1896, in memoriam of his father. It now houses the local library. Edzell Muir is a large expanse of parkland and sport fields to the north of the village, used extensively for picnicking and municipal events, and upgraded in 2000.

RAF Edzell[edit]

A former Royal Air Force airfield RAF Edzell is situated four miles (7 km) from Edzell by road, but only one mile (1.5 km) directly east, over the North Esk. It was active for over fifty years, first as a RAF station during World War II, and later on lease to the United States Navy, from 1960 until its decommissioning in 1996, and final closure in 1997.[4] In 1998 the entire post war Officers and NCO married quarters plus the post war USAF housing stock including the USAF Officers mess and PX were acquired by the Welbeck Estate Group. It comprised 155 houses and after upgrading they were sold on the open market and a newly created village was established named Edzell Woods. Over the ensuing 4 years the runway was reused by the regular fortnightly visits by Welbeck Estate's BBC Air de Havilland Dove G-HBBC (former Royal Flight Devon VP961)

U.S. Navy "Edzell" Tartan[edit]

One product of the U.S. Navy presence at Edzell was the creation of a registered tartan for the U.S. Navy cryptologists of the Navy Security Group Activity (NSGA) at Edzell. The tartan design was created at by Strathmore Woolen Company at the request of Mrs. Janet Demech (wife of Edzell's commander, Captain Fred R. Demech, USN), with input from Mrs. Demesh and Mrs. Pam Schaffer. The tartan was unveiled on July 6, 1985, the 25th anniversary of the U.S. Navy presence at Edzell.[5] While the U.S. Navy site at Edzell was closed in September, 1997 (after 37 years of service) the "US Navy Edzell" tartan [6] continues to increase in (unofficial) popularity with U.S. Navy personnel, particularly members of the Cryptologic and Intelligence specialties.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Online Scots Dictionary
  2. ^ Stonehaven and Banchory, Ordnance Survey Landranger Map (C1 ed.), 2009, ISBN 0-319-23168-2 
  3. ^ GRO Scotland
  4. ^ John Masterton Final Watch Officer, RAF Edzell. Keith Bryers, "Scotland's wartime airfields: Conflict and legacy" Scottish Geographical Journal, Volume 121, Issue 1, 2005, pages 45–65.
  5. ^ Information on the origin of US Navy Edzell tartan
  6. ^ "US Navy Edzell" tartan page of the Scottish Register of Tartans.