From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Banchory highstreet.jpg
Banchory High Street
Banchory is located in Aberdeenshire
Location within Aberdeenshire
Population7,440 (mid-2020 est.)[1]
OS grid referenceNO698958
• Edinburgh81 mi (130 km)
• London395 mi (636 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtAB31
Dialling code01330
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
57°03′18″N 2°29′24″W / 57.055°N 2.49°W / 57.055; -2.49Coordinates: 57°03′18″N 2°29′24″W / 57.055°N 2.49°W / 57.055; -2.49

Banchory (/ˈbæŋxəri/, Scots: Banchry,[2] Scottish Gaelic: Beannchar) is a burgh or town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It is about 18 miles (29 km) west of Aberdeen, near where the Feugh River meets the River Dee.

Prehistory and archaeology[edit]

In 2009, a farmer discovered a short cist burial to the east of the town. Archaeologists were called into excavate it and they found that it was a burial from the Beaker culture. Radiocarbon dating put the burial at sometime between 2330 and 2040 BC. Stable isotope analysis of the human remains indicated that he or she grew up on basalt geology, like that of the region, or on chalk, meaning they were either local or could have come from another place, like Yorkshire. Residue analysis of the Beaker pot found in the burial established that it had held either butter or milk.[3]


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. Tradition has it that he established his settlement on the banks of the River Dee on what was later to become the kirkyard of the medieval parish of Banchory-Ternan.[4] The village and parish retained the name 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.[5]


Banchory is the largest town in the area and has a High Street. There are a number of hotels and restaurants including the Stag Hotel, Scott Skinners Bar and Restaurant, the Burnett Arms, and the Douglas Arms. The shops include newsagents, hairdressers and chemists. Since the 1970s, 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.[6]

Banchory Town Hall was completed in 1873[7] and the Kinneskie Road drill hall was completed in around 1908.[8]

Land use[edit]

Banchory Academy is a state secondary school, with a school roll capacity of 900.[9]

The Banchory Sports Village opened in 2019 within the Hill of Banchory development area, with a 25m 6-lane swimming pool, gym and sports hall.[10]

Tourism and culture[edit]

Until 1966 Banchory had a railway station on the Aberdeen to Ballater line

Banchory is known as the Gateway to Royal Deeside.[11] Banchory River Festival is held every June: the main event is held on the Saturday in the Bellfield Park, Banchory.[12] The Banchory show is held every July: there is an Agricultural Show, Dog Show, Craft Fair, Highland Dancing Competition and the Scolty Hill Race, as well as traditional fairground stalls and games.[13]

Scotland's only Rum distillery, Dark Matter Distillers, is located on the outskirts of Banchory.[14]


In 2017, the Banchory town service 205 was withdrawn.[15] An internal bus was re-introduced in 2020.[16] The town is on the Deeside Way, a shared pedestrian and cycle path which runs along the trackbed of the former Deeside Railway.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ "Map of Scotland in Scots" (PDF). Scots Language Centre. Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 September 2020. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  3. ^ "Vol 83 (2019): Knappach Toll, Balbridie: a late third-millennium bc Beaker burial on Deeside, Aberdeenshire | Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports". Archived from the original on 7 September 2021. Retrieved 7 September 2021.
  4. ^ David Jameson, W. Stewart Wilson (1999). Old Banchory. Catrine, Ayrshire: Stenlake Publishing. p. 3. ISBN 9781840330878.
  5. ^ "Early Crosses, Banchory". University of Aberdeen. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  6. ^ "Hill of Banchory". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  7. ^ "Slater's Royal National Commercial Directory of Scotland". 1903. Retrieved 28 June 2022.
  8. ^ "Banchory, 17 Kinneskie Road, Drill Hall". Canmore. Retrieved 26 June 2017.[permanent dead link] (The 1:2500, 2nd edition, Ordnance Survey Plan, published in 1904-1905, does not show the drill hall)
  9. ^ "Aberdeenshire's Towns - Banchory" (PDF). Aberdeenshire Council. 2019. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 November 2021. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  10. ^ "By Banchory - For Banchory". Banchory Sports Village. Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 15 July 2017.
  11. ^ "Banchory". Discover Royal Deeside. Archived from the original on 20 October 2013.
  12. ^ "Banchory River Festival - 13th, 14th & 15th June 2014". Archived from the original on 29 November 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
  13. ^ "Banchory Show". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 7 May 2007.
  14. ^ "Dark Matter Spiced Rum - Scottish Rum Distillery". Archived from the original on 6 September 2021. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
  15. ^ Warnock, Joanne (10 June 2017). "Community bus faces chop". The Press & Journal. Archived from the original on 5 November 2021. Retrieved 5 November 2021.
  16. ^ "Stagecoach phases in an increase in Aberdeenshire bus services". Grampian Online. 25 June 2020. Archived from the original on 28 April 2021. Retrieved 28 April 2021.
  17. ^ "Former Fellows of The Royal Society of Edinburgh" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 15 July 2017.

External links[edit]