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Inverurie Town Hall.jpg
Inverurie Town Hall
Inverurie is located in Aberdeenshire
Location within Aberdeenshire
Population14,660 (mid-2020 est.)[1]
OS grid referenceNJ7721
• Edinburgh97 mi (156 km)
• London409 mi (658 km)
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtAB51
Dialling code01467
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
57°17′N 2°23′W / 57.28°N 2.38°W / 57.28; -2.38Coordinates: 57°17′N 2°23′W / 57.28°N 2.38°W / 57.28; -2.38

Inverurie /ɪn.vəˈrʊəri/ (Scottish Gaelic: Inbhir Uraidh[2] or Inbhir Uaraidh,[3] 'mouth of the River Ury') is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland at the confluence of the rivers Ury and Don, about 16 miles (26 km) north-west of Aberdeen.[4]


Fields around Inverurie

Inverurie is in the valley of the River Don at the centre of Aberdeenshire and is known locally as the Heart of the Garioch. It sits between the River Don and the River Ury and is only 10 miles (16 km) from the imposing hill of Bennachie. The town centre is triangular and is dominated by Inverurie Town Hall built in 1863.[5] In the middle of the 'square' (as it is known locally) is the Inverurie and District War Memorial, capped by a lone Gordon Highlander looking out over the town. The main shopping areas include the Market Place and West High Street which branches off from the centre towards the more residential part of the town. South of the River Don is the village of Port Elphinstone, which is part of the Royal Burgh of Inverurie and is so called due to the proximity of the former Aberdeenshire Canal which ran from Inverurie to Aberdeen.[6]


The word "Inverurie" comes from the Scottish Gaelic Inbhir Uraidh meaning 'confluence of the Ury' after the river which joins the Don just south of the town.[2] In the 19th century, with the increased use of the postal service, many letters addressed to "Inverury" were being sent to "Inverary" in Argyll, on the west coast of Scotland. The town council ordained that the name to be used for council business should be "Inverurie" which they also regarded as being the "ancient spelling". They asked the public to use this spelling in future and said that the Postmaster General had accepted the change. The town clerk made the official announcement on 20 April 1866.[7]


Excavations by archaeologists in the summer of 2018 at the Thainstone Business Park, discovered the remains of: a Scottish Middle Bronze Age (1550–1150 BC) roundhouse and a urned cremation cemetery; Scottish Late Bronze Age (1150–800 BC) cremation practices; and a Iron Age roundhouse and souterrain from the 1st/2nd century AD, indicating human occupation in the area for thousands of years.[8] An excavation in 2002 uncovered the remains of another Iron Age roundhouse.[9]


Logie House – now rebuilt – situated 7 miles to the west of Inverurie

The Bass of Inverurie is said to have been founded by David, Earl of Huntingdon, brother of Malcolm IV, in the late 12th century.[10] The religious foundation pre-dates this by five centuries with the establishment of the Kirk of Inverurie now known as St Andrew's Parish Church.[11] However, the town's earliest known charter dates from 1558, with its modern development taking place after the building of the Aberdeenshire Canal linking Port Elphinstone with Aberdeen Harbour in 1806.[12]

On a nearby hillside the Easter Aquhorthies stone circle dates back to the 3rd millennium BC.[13] On the outskirts of the town the Brandsbutt Stone is a class I Pictish symbol stone with an ogham inscription.[14]

There have been three well known battles in the town: The Battle of Inverurie (1308),[15] the Battle of Harlaw (1411) between Donald of Islay, Lord of the Isles (MacDonald) and an army commanded by Alexander Stewart, Earl of Mar;[4] and the Battle of Inverurie (1745) during the Jacobite Rebellion of that year.[16]

The House of Aquahorthies is at Burnhervie on the edge of Inverurie, built around 1797. The house served as a Catholic seminary until 1829 and since then has been a private family home.[17]

During the Second World War, German planes would have been seen several times, due to the bombing of the nearby city of Aberdeen but Inverurie itself was not bombed.[18][19][20][21]

The Inverurie Locomotive Works, which closed in 1969, led to a modest increase in size and prosperity, but much of the growth came from the "Oil boom" in 1970s.[22]



Inverurie is a market town, now with a monthly Farmer's Market, with many small shops, businesses and services. Its main industries other than service and commerce are agriculture, oil and, until International Paper closed the mill at Thainstone in March 2009, paper manufacture. The Great North of Scotland Railway constructed its locomotive construction and repair works on a 15-acre (61,000 m2) site at Inverurie.[24] Coombes, a small sweet shop, was famed as being the oldest family-owned business in Scotland until the death of Colin Coombes in 1957 whereupon the business closed.[25] The bakery chain JG Ross is headquartered in the town.[26]

Agriculture continues to be a mainstay of Inverurie's economy, as it has done since the town's inception. The Thainstone Centre, to the south east of the town, is a large livestock market, which rents out commercial units to various agricultural support services, oil industry storage yards and vehicle hire companies.[27]

A 98,000 sq ft (9,100 m2) retail park opened in June 2009.[28]

The town is served by Inverurie Hospital.[29]


Some Inverurie natives speak the Aberdeenshire Doric dialect of Scots, as well as Scottish English. Other notable ethnicities include English, Polish and American. The council's 2016 population survey estimated a population of 13,480 of which 90.0% spoke primarily English at home, 4.9% Scots and 1.5% Polish. However, 51% of residents reported being proficient in the Scots language.[30]

Historically, Pictish is the ancient language of the area, which can be found in many place names. It appears to have been a Brythonic language, but its classification remains uncertain. Pictish was eventually replaced by Scottish Gaelic in the area, and evidence of the language is found both in words in the Doric and in place names, such as Inverurie itself. The Book of Deer originates from the village of Old Deer, a few miles to the north east.[31]


The oldest church in Inverurie is St Andrew's Parish Church, part of The Church of Scotland which was founded as the "Kirk of Rocharl" by the Culdee monks in the 9th century.[32]


Inverurie Loco Works F.C., who play their matches at Harlaw Park, are the local Highland League football team.[33]

Inverurie Boxing Club, an amateur boxing club located in Kintore. The club was started in 2017 and has since then acquired its own premises and has had multiple Scottish novice and district champions

Colony Park F.C. are the town's juvenile team, founded by Dod Reid MBE in 1978.[34]

Garioch RFC, based at Kellands Park, play Rugby Union.[35]

Notable residents[edit]


Inverurie has an hourly internal bus service as well as some out of town services, including to Aberdeen – most (but not all) are provided by Stagecoach Bluebird.[40] The town lies on the A96 road and is served by Inverurie railway station on the Aberdeen to Inverness Line. The nearest airport is Aberdeen Airport at Dyce. Port Elphinstone railway station was a freight depot in Port Elphinstone; it is now disused.[41][42]


Inverurie Academy is the main secondary school in the town.[43]


  1. ^ "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Gaelic Place-Names of Scotland database". Ainmean-Àite na h-Alba. Archived from the original on 16 January 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  3. ^ "Scottish Parliament: Placenames collected by Iain Mac an Tailleir" (PDF). Retrieved 25 November 2012.
  4. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Inverurie" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 14 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 722.
  5. ^ "Inverurie Town Hall, museum and library". Dictionary of Scottish Architects. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  6. ^ "Aberdeenshire canal at Woodside". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011.
  7. ^ Davidson, C.B. (24 April 1866). "Burgh of Inverurie" (PDF). Edinburgh Gazette. p. 508. Retrieved 4 July 2013.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Vol 95 (2021): Bronze Age and Iron Age Archaeology at Thainstone Business Park, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire: An Investigation of Structures and Funerary Practices". Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports (95). 6 July 2021. doi:10.9750/issn.2056-7421.2021.95. ISSN 2056-7421.
  9. ^ "Vol 21 (2006): Thainstone Business Park, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire | Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports". Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  10. ^ Marshall, Bob (2017). "The Bass of Inverurie" (PDF). p. 10. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  11. ^ "St Andrew's Parish Church".[permanent dead link]
  12. ^ "Overview of Inverurie". Gazetteer for Scotland. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  13. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Easter Aquhorthies (18981)". Canmore. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  14. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Brandsbutt Stone, symbol stone (SM90039)". Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  15. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Battle of Barra (BTL18)". Retrieved 5 March 2019.
  16. ^ Leslie, Charles Joseph (1869). Historical records of the family of Leslie from 1067 to 1868-9, collected from public records and authentic private sources. Vol. III. Edinburgh: Edmonston and Douglas. pp. 178-181.
  17. ^ "A-listed period house in Aberdeenshire". Country Life. 16 September 2013. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  18. ^ "World War II bombing map published". Grampian Online. 16 October 2019. Retrieved 22 July 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ "Bombing Britain – War, State and Society". Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  20. ^ "Map charts WW2 bombing of Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire". BBC News. 3 March 2016. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  21. ^ "Aberdeen County Air Raid Register, 1940 – 1944". Google My Maps. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  22. ^ "Scotland's Insider Guide: Inverurie". Herald Scotland. 13 January 2019. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  23. ^ North-east town to say 'bonjour' to its new French twin – Evening Express
  24. ^ "Best Creative re-use of an Industrial Building 2018". The Association for Industrial Archaeology. 3 October 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2021.
  25. ^ Harley, Duncan (2019). The Little History of Aberdeenshire. History Press. ISBN 978-0750991131.
  26. ^ Ferguson, Laura (4 August 2018). "Founder of north-east bakery publishes biography". Evening Express. Retrieved 16 April 2021.
  27. ^ "Thainstone Centre". Aberdeen and Northern Marts. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  28. ^ "Inverurie Retail Park has 100% occupancy". Herald Scotland. 1 December 2011. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  29. ^ "Inverurie Hospital". Historic Hospitals. 26 April 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  30. ^ "Aberdeenshire's Towns: Inverurie & Port Elphinstone" (PDF). Aberdeenshire Council. 1 August 2019. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 May 2022. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  31. ^ "Book of Deer (MS Ii.6.32)". Christian Works. University of Cambridge Digital Library. Retrieved 16 January 2019.
  32. ^ "The History of St. Andrew's". St Andrew's Parish Church. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  33. ^ Highland Football League. "Inverurie Loco Works F.C." Retrieved 4 September 2012.
  34. ^ "Tributes paid to Norman Mitchell and Dod Reid". Archived from the original on 25 July 2011.
  35. ^ "North-east rugby club hits out at 'local idiots' endangering users of public park". Press and Journal. 14 January 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2022.
  36. ^ "Hannah Miley, swimmer and Olympic hopeful". The Scotsman. 3 June 2012. Archived from the original on 28 July 2014. Retrieved 24 July 2014.
  37. ^ Mitchell, Paul. "Peter Nicol defects to England 2001". BBC. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
  38. ^ "Celtic new boy Barry Robson heeds warnings". The Daily Telegraph. 3 February 2008. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
  39. ^ "Student engineers place at Olympics". University of Edinburgh. 17 February 2014. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
  40. ^ "Stagecoach phases in an increase in Aberdeenshire bus services". Grampian Online. 25 June 2020. Retrieved 28 April 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  41. ^ British Railways Atlas 1947. p.38
  42. ^ RAILSCOT
  43. ^ "Inverurie Academy". Retrieved 3 November 2018.