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Oldmeldrum Town Hall (geograph 3920107).jpg
Oldmeldrum Town Hall
Oldmeldrum is located in Aberdeenshire
Location within Aberdeenshire
Population3,120 (mid-2020 est.)[1]
OS grid referenceNJ808272
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Postcode districtAB51
Dialling code01651
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
57°20′06″N 2°19′12″W / 57.335°N 2.320°W / 57.335; -2.320Coordinates: 57°20′06″N 2°19′12″W / 57.335°N 2.320°W / 57.335; -2.320

Oldmeldrum (commonly known as Meldrum) is a village and parish in the Formartine area of Aberdeenshire, not far from Inverurie in North East Scotland. With a population of around 2,187, Oldmeldrum falls within Scotland's top 300 centres of population.[2] Oldmeldrum is home to one of the oldest whisky distilleries in Scotland, Glen Garioch, which was built in 1797. Local industries are agriculture and engineering services connected to the oil industry in Aberdeen.

Prehistory and archaeology[edit]

Archaeological excavations in advance of the construction of a new bypass road around the north of Oldmeldrum, in the summer 2005, revealed the remains of three Bronze Age ring-ditch roundhouses. The archaeologists believe that the houses that might be part of an area of open settlement which means the first settlement at Oldmeldrum was 3500 years ago.[3]


The Battle of Barra was fought in May 1308 (some say earlier) near the Hill of Barra between the armies of Scots King Robert Bruce and John Comyn, 3rd Earl of Buchan. Oldmeldrum was made a burgh of barony in 1672. The parish of Meldrum was known as "Bethelnie" until 1684. It was a centre of the hosiery trade in the 18th century. Oldmeldrum Burgh had a population of 1,110 in 1911 and 1,103 in 1951.[4] By the 2001 census the population stood at 2,003 and had risen to 2,187 by 2006.

Culture and community[edit]

On the third Saturday of June, Oldmeldrum is host to the popular "Meldrum Sports,"[5] which features highland games, highland dancing, piping, five-a-side football, displays, stalls, and a beer tent. The Sports were first held in 1930, when a group of residents got together to raise funds to provide cocoa to the local children. There has also been an Arts and Music Festival in Oldmeldrum; this has been held in March 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009 by the Rotary Club to promote local singers, musicians, artists, and photographers.[6]

Meldrum Academy

Oldmeldrum has a primary school[7] and a secondary school, the Meldrum Academy,[8] which also includes the local library. A skatepark was built in June 2009 within Oldmeldrum Pleasure Park, a community park to the east of the main Banff to Aberdeen Road.


The remains of a prehistoric hill fort are at Barra Hill, 2 miles (3 kilometres) south of Oldmeldrum; the hill fort was excavated by Murray Cook of Rampart Scotland. Results indicated that it has had at least three phases of fortification: before 500 BC, after 500 BC and again by the Picts around AD 400. This project formed part of the Hill forts of Strathdon Project[9] Another ancient site is Sheldon Stone Circle which is about 3 mi (5 km) to the south-east of Oldmedrum.

To the north of the village is Meldrum House, a mansion and castle built in the 17th century, and which is now a hotel and golf course.[10] Oldmeldrum Town Hall was completed in 1877.[11]

To the east of the village is the Oldmeldrum Golf Club. Founded in 1885, its 14th fairway contains a rock where John Comyn, Earl of Buchan is said to have lain and lamented his loss to Robert the Bruce at the Battle of Barra.[12] In 2006, a 72-year-old golfer died in a bunker on the first hole.[13] Also to the east of Oldmeldrum is the ruined Tolquhon Castle which is noted for its highly ornamented gatehouse.[14] The castle was built between 1584 and 1589 and is now maintained by Historic Scotland; the castle is open to the public during the summer months.[14]

Oldmeldrum is home to one of the oldest whisky distilleries in Scotland, Glen Garioch, which was built in 1797. Glen Garioch's visitor centre is open year-round and includes tours of the working distillery.

Haddo House, a stately home run by the National Trust for Scotland, is 7 mi (11 km) north-east of Oldmeldrum.

From Oldmeldrum, there are good views of nearby Bennachie (mountain).



The A947 road from Aberdeen to Banff runs through the centre of the village. Old Meldrum railway station served Oldmeldrum on a line from Inverurie through Lethenty and Lochter until 1965.

Famous residents[edit]


  1. ^ "Mid-2020 Population Estimates for Settlements and Localities in Scotland". National Records of Scotland. 31 March 2022. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  2. ^ General Register Office for Scotland. "Mid-2004 Population Estimates". Archived from the original on 2 May 2007. Retrieved 5 May 2007.
  3. ^ "Vol 43 (2010): The Excavation of Bronze Age Roundhouses at Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire | Scottish Archaeological Internet Reports". journals.socantscot.org. Retrieved 18 August 2021.
  4. ^ "Vision of Britain through time - Census tables with data for the Scottish Burgh of Oldmeldrum". visionofbritain.org.uk.
  5. ^ "Scotland the What? trio to open Sports". inverurieherald.co.uk. Archived from the original on 9 June 2009. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  6. ^ "Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum - Art and Music Festivals 2005, '06 and '07". oldmeldrumrotary.org.uk.
  7. ^ "Meldrum School". meldrum-pri.aberdeenshire.sch.uk.
  8. ^ "Meldrum Academy". meldrumacademy.co.uk.
  9. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 September 2012. Retrieved 16 March 2014.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Meldrum House" (PDF). meldrumhousegolf.co.uk.
  11. ^ Historic Environment Scotland. "Town Hall, Market Square, Oldmeldrum (LB38892)". Retrieved 30 June 2022.
  12. ^ "Oldmeldrum Golf Club, Scotland". oldmeldrumgolf.co.uk.
  13. ^ Dow, Bob. AL DIES IN BUNKER Daily Record, Jun 23 2006
  14. ^ a b "Tolquhon Castle". Historic Scotland. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  15. ^ "Rotary Club of Oldmeldrum - Community Garden". oldmeldrumrotary.org.uk.
  16. ^ Beaton, Alistair. Evergreen entertainer congratulates garden volunteers The Press & Journal
  17. ^ "A salute to Doric heroes". Archived from the original on 24 July 2007. Retrieved 24 June 2007.

External links[edit]