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Tomintoul is located in Moray
Tomintoul shown within Moray
Population 322 (Census 2001)
OS grid reference NJ165185
Council area
Lieutenancy area
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Postcode district AB37
Dialling code 01807
Police Scottish
Fire Scottish
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
57°15′04″N 3°22′41″W / 57.251°N 3.378°W / 57.251; -3.378Coordinates: 57°15′04″N 3°22′41″W / 57.251°N 3.378°W / 57.251; -3.378

Tomintoul (Listeni/ˌtɒmnˈtl/; from Scottish Gaelic: Tom an t-Sabhail,[1] meaning "Hillock of the Barn") is a village in the Moray council area of Scotland; until 1975 it was in the county of Banffshire.

It is said to be the highest village in the Scottish Highlands, but at 345 m (1,132 ft) is still much lower than the highest village in Scotland (Wanlockhead, in Dumfries and Galloway).

The village was laid out on a grid pattern by the 4th Duke of Gordon in 1775. It followed the construction, twenty years previously, of a military road by William Caulfeild – now the A939. By 1841 the parish reached a population of 1,722. In 1951 this had fallen to just 531. The 2001 census reveals a village population of 322 with the total parish population now unavailable.

The 2004 film One Last Chance[2] starring Kevin McKidd and Dougray Scott was filmed in the village and the areas around it.

Despite its small size, it is on the famed Whisky Trail, which also includes Dufftown, Keith, Tomnavoulin, and Marypark. The surrounding countryside forms the Glenlivet Estate

Tomintoul Golf Club (now defunct) was founded in 1897. The club and course disappeared at the time of WW2. [3]

Local personalities[edit]

The artist and writer Mary Barnes died there in 2001 after living there for some time.

The immunologist Prof Kenneth Boyd Fraser FRSE retired to Tomintoul and died there.

Infamous personalities[edit]

"Lord" Tony Williams

The Gordon Arms Hotel saw significant improvement in the 1990s when it was lavished with funds from the media-styled 'Lord Tony Williams'. It is a myth that villagers referred to Tony Williams as 'Lord': this was a media invention. 'Lord' Williams spent at least £1-million on improving the hotel, and invested yet more money in other projects within the village. However, rather than a wealthy peer of the realm, Williams was a former Deputy Director of Finance in the Metropolitan Police and had used his talents to defraud them of £4.5-million. He was subsequently sentenced to seven years imprisonment. After his arrest, a 10-metre fibreglass Zulu was discovered in the hotel beer cellar – its purpose was never determined.

Percy Toplis - The "Monocled Mutineer"

Percy Toplis took refuge in the area in 1920 before being discovered by a local farmer. He made his escape, shooting and wounding the farmer and a police constable while doing so. Within a week, he was shot dead by police in England.

James Stuart

Chiefly of interest to genealogists, James Stuart (1791–1874), a local farmer at Lynchork (pronounced "Linnahork") appears in a number of birth, baptism, death and Kirk Session records in this and surrounding parishes as the admitted or reputed father of children of his female servants.

Grigor Willox

Grigor Willox was a reputed white witch who lived in Tomintoul in the 18th century. He was said to derive his powers from two amulets: a brass hook from a kelpie's bridle and a mermaid's crystal. Among his alleged powers were making cows produce milk, curing barren women, and detecting thieves.[4]


  1. ^ Duwe, Kurt C. (December 2011). "Bàideanach, Srath Spè, Nàrann & Bràighean Mhàrr (Badenoch, Strathspey, Nairn & Braes of Mar)". Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) Local Studies (PDF) (Report). 21 (2nd ed.). Retrieved 2014-11-27. 
  2. ^ One Last Chance on Internet Movie Database
  3. ^ “Tomintoul Golf Club”, “Golf’s Missing Links”.
  4. ^ Ash, Russell (1973). Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain. Reader's Digest Association Limited. p. 466. ISBN 9780340165973. 

External links[edit]