Oot an Aboot

Every year, we run visits during the summer to interesting historical sites. To ensure numbers are manageable, these are open to members only and their invited guests. Keep an eye on this web page for details or any notifications of changes as they become available.

Tap O’ North Wednesday 29 May Please be ready to leave the Square in Tarland at 10am

Our first visit this summer will be to the hill fort on Tap o North near Rhynie.

Recent archaeological excavations have uncovered evidence that up to 4,000 people may have lived in more than 800 huts perched high on the Tap O’ Noth close to the village of Rhynie. Radiocarbon dating suggests the fort – a settlement within a rampart which encloses an area of around 17 acres – was constructed in the fifth to sixth centuries AD and that settlement on the hill may date back as far as the third century AD, meaning it is likely to be Pictish in origin. After we have visited the hill fort we can make a short stop in Rhynie to see the collection of inscribed Pictish stones

The visit will involve a walk of 5-6km and a climb of 300m. Bring a packed lunch and we will have a picnic on top of the hill. Also bring the usual waterproofs, sunscreen and insect repellent.

Aerial view of Tap O' North

Birse Water Mills Wednesday 19 June .

We are expected at 2pm so please meet at the Square Tarland for car share and be ready to leave at 1:30pm.

We will be shown around the mills by Toni Watt who is Birse Community Trust’s manager. The Finzean Sawmill site includes two water-powered mills, the Sawmill and the Turning Mill. The Sawmill dates from the 1820s and had recently fallen into disrepair when BCT became owner of the site in 1999. The Sawmill is a Grade A listed historic water mill and BCT carried out a major programme of re-construction and repairs to restore the Mill and bring it back into operation.

The Bucket Mill is a Grade A Listed Historic Site and unique in Britain with its specialised water powered machinery for manufacturing wooden pails or buckets.

17 July  2024  Members’ visit to  Braemar  Castle. 

We are expected for 11am so please meet in the Square at Tarland ready for a 10:15am departure

We will have a guided group tour of the newly renovated Braemar Castle which has been closed for some time due to renovation work. The castle, now managed by Braemar Community Trust, has a long and interesting history as an army barracks and a home to the Farquharson Family. The entry fee will be £10 so bring your purse.

21 August 2024  Members’ visit to Knock Castle and Knock Farm Steading.

Please meet in the Square Tarland ready for 1:30pm departure.

We will visit the ruins of Knock Castle, a tower house on Birkhall Estate., At one time this was the home of members of the Gordon clan. We will also visit the steading at Knock Farm. It is now disused but in very good condition and is a fine example of an improved farm dating from the late nineteenth century. Fortunately for historians, it has never been modernised and the byre and stables are still as they were built.