May 2017 – Tarland Village Walk

“In the beginning” – Janet McEwan, 2002

On the hottest day of the year, member and Echoes editor, Peter Craig took us for a wonderfully informative walk around Tarland Village using two old maps : tarland walk maps (for details of their history see the bottom of this page).

Starting at the Peter Milne memorial and the old graveyard, we learned about disappeared structures (pill box) and the now derelict church before moving down the road past the Old Bank (now a house) and the site of the old garage.

We then puzzled over the masonic symbols inscribed on the east side of the bridge at the entrance to the village, before admiring Janet McEwan’s sculpture In the beginning whose design emulates local Neolithic carved stone balls and marks, most appropriately, the start of the footpath to Tomnaverie Stone Circle.

From here we moved along the burn and learned the history of the development of the land to the south-west of the burn and the sites of the original village gardens (like allotments), the “garden ground” on the north of the burn, now also developed for housing. We crossed the bridge and went past the old mill, before pausing to look at the site of the old village sweet shop that was once Neil Urquhart’s general merchant’s shop (on the right) and the sweetie shop on the left. Miss Urquhart began working in the store in 1929 and took over ownership on the death of her father in 1969.

Old sweet shop and general merchant’s shop today

Picture taken on the retirement of Ms. Urquhart

Finally we finished off at the square where Peter pointed out where other shops had previously been. He also talked in detail about the history of the shop which is now the Krafty Neuk, but which was previously the Paper Shop and before that housed the watch-maker, optician and jeweller’s business run first by Patrick Reid and then his son Charles.

Peter talking about the previous shops on the Krafty Neuk site

About the maps : The upper map is part of one surveyed in 1884 when Cromar Estate was put on the market by Lord Aberdeen.   The colours were added in 2002 by Peter Craig for publication in CHG Newsletter 8.

The lower map is an extract from the 1887 Cromar Estate map of Tarland Village that shows the outcome of the public roup that was held after the estate failed to find a buyer.   Many village properties were sold to sitting tenants and others at this event, the first time that any part of the village had been owned by anyone other than the laird of the Estate, Lord Aberdeen at this point, and previously Farquharsons before that.   An original very beautiful hand-drawn linen map is one of CHG’s most prized archive items (10653).   It was donated as part of the Sievwright Collection.