Friends of the Book of Deer seminar

THE Friends of the Book of Deer have arranged their 32nd Seminar for the afternoon of Saturday, September 24 at 2 30pm in the Kemp Hall, Old Deer.

Laura Dorantt will deliver her paper ‘Stuartfield and Crichie: an Historical Relationship’, which she originally presented during a Conference in the USA.

The Conference was ‘Dimensions of Political Ecology’ and the talk featured in the Rural – Urban Interfaces Session, and was well received by those in attendance.

Between 1725 and 1850, some 450 planned villages were founded throughout Scotland.

Of these, around 100 or so were built in the north east of the country. The planned village of Stuartfield is in the Buchan district of Aberdeenshire, and is surrounded by the Crichie estate, which in the 21st century continues as a working farm estate.

The lands of Crichie and Dens have been owned and managed by the Burnett Stuart family since around 1700 when Mr John Burnett Stuart, a linen merchant and the then laird of the Crichie estate, built Stuartfield for the purpose of settling workers to work in his bleaching fields.

Laura’s paper introduces the Buchan district; gives a brief history of the village of Stuartfield, and the Burnett Stuart family responsible for its foundation; discusses the political, social, and economic factors surrounding the founding of planned villages in Scotland, including the Enlightenment and the Scottish famine; places Stuartfield as an example of a planned village in the north east of Scotland during the 1700s and 1800s; and illustrates the changing relationship between society and the natural environment, the village of Stuartfield and its residents, and the Crichie estate and the landowning family.

The friends will also be hosting a Special Concert on Friday November 2, featuring Jack Webster and Robert Lovie with a strong supporting cast.

The evening starts at Mintlaw Public Hall at 7.30pm, priced £5.