Insight into Bennachie ‘colonists’


New insights into a group of 19th century colonists who set up a community on the slopes of the North East’s most famous hill, Bennachie, are to be revealed in a new exhibition.

The Bennachie Landscape Project was set up to investigate the hidden history of the Aberdeenshire hill, including finding out more about the Bennachie Colonists who settled on the former ‘commonty’ (common land) during the 1830s.

Following the collaborative project between local voluntary conservation society, the Bailies of Bennachie, and staff from the University of Aberdeen, the findings are to be showcased in a collaborative exhibition.

Dr Jeff Oliver, of the University of Aberdeen, “Written accounts at the time described the colonists as possessing dubious morals and backwards ways. Our project objective was to uncover evidence to provide a more balanced assessment about how the community lived.”

The exhibition will be displayed for the first time at the Bennachie Centre, near the Chapel of Garioch from April 7 to 27 and will then travel to other venues around Bennachie and to the University. The exhibition features interpretive displays and highlights opportunities and events for members of the public to learn more about the project.

On Saturday, April 12, If you are interested in recording the old tracks and quarries on the hill, Barry Foster will be leading an informal walk on Bennachie stating at 10am from the Rowan Tree Car Park. This walk will finish at about 4pm and stout boots, waterproofs and a packed lunch are recommended. If you would like more information please contact Barry Foster on (01542) 870708.

Also on Saturday, April 12, at 1pm at the Bennachie Centre, Dr Jeff Oliver, Aberdeen University Archaeology Department will be giving a free talk on The Bennachie Colonists.

To find out more visit www.