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Classification and Statistics

Settlement Type: small town
Population (2001): 3991    
(1991): 4110
(1981): 3938
(1971): 3723
(1961): 3330
(1951): 3357
(1901): 7148
(Parliamentary Burgh)
(1881): 4255
(1871): 4032
(1861): 3724
(1851): 3557
(1831): 2935
(1782): 2380

Tourist Rating: Three Stars
Text of Entry Updated: 12-JUN-2007

Latitude: 57.663°N Longitude: 2.5229°W
National Grid Reference: NJ 689 638
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Built on two levels, Banff High Street lies along an upper ridge while Low Street sits at the level of the River Deveron. The lower part of the town can be reached by the narrow and precipitous Water Path which leads to the High Shore at the west end of which stand the ruins of the late medieval church of St Mary's. At the north end of the High Shore is the harbour which was originally built by the engineer John Smeaton in 1770-75.
The young Lord Byron frequently visited relatives in Banff and the poet Robert Southey visiting in 1819 described the 'clean, fresh town, open to the sea breezes and the country air'. Samuel Johnson overnighting at the Black Bull Inn en route to the Western Isles could not get enough of this fresh air, noting that 'The necessity of ventilating human habitations has not yet been found by our northern neighbours'.
References and Further Reading
McKean, Charles (1990) Banff and Buchan: An Illustrated Architectural Guide. Mainstream Publications (Scotland) Ltd. and the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland, Edinburgh

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