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Huntly


Aberdeenshire

A livestock market town in Strathbogie, NW Aberdeenshire, situated at the confluence of the River Bogie and the River Deveron on the main road and rail route to Inverness. Occupying a strategic position on a low-lying plain surrounded by hills, it lies at the junction of ancient routes linking Moray with Strathdon and Aberdeen. The town developed around a defensive site that became the power centre of the Catholic clan Gordon and was given burgh status in 1545. From 1776 Huntly was extended by the Duke of Gordon who laid it out in a regular grid pattern.

There are tourist and sporting facilities including an 18-hole golf course, a Community Centre, a library and museum, a livestock market and walkways out of town to Ba'hill, Battlehill and Clashmach Hill. St Margaret's Catholic Church (1834) has fine Spanish decorative panels and on the south bank of the River Deveron stand the remains of Huntly Castle with its 12th-century Norman motte and bailey, mediaeval L-plan tower house and defensive earthworks dating from the Civil War. Destroyed by the Earl of Moray in 1452, the castle was rebuilt in a new 'palace' style that was not completed until 1602 when the George Gordon, the 1st Marquis of Huntly (c.1563 - 1636) returned from exile after supporting the Catholic rebellion against James VI in 1594. It was subsequently abandoned in the 17th Century when the Duke of Gordon moved to Fochabers.


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