Situated amidst fertile farmland to the south of the Coreen Hills in Aberdeenshire, the sizeable village of Alford (pronounced 'Aford') lies in the Howe of Alford near the River Don, 23 miles (37 km) west of Aberdeen. Originally an agricultural kirkton settlement with a fair, Alford developed as the terminus of the Alford Valley Railway which opened in 1859. In addition to its cattle market (which closed in the 1980s) and agricultural engineering, Alford became a commuter settlement following the North Sea oil boom of the 1970s. In the 1980s a country park was established in the policies of Haughton House and the Grampian Transport Museum, a short section of the Alford Valley Railway and Alford Heritage Centre were opened. Alford was the site of the defeat of the Covenanters by the Marquis of Montrose in 1645. Notable residents included the singer-songwriter Emeli Sandé (b.1987), who grew up here.

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