A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Braemar, a district, containing the village of Castleton, in the extreme SW of Aberdeenshire. It was anciently a parish, but has for centuries, though at what precise date is not known, been united to Crathie. It was originally called St Andrews; it afterwards got the name of Caenn-na-droehait, signifying ` Bridge-end; ' and about the end of the reign of Mary, when the parts of it around Castleton became the property of the Earl of Mar, it took the name of Braemar. It adjoins its own county only on the E, and is surrounded, on the other sides, by Perth, Inverness, and Banff shires. Its boundaries with these counties are all watersheds of the Cairngorm Mountains, or central group of the Grampians. Its entire area is simply the alpine basin of the nascent Dee, cut into sections by the glens of that river's earliest affluents. It can be entered with wheeled carriages only by two roads-the one from the E up the Dee, the other from the S by the Spital of Glenshee; nor can it be entered even on foot with moderate ease by any other road except one from the W up Glen Tilt. The scenery of it is aggregately sublime-variously romantic, picturesque, and wild; and occurs to be noticed in our articles on the Cairngorms, the Dee, and the several chief glens and mountains. Old Braemar Castle is alleged to have been originally a hunting-seat of Malcolm Ceannmor; became a fortalice or feudal stronghold of the Earls of Mar; surmounted a rock on the E side of Cluny rivulet, adjacent to Castleton, from a drawbridge across the rivulet; took the name of Bridge-end, and gave that name to the district; and is now represented by only scanty remains. New Braemar Castle stands on a rising ground in Castleton haugh; was built, about the year 1720, by parties who had acquired the forfeited estates of the Earl of Mar; passed by purchase, about 1730, to Farquharson of Invercauld; and was leased to Government, about 1748, for the uses of a garrison. -The district ranked as a chapelry till 1879, when it was constituted a quoad sacra parish. It has, at Castleton, a post office, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, under Aberdeen, 2 hotels, called the Invercauld Arms and the Fife Arms, an Established church, a Free church, St Margaret's Episcopal church (1880), St Andrew's Roman Catholic church (1839; 400 sittings), and a public school. The Established church was built in 1870, at a cost of £2212; is a cruciform edifice, in the Early English style; has a tower and spire 112 feet high; and serves for a population of less than 400. The minister of it has a manse, and receives £60 a-year from the Royal Bounty, and £45 from local revenue. The public school, with accommodation for 100 children, had (1879) an average attendance of 57, and a grant of £46,7s. See the Rev. Jas. M. Crombie's Bræmar, its Topography and -Natural Histories (1861,2d ed. 1875).

Castleton, the capital of the Deeside Highlands, in the Braemar section of Crathie and Braemar parish, SW Aberdeenshire, 35 miles N of Blairgowrie, 30 NE of Blair Athole, 32 ESE of Aviemore, and 17½ WSW of Ballater station, this being 43½ WSW of Aberdeen. Backed by Mor Shron (2819 feet) and Carn nan Sgliat (2260), it stands, at 1110 feet above sea-level, on both sides of turbulent Clunie Water, which here, at 1 mile above its confluence with the Dee, is spanned by a substantial bridge, erected in 1863, in place of one built by General Wade, and which parts the village into Castleton proper to the E, and Auchindryne to the W. At it are Braemar post office under Aberdeen, with money order, savings' bank, and telegraph departments, a branch of the Union Bank, 2 fine hotels (the Fife Arms and the Invercauld Arms), a public library, and a meteorological observatory, whose instruments were a present from the Prince Consort. The Established church, built as a chapel of ease in 1870 at a cost of £2212, and raised to quoad sacra status in 1879, is a cruciform Early English edifice, with a spire 112 feet high; other places of worship are the Free church, with graceful clock tower and spire, St Margaret's Episcopal church (1880), and St Andrew's Roman Catholic church (1839). A public school, with accommodation for 100 children, had (1880) an average attendance of 58, and a grant of £42,6s. On the site of the InverCauld Arms Hotel the Earl of Mar upreared the standard of insurrection, 6 Sept 1715. Pop. of village (1841) 124, (1881) 234-145 of them in Auchindryne; of quoad sacra parish of Braemar (1881) 861.-Ord. Sur., sh. 65, 1870. See also Braemar, Crathie, and Invercauld.

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available, or use the map tab to the right of this page.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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