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Aberdeen and Grampian

Stop By Quaint Turriff

Today the small town of Turriff does not seem to be terribly important, but just a few hundred years ago it was commonly viewed as a thriving center of trade. Located in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, the town is mentioned in a 12th century manuscript known as the ‘Book of Deer’, so even though the exact founding date is unknown, it is known that Turriff was established more than nine centuries ago. The town is situated at an elevation of 166 feet above sea level and it characterized by the distinctive red sandstone houses found in abundance here.

One of the most outstanding things about Turriff is its long history. Though not much is known about the settlement before the 17th century, it appears that the Knights Templar had a base in the area – presumably at the area of land now known as the ‘Temple Brae’. However, Turriff really only entered the history books in 1639 when it became the first place to witness serious bloodshed during the Civil War. It was here that the Marquis of Huntly assembled his Royalist forces of some 2000 men before making his way to Aberdeenshire by way of Kintore to disperse a meeting of Covenanters which he had learned was to be held on 14 February. The event was nicknamed the ‘Trot of Turriff’ and a lot of blood was lost in the bloody battle that ensued.

Today Turriff is a much quieter place. It has a primary school and a secondary school which is often used by people from surrounding areas as it is seen as providing some of the best education in the area. There are shops, a few small restaurants and, of course, those delightful red sandstone houses that give the place its character. Turriff also plays host to a two-day agricultural show which is held once a year. People from surrounding areas compete in the show and it is a popular attraction with visitors who happen to be in the area at the time. So why not visit Turriff and learn even more about this quaint little town’s interesting history?