Huntly, Scotland

Huntly is a charming town of about 5,000 people in Aberdeenshire, northeast Scotland. It was called Strathbogie when the Milton of Strathbogie built a castle here in the 1180s. You will enjoy learning its history while exploring The Square and the Huntly Castle.

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Scenic Drive on A96 near Huntly, Scotland

The 100 mile drive on A96 from Aberdeen to Inverness is gorgeous. This northeast region of Scotland is called Aberdeenshire. Its green, rolling hills support agriculture and livestock. A great town to visit after your first hour on the road is Huntly.

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1 Huntly Castle History in Huntly, Scotland

Strathbogie was the first castle built on this site during the late-12th century. The Fifes of Strathbogie surrendered it after the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Six years later, Robert the Bruce, King of the Scotts, gifted it to Sir Adam de Gordon in appreciation for negotiating a reconciliation with Pope John XXII. After the citadel was destroyed by the Earl of Moray in the mid-15th century, the current castle was constructed. It was expanded and repeatedly defended by the Clan Gordon for two hundred years until 1650. The castle exchanged hands several times during the Jacobite risings (1688 through 1746), a series of battles aimed at returning the House of Stuart to Great Britain’s throne. After the Battle of Culloden ended the rebellion, Huntly castle slowly fell into ruins.

1 Castle Gardens, Huntly AB54 4SH, UK
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2 Huntly Castle Round Tower in Huntly, Scotland

Despite being in partial ruins, the Huntly castle is worth seeing. This five-story round tower was constructed in 1410. It hints at the grandeur of this former estate owned by the Clan Gordan, a family of Norman knights. Most of the current castle was built by the 1st Earl of Huntly around 1550 and significantly expanded by the 4th and 6th Earls (both named George Gordon) through the early 18th century. Their names are still visible on the façade dated 1606. Inside you can see the courtyard, an ornate fireplace, a brew house and the cellar.

1 Castle Gardens, Huntly AB54 4SH, UK
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3 The Simpson Building at Gordon Schools in Huntly, Scotland

The Simpson Building was named after its architect, Archibald Simpson. It was funded by Elizabeth Brodie, the Duchess of Gordon, and constructed in 1839 to honor her husband, George Gordon, the 5th and last Duke of Gordon. It is the grand entrance to The Gordon Schools, a six-year secondary school founded by the duchess in the same year. Beneath the clock tower is the Clan Gordon crest featuring a stag’s head. On the other side of this arch is a tree-lined avenue leading to the Huntly Castle ruins. This pathway provides a peaceful and lovely stroll.

6 Seton Terrace, Huntly AB54 8EF, UK
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4 Huntly Parish War Memorial in Huntly, Scotland

The Huntly Parish War Memorial was erected in 1922 as a tribute to the soldiers from Huntly who died during World War I. The names of the 185 casualties are etched in stone at the base of this white granite monument.

30 Castle St, Huntly AB54 8BP, UK
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5 Brander Library in Huntly, Scotland

William Brander was born in Huntly in 1776 but moved to England where he became rich at the London Stock Exchange. He gifted £6,000 for the construction of a public library that bears his name. It was built on The Square in 1885 to the design of architect James Robert Rhind. The library is still operational. Inside is also a museum for the town’s history.

3 The Square, Huntly AB54 8BR, UK
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6 Charles Gordon-Lennox Statue in Huntly, Scotland

Charles Gordon-Lennox (1791 – 1860) was the son of Charles Lennox, the 4th Duke of Richmond, and the nephew of George Gordon, the 5th Duke of Gordon. This resulted in Charles becoming the 5th Duke of Richmond and Lennox. He was an aide-de-camp (assistant) to Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley during the defeat of Napoléon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. He was also the Postmaster General from 1830 until 1834. This bronze statue by sculptor Alexander Brodie was erected in The Square in 1862.

8 The Square, Huntly AB54, UK
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7 Huntly Hotel on The Square in Huntly, Scotland

The Huntly Hotel’s Victorian façade was constructed in 1903. It offers quaint, boutique accommodations for travelers of northeast Scotland and scotch enthusiasts bound for the Malt Whiskey Trail. Also popular is the Gordon Arms Hotel. Both are anchors of The Square, the center of Huntly which was laid out in 1769 by Alexander Gordon, the 4th Duke of Gordon.

18 The Square, Huntly AB54 8BR, UK
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8 James Robertson Memorial Fountain in Huntly, Scotland

This granite water fountain in the center of The Square is a memorial to James Robertson. He was a 19th century bank agent. He also established the Robertson Trust to provide meals to the town’s poor. This memorial was gifted to the town in 1882 by his widow. Etched on three sides are biblical quotes related to water.

7 The Square, Huntly AB54 8AE, UK
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9 Clock Tower of Stewart’s Hall in Huntly, Scotland

This impressive clock tower with four turrets was constructed with Syllavethy granite based on the design of James Anderson. It served as the Huntly town hall when it opened on Gordon Street in 1875. It was reconstructed in 1890 after a major fire three years before. Stewart’s Hall is now a venue for concerts and other entertainment events. This 338 seat theater often hosts performances in partnership with the Aberdeen Performing Arts.

19 Gordon Street, Huntly, AB54 8AJ
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