Royal Deeside : History from 1800 AD
The period 1750-1850 was one of developing prosperity for Britain as a whole but in the Highlands, it was the time of the notorious 'Clearances'. Deeside began to take on its modern appearance. Although roads had long run through Deeside both to the North and South of the Dee, access to the area, even from Aberdeen must have been difficult. However, by 1810, Banchory and the new town of Ballater were developing and economic activity in Deeside increasing.
For many years after the Battle of Culloden, Highlanders were banned from many activities including the wearing of kilts. By the early 1800s most restrictions had been lifted and in 1826 the modern Braemar Gathering was formed. In 1848 Queen Victoria stayed at Balmoral, and subsequently bought it, building a new castle on the estate. Later the road to the North of the river past Balmoral was upgraded and a new bridge across the river at Invercauld was built by Prince Albert. The road on the south side of the river through the Balmoral estate was then removed.
Queen Victoria attended the Braemar Gathering in 1848 and, being pleased with what she saw, bestowed Royal Patronage shortly thereafter. Her love for her 'dear Paradise' of Royal Deeside, as it came to be called, gave a tremendous boost to the area . Over the last 150 years millions of visitors have enjoyed what it has to offer. Each year thousands of visitors attend the Braemar Gathering on the first Saturday in September and most years the event is graced by the Patron, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth.
Interest in Queen Victoria's time in Royal Deeside was recently stirred by the film 'Mrs Brown'. It portrayed the relationship between the Queen and John Brown, her Crathie born servant. The queen was played by Judi Dench. Billy Connelly, who played John Brown, so liked Deeside that he bought an estate in nearby Donside.
By 1861 a new railway line from Aberdeen to Ballater had been built The railway was used by Royalty and many important visitors to Balmoral but it was also used by many thousands of ordinary people holidaying in Royal Deeside. During World War II it also carried many hundreds of soldiers to and from their training camps. It was closed in 1963. However, the royal station at Ballater is now a visitor centre and railway enthusiasts are planning to restore a section of the line between Crathes Castle and Banchory. Elsewhere, today's residents and visitors can enjoy a stroll through the past along the old line.
|Top of Page|
|Introduction||A History of Royal Deeside||The Deeside Railway||The Old Military Road||Old Kirkyardst|
|Queen Victoria and Royal Deeside||John Brown, Loyal Servant||Francis Farquharson||Lord Byron, poet||Alexander Gordon|
|Macbeth and Braemar||Braemar Gathering and Highland Games||History of Braemar||Clan Farquharson||Bridges of Ballater|
|19th Century Ballater||History of Dinnet area||Aboyne History||Aboyne Wartime Poetry||Aboyne Great War Records|
|History of Dinnet||History of Tarland||Scott Skinner, the Strathspey King||Glen O' Dee Hospital||Brunel's Bridge|
|AA Box 472|
website is maintained for the benefit of the residents of Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire,
Ballater (RD) Ltd, a charitable company limited by Guarantee.
Copyright © 2003-2013 Ballater (RD) Ltd