Visit Fochabers and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Fochabers, Moray. Like Huntly in Aberdeenshire, Fochabers owes its being to the noble house of Gordon. But here the position is reversed, for while at Huntly it is the castle, though in ruins, that is their greatest monument, at Fochabers it is the town itself, an exceptionally fine example of Georgian town-planning, that remains to testify to their good taste. It was laid out by John Baxter, mason to William Adam, for Alexander, 4th Duke of Gordon, and his Duchess, Jane Maxwell, at the end of the 18th century, when it became necessary to remove the original village, which stood in the way of the extension of Gordon Castle. Baxter designed the “New Town” in the form of a rectangle, bisected lengthways from East to West by the main highway from Aberdeen to Elgin. On this major axis is a large market square with the parish church of Bellie (1798) in the middle of its South side. From the square, Duke Street ran North on the alignment of Gordon Castle, but in 1852 this vista was closed by the erection of an Episcopal chapel, balancing the parish kirk at the other end of the street. The plan is completed by another cross street (Westmorland Street) and by a series of lanes. Bellie Church, with pillared portico and spire, is a splendidly proportioned building, and happily it has been saved from the threat of demolition. It is allowed its full effect by symmetrical flanking blocks, one of which houses the offices of the Crown Lands Commissioners who now administer most of the Richmond and Gordon estates. Most of the original buildings of the town remain, as well-proportioned Georgian houses, usually harled and whitewashed.
Fochabers is approached from the East through miles of woodlands, part of the immense Forestry Commission Forest of Speymouth. At this end of the town is Mime's High School, built in the Tudor Collegiate style in 1846 from the 100,000 dollars bequest of Alexander Mime, a local boy who emigrated to America because he did not want to cut his hair in the way decreed by the 4th Duke of Gordon. It is now a state secondary school.
A handsome four-arch bridge across the Spey was partly swept away in the “Muckle Spate” of 1829. In 1832 the space, left by the two fallen arches was spanned by a single timber arch of 185 ft. In 1854 this was replaced, without stopping the traffic for a single day, by an iron arch. An entirely new Fochabers Bridge was completed in July 1971 to cope with the heavy Aberdeen—Inverness traffic.
There are some noteworthy monuments in Bellie kirkyard, including a Greek temple that is the tomb of Jean Christie, the Fochabers beauty who was the mistress and ultimately the second wife of the 4th Duke of Gordon; and of Adam Gordon of Newtongarrie, one of the nine children she bore the Duke.
They have heard of Fochabers in Addis Ababa and Honolulu, among the capitals of seventy-eight countries where the Gordon tartan encircles the containers of “fine foods from Scotland” marketed from Fochabers by a business founded in 1868 by a retired gardener to the Duke of Richmond and Gordon whose wife was a genius at making jam.
Nearby towns: Buckie, Elgin, Keith, Lossiemouth, Rothes
Nearby villages: Archiestown, Arradoul, Auchenhalrig, Bogmoor, Broadley, Clochan, Craigellachie, Dipple, Drybridge, Findochty, Fogwatt, Garmouth, Ianstown, Inchberry, Keithan, Kingston, Lhanbryde, Longmorn, Mill of Tynet, Mosstodloch, Nether Dallachy, Newmill, Ordiquish, Orton, Pitlurg, Portgordon, Portknockie, Rathven, Spey Bay, Upper Dallachy, Urquhart
Have you decided to visit Fochabers or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Fochabers bed and breakfast (a Fochabers B&B or Fochabers b and b)
- a Fochabers guesthouse
- a Fochabers hotel (or motel)
- a Fochabers self-catering establishment, or
- other Fochabers accommodation