Visit Whitehills and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Whitehills, Aberdeenshire. Westwards of the town of Banff stretches the wide sweep of Banff Links, extending into Boyndie Bay, at the far end of which one crosses the Burn of Boyndie to reach the great hump of Knock Head. Immediately on the West side of this massive headland is the village of Whitehills, the port and principal populated place of the thanage of the Boyne, in ancient times a forest and now a fertile farming region. There was a small fishing village here at the end of the 16th century, but the present town was largely the creation of the 19th century herring boom.
Its appearance of modernity is in a way deceptive, for families who were settled in Whitehills over 300 years ago still live in it today. The attractive name Lovie, for example, appears in the Kirk Session records in 1623, and there are still many Lovies in Whitehills. In 1842, the parish minister enumerated in the village 117 Watsons, forty-seven Lovies, twenty-five Adamsons, twenty-five Findlays, and twenty-three Ritchies. Today these families still predominate.
This continuity in the basic stock of the place has resulted in an intense spirit of independence and self-help, demonstrated many times in incidents of local history. Before the days of state education, the fishermen of Whitehills ferried in their boats all the timber required from Speymouth in Moray to roof the General Assembly school in the village. At a slightly later date, they moved, stone by stone from Banff, an entire church, which they re-erected in the village. This building, now called Trinity Church, can be inspected on the main highway leading into the village. White-hills, though only 3 miles from Banff, operates its own famous lifeboat station, which has a long history of rescue operations.
This is surely the place to say something about the character of the close-knit fishing communities of Scotland's East coast, a character that survives in a purer form in Whitehills than perhaps anywhere else. So important was the fisherman's wife in these societies, that they might almost be described as matriarchal.
At Inverboyndie, 1 mile East of Whitehills, are the ruins of the ancient pre-Reformation Church of St Brandon. Its West gable is crowned by a fine belfry with carved stonework below. The name of St Brandon the Navigator is repeated everywhere in the area in such place-names as Brangan and Pitterbrangan, and in Brangan's Stanes, which are large hornblende stones huddled together in an ancient burial site.
The second oldest building in the district is the ruined Castle of the Boyne in the glen of the Burn of Boyne, 3 miles West of Whitehills. It had a much more ancient predecessor, the Castle of the Craig of Boyne on a cliff at the mouth of the burn.
Although to all appearances an ancient fortress on the courtyard plan, Boyne Castle is in reality an instance of “architectural atavism”. It was equipped for a certain amount of defence by firearms, nonetheless, and must have looked magnificent in its heyday. Oblong, and 104 ft in breadth across the main front, it had outer walls 5 ft thick and at each of the four corners a sturdy round tower. In front is a great fosse or ditch, and the entrance to the main front is approached by a raised and walled causeway, defended by two drum towers. The main front was four storeys high.
Nearby towns: Banff, Macduff, Portsoy
Nearby villages: Aberchirder, Boyndie, Buchan, Clunie, Cornhill, Crovie, Cullen, Cuminestown, Cushnie, Deskford, Dunlugas, Fordyce, Gamrie, Gardenstown, Garmond, Gordonstown, Kirktown of Alvah, Longmanhill, Marnoch, Mountblairy, Plaidy, Portsoy, Sandend, Turriff
Have you decided to visit Whitehills or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Whitehills bed and breakfast (a Whitehills B&B or Whitehills b and b)
- a Whitehills guesthouse
- a Whitehills hotel (or motel)
- a Whitehills self-catering establishment, or
- other Whitehills accommodation