K is for Kintore
|taken approximately 1997|
Kintore is a small town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, and the place I've lived in for the last 26 years. I’m pretty sure it is the most ancient one of that name, though there are a few other places worldwide sporting the title of Kintore. Neither of the two registered in Canada, nor the two Kintores in Australia were established around the 9th century as the one in Aberdeenshire was.
A town charter is believed to have been granted to Kintore by King Kenneth II (earliest period of Scottish monarchy) in recognition that the locals helped him to victory on Tuach Hill by driving cattle covered in oak leaves at the Danish lines. The defeat of the Danes is celebrated on Kintore's coat of arms- depicted by a shield, an oak tree and two horned bulls standing up on their back legs. (Some day I’m going to investigate this era a lot more closely!) The Royal Charter Status was also recorded as being renewed in 1506 by King James IV. In times that are more modern a ceremony took place, in 1959, whereby Lord Lyon, King of Arms, presented an Official Coat of Arms to the Burgh. Lord Lyon is the official responsible for overseeing state ceremonial in Scotland and grants new ‘arms’ to persons or organisations. He is also the official in Scotland who registers and records new clan tartans, upon request by a clan chief.
Kintore - Ceann Tòrr in Gaelic - means the town was at the head or end of a round hill. Ceann means the head, or the end, and Tòrr means a round hill. This probably relates to the Tuach Hill related above which lies to the south of the town. The area has been a popular settlement since prehistoric times, the stone circle on Tuach Hill only one of many ancient stone monuments in the surrounding area. Recent excavations, of approximately 2004, unearthed finds dating to at least 5000 BC.
is at the northern end of the town. It served as the court and council house
until the present Town House was built in 1747- Burgh Records refer to court
proceedings being held there from around 1690 to 1745, the Earl of Kintore. Robert
Bruce and the Bailies of Kintore are recorded a having been present t meetings
in this building.
After the present Town House was built, Bridgealehouse became a coaching inn,
historical references alluding to this fact are found for October 1779. The
other coaching inn was The Kintore Arms, the toll road running through the
A mile to the south-west of Kintore you'll find the ruins of Hallforest Castle. Said to have been built in 1296 it is an oblong keep 48 feet by 30 feet, and the walls are around seven foot thick. It was built on six floors and was one of the earliest towers in Scotland.
The Castle took its name from its location in the great forest - Hallforest. The forest, which lies between Kintore and Kemnay (4 miles from Kintore) is also recalled in local names such as Forest Road and Tom's Forest.
It is claimed to have been built as a hunting lodge by King Robert the Bruce.
In 1305, Sir Robert Keith (received the title Great Marischal) was chosen as one of ten Scots to represent his country at the English Parliament but in May, 1308, he was fighting with Bruce's army at the Battle of Barra, near Inverurie (4 miles from Hallforest). The Keith family helped Robert the Bruce to gain his throne in the ensuing battles for independence from the English. Keith was rewarded by King Robert the Bruce by land at Hallforest, Kintore that included the castle. And so the Keith's arrived in the Garioch ( local name for the land around Inverurie) and the castle became the stronghold of the Keith family.
King James IV of Scotland is said to have hunted in Hallforest and Mary Queen of Scots is known to have stayed at Hallforest in 1562.
|taken March 2014|
(The Battle of Inverurie, also known as the Battle of Barra, was fought in May 1308 in the north-east of Scotland. Though part of the wider Wars of Scottish Independence it is more properly viewed as an episode in a brief but bitter civil war. The battle was a victory for the Scottish King Robert Bruce over his chief domestic enemy, John Comyn, 3rd Earl of Buchan. It was followed by the Harrying of Buchan, a violent act of destruction, at least equal to, if not greater than, some of the excesses practiced elsewhere by the English.)
I hope you've enjoyed a little bit about my home village of Kintore, though I am not born and bred in Aberdeenshire. Whhn I moved to Kintore the population was said to be less than 2,000 souls. It is now somewhere around 5,000 and still growing. The new jostles with the old, but the history of Kintore must never be lost!