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History of Braemar

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Braemar History

Braemar is a village that sits on both sides of the Clunie Water, a river that was important for the ancient people who lived and traveled here. The village is in the highlands of Mar, a historical region that has a Gaelic name meaning 'Upland of Mar'. People started calling the village Braemar around 1870, but before that it was two separate hamlets: Auchendryne on the west bank and Castleton on the east bank.

Castleton got its name from Kindrochit Castle, which is in the middle of the village. Kindrochit means 'bridge end', because there used to be a wooden bridge that King Malcolm III built in the 11th century to connect the two banks. The castle ruins we see today are mostly from the 14th century, when they replaced the original wooden one.

Braemar has a lot of history, especially with the Jacobites. In 1714, when King George I came to the throne, some people in Scotland didn't like him and wanted to restore the old Stuart kings. One of them was the Earl of Mar, who started a rebellion in Braemar on 6 September 1715. He raised a flag at a mound near the Invercauld Arms Hotel, one of the two pubs in the village. The other pub is the Fife Arms Hotel, which is on the Auchendryne side. The two pubs are rivals because they belong to different estates that own most of the land in Braemar.

Auchendryne means 'field of the thorn' in Gaelic, and it used to belong to a family called Farquharsons until they lost it after another Jacobite rebellion in 1745. Then it was bought by William Duff, who became the Earl Fife.

There are also some churches in Braemar. The Catholic Church is dedicated to Saint Andrew, who is the patron saint of Scotland. It was built in 1839 on a hill west of Auchendryne. Some people say that Saint Andrew's bones were kept in Braemar for a while before they were moved to St Andrews, where there is a famous university and golf course. The Scottish Episcopal Church is called St Ninian's Chapel, and it was built in 1898.

One more thing about Braemar: it's the birthplace of Johann von Lamont, who was a Scottish-German scientist who studied the Earth's magnetic field. He was born near Braemar in 1805 and died in 1879.

Sadly, in 2022 there was a big fire and explosion at the Braemar Lodge Hotel, which was an old building from the 19th century. It was a terrible loss for the village and its people.

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