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Banffshire – The Royalist supporters


Also called County of Banff, Banffshire used to be a government county of Scotland. Its territory is bordered by the Grampian Mountains, and the North Sea. A particularity of the area stays with the fact that the historic county town, Banff, is now part of the county of Aberdeenshire. As well as the other historic counties of Scotland, from 1890 until 1975, the area was run by a county council.

Short history

Humans existed in the area of Banffshire from ancient times, proofs of their living here still being found at the Longman Hill, and Cairn Lee, along the coastline.
Later on, the lands were seized by the Pictish tribes, that also succeeded in pushing aside the Roman conquerors. Historical evidence is to be found at the cairns at Glenlivet, Rothiemay, and Ballindalloch. The remains of a Roman camp are still standing at Glenbarry, but their advance into the territory later ruled by Picts was prevented by the mountainous area rising towards the south of the region. Scots arrived in the area, as well, and their bloody conflicts with Danish invaders are legendary. One of these terrible battles took place in 960, near Cullen. Also, another fierce conflict is mentioned on a large carved stone, stating the victory of King Malcolm II against Norse invaders, in 1010.
Religious conflicts also took place in Banffshire. The Reformation brought forward the simmering hostility between the Catholics, ruled by an earl of Huntley, that succeeded in defeating the Protestants, led in battle by an earl of Argyll. It was the battle of Glenlivet, taking place in 1594, that established the victory of the first over the latter.

Even so, area clans continued to fight for years, with no end in sight. Towards the end of the 17th century, Banffshire was considered to be Jacobite. Uprisings took place, against the Jacobite ruling, in 1715, and later, in 1745, but the shire suffered little from the religious conflicts. Later, Banffshire became a strong supporter of Catholics, and it remained so from that point on. The War of the Three Kingdoms found Banffshire as a stronghold for the Royalist party.

Ruins of medieval castles dating from the 12th century are still standing on the lands of Banffshire.

While the lands were used mostly for agricultural purposes, Banffshire was not affected by the rise of the industrial age. Only in the 19th century, the region became a destination sought by tourists.