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Oldmeldrum,Scotland

Oldmeldrum is City/Area of Aberdeenshire, Latitude: 57.3349, Longitude: -2.3199

Oldmeldrum Town Hall   Oldmeldrum lies on rising ground about five miles north east of Inverurie and some 17 miles north-west of Aberdeen on the main road, the A947, to Banff.

Oldmeldrum Town Hall
 
Oldmeldrum lies on rising ground about five miles north east of Inverurie and some 17 miles north-west of Aberdeen on the main road, the A947, to Banff.

The town is very old; the army of John Comyn, 3rd Earl of Buchan is known to have been housed in Oldmeldrum at Christmas 1307 shortly before their defeat by Robert the Bruce at the nearby Battle of Barra, also sometimes known as the Battle of Inverurie.

Oldmeldrum was made a burgh in 1672 and became the main market centre of the medieval lordship of Garioch until being supplanted in that role by Inverurie in the 1800s. By then the town had become an important centre for the manufacture of hosiery.

These days the most obvious sign of the town’s age is Morris’s Hotel, just downhill from the main square. The sign outside says it opened in 1673. A series of plaques on the end wall of the hotel record some of the notable individuals who have been associated with it since that time.

Oldmeldrum itself is built mostly of an imposing grey stone which gives it a character that varies dramatically depending on the weather. Catch it on a blue sky day and it exudes an attractive charm. Visit it under dark grey cloud and the town can take on a much darker and more enclosed feel.

At the heart of Oldmeldrum is an open square immediately in front of the imposing and very attractive Town Hall, built in 1877. Around this main square lies a collection of olde world shops, plus an unusual petrol station. Think of the days when AA patrolmen rode motorcycles with sidecars and saluted members and you begin to get the idea.

The streets forming much of the rest of Oldmeldrum twist their way narrowly away from the central square, clearly revealing that the town’s growth was organic rather than planned.

On the north side of the town is Glen Garioch Distillery. Built in the same grey stone as much of the rest of Oldmeldrum, this comes complete with a four storey malt barn, two pagodas, a still house that lies end-on to the passing street and a visitor centre. The distillery, pronounced “Glen Geery” can trace its origins back to 1797.

Just to the north of the town is Meldrum House, now a hotel and golf club. The Meldrum family probably built a castle here in about 1236. It was converted over time into a larger castle and then a mansion. Meldrum House’s most long standing resident is said to be the ghost of a lady in green, who may or may not be the same ghost as the lady in white who appears during thunderstorms and on one occasion kissed a surprised guest. But why the name of Meldrum should have turned into Oldmeldrum remains unclear.

In recent years Oldmeldrum has been bypassed by a road which leads round the west side of the town from the B9170 Inverurie road in the south west to the A947 Banff road to the north of the town.

Glen Garioch Distillery
   

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