The ancient county town of Banff has a wealth of fine 18th century architecture which makes it unique in the north of Scotland, allowing author Neil Paterson to describe it as a miniature Edinburgh. Inevitably, some of that has been lost, but enough remains to fascinate the eye and stimulate the imagination.
The Banff Preservation and Heritage Society has a suggested walk round the principal streets and when you visit the town you will see many a curious corner, a dormer window, an angle turret or small piece of carving to delight the eye.
We hope that on the following pages you will gain an insight into what makes Banff a town of great architectural and historical interest, and why the Society was founded to improve and to safeguard these treasures.
The Royal Burgh of Banff received its Charter in 1376, but had been a viable community since the beginning of the 12th century.
Situated at the mouth of the River Deveron on the coast of the Moray Firth, the Burgh contains the site of a medieval castle, has numerous examples of Scots vernacular and Georgian architecture, and on its outskirts sits Duff House, the finest country house north of the River Forth.
It was the County Town of Banffshire until the re-organisation of Local Government in 1975 with the creation of Banff & Buchan District Council and of Grampian Regional Council.
Banff Museum was founded in 1828 as the museum of the Banff Institution and is the oldest museum in Scotland north of Perth. The Banff Institution was dissolved in 1875 and the collections passed to Banff Town Council.
The present museum and library building were built in 1902. Banff Preservation and Heritage Society currently run the Museum in partnership with Aberdeenshire Museums Service. The Museum is on Banff High Street, in the same building as Banff Library. The postocde is AB45 1AE.
The exhibits show a vast range of interesting artefacts from the Celtic period up to the modern day. They reflect life in Banffshire and show some stunning examples of our historical past in Banff and Macduff.
Presently access is via a staircase as the Museum is on the first floor but plans are in hand to create a lift access in the very near future.
The Museum shut its doors on Saturday in anticipation of a large refurbishment to the building which included the installation of a new lift! Its very exciting news and we expect to re-open around September. We will keep you updated on the progress!