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Housing & Utilities

Housing and Utilities


The planned village of Foggieloan, founded by Alexander Gordon of Auchintoul in 1764, did not really begin to develop until it was bought by John Morison in 1799. Thereafter it grew steadily and a century after its foundation Gordon’s original grid, extending from North Street to South Street and from Cleanhill to School Lane, had been virtually filled with houses. A further century later many of the original houses had become slums which the Town Council had gradually replaced with council houses. By this time too, houses had modern conveniences – running water, inside toilets, electricity – but there still remained serious problems with water supply and sewage disposal. It was the major expansion of the village embarked on by the Town Council and its successor local authorities thereafter that would double the area of the settlement and provide adequate utilities. By its 250th anniversary in 2014 Aberchirder – or Foggieloan – was a pleasant place to live, with a good supply of modern houses but also a centre which gave a good idea of how the original village had looked,

Why does Aberchirder have two names?
A thing that fascinates people is why our village goes by two names – Aberchirder and Foggieloan.
Bleau’s Atlas of Scotland, compiled with the help of Robert Gordon of Straloch and his son Robert Gordon of Rothiemay, was published in Amsterdam in 1654. The place names for the Marnoch area provide useful evidence which helps to explain the origins of the two names by which Aberchirder (or Foggieloan) came to be known before and after 1800.
On the banks of the Deveron at what is now known as Marnoch the original church (in the kirkyard) is labelled Abirkerdir K[irk]. Just down river is Kynairdie [Castle], home until the early 15th Century of the Thanes of Aberkerdour. (A thane was a man who held land from a Scottish king and ranked with an earl’s son.)

Marnoch in Bleau Atlas, 1654

Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

Roy’s map, published in 1750, shows that at some time in the previous century the name Marnoch had been applied to the area, as the church is labelled Kirk of Marnoch. This extract from the map also shows Connaird [Kinnairdy], as well as House of Auchintoul and Foggieloan (top right).
Marnoch in Roy Map, 1750

Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland