Bailies 40th Birthday Celebrations

May 2013

The Bailies of Bennachie continued their 40th anniversary celebrations on Saturday 11th May with a series of free walks, all tailored to suit all ages, levels of fitness and interests archaeological, historical, geographical, wildlife or flora.Hill hikers who chose the walk led by Bennachie Landscapes project co-ordinator Colin Shepherd returned from their trek buzzing with enthusiasm over what they had learned. Archaeologist Colin took his party through the five ages of Woodend up the hill encompassing 4,000 years in 140 acres. He pointed out a ring cairn, burial monument of the late Neolithic/early Bronze period, a hut circle dating from the Bronze age through to the early medieval Pictish period and an Ogham stone with carved symbol of a cross perhaps indicating the rise to importance of Christianity during Pictish times.

Bailies councillors  John Nicol and Jill Matthews took a party all eager to learn more about the hill’s historic features and find out more about plants and wildlife to be found on the slopes and woodlands. John and Jill’s party visited the English quarry, Oxencraig, the memorial cairn to the aircraft victims unveiled last September and the Mither Tap.

In the afternoon refreshments were provided which included a tasty ‘Bennachie bap,’ the creation of local baker J.G Ross.

Local authority on Bennachie and joint author of the new Bennachie guide book James MacKay gave an illustrated presentation entitled Bennachie Uncovered in which he detailed many aspects of the hill and the foundation of the Bailies, the inspiration of the late Dr Danny Gordon who has as his memorial Danny’s widdie’, a now flourishing wood of native trees created by those who wished to remember him. Senior Bailie Jackie Cumberbirch gave the vote of thanks which included a poem of her own composition about Bennachie and former and current Bailies.

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