Architecture & Cultural

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Ballogie Estate’s Architecture and Cultural Heritage

It is Ballogie Estate’s policy to conserve its vernacular granite buildings. Our maintenance team are trained in the use of traditional building techniques, such as using lime mortar and harling, to be able to care for and preserve these buildings. Balnacraig House, a classic Laird’s house, was built in the late 17th century and is steeped in history. It was fundamentally restored fifteen years ago using traditional building methods and materials.

Potarch Bridge

Potarch Bridge was designed by the famous engineer Thomas Telford and completed in 1814. The building of the bridge brought to an end the use of the centuries-old ford and boat at Inchbare, which at one time was manned by a boatman who had survived the massacre at Glencoe. Local folklore suggests the boatman was tormented by a water horse or kelpie, a mythical creature, which used to charge up and down the river. The Kelpie Pool commemorates this phenomenon. 

Long ago there was a stone circle at Inchbare, but this was removed during the agricultural improvements in the late 19th century, much to the annoyance of Robert Dinnie, the local historian, stonemason and father of the renowned Donald Dinnie.

Ballogie Home Guard Trench & Sunset Song

Along the banks above Potarch Green, there is a Home Guard trench dug during WW2 by the Ballogie Home Guard. This was to be part of the defence in the event of a German invasion in the north of Scotland and formed part of The Cowie Line stretching across Aberdeenshire.

In the Forest of Birse, part of the old steading at Auchabrack was used in the filming of Terence Davies’s critically acclaimed 2015 film, Sunset Song.

sun shining through trees spring/summer

The Donald Dinnie Stones

Ballogie Estate is the birthplace of the 19th century’s greatest athlete, and arguably, Scotland’s greatest ever international athlete, Donald Dinnie (1837-1916). Born at Balnacraig, Donald’s sporting career began at the age of 16 and spanned over 50 years, during which time he competed successfully in 11,000 competitions. Donald, like his father Robert, was a stonemason. On a market day at Potarch Green, sometime in the 1860’s, he entertained the crowds with an amazing show of strength by carrying two boulders, with a combined weight of 332.49 KG, a distance of 4.6 metres across Potarch Bridge. We are proud to be the custodians of the ‘Dinnie Stanes’. To learn more about their history, why not visit Potarch Cafe, where the ‘Dinnie Stanes’ are on display at a special lifting site in the garden. Periodically, we welcome people from all around the world to attempt to lift the Dinnie Stones.

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