Kildrummy Inn History
On these pages we have information about Kildrummy Inn, previous proprietors & the area.
Although yet we are unsure as to when exactly the inn was built. We know it is at-least several hundred years old. Adjoining the Inn is the Volunteers hall. We understand that the Volunteers hall was the part of 'F' Coy - Alford, Kildrummy and Strathdon (Volunteers) of the Gordon highlanders. This will explain to coat of arms inside the Hall door! It’s believed the hall was used by then to train prior to going to the Great War.
Here we have some pictures dating from the 1880’s. We were given these by some guests who were tracing their relatives in the summer of 2006. Their great grandparents were the Barries who you can see in these pictures.
This picture was taken in approximately 1890.
Left to right: Elizabeth Barrie-Anderson, William Anderson, James Barrie, William Barrie then 2 unknown family members. The elderly lady in the rather scary looking wheelchair contraption is Ann Walker-Barrie. Note the handlebar moustaches, time pieces on the gents & typical Victorian dress; we can’t imagine it was very comfortable to work in!
In 1889 Ann Walker-Barrie had her jubilee banquet at the Inn. In these two pictures you can clearly see Mrs Barrie, donned with some wonderful attire. The menu is rather interesting but seems to be typical of the time. Although personally I’m not so sure of a couple of the choices? Brown soup? Boiled fowls? Very interesting! Also you will se here her son John Barrie
Below Kildrummy Kirk, which dates from 1805 and is of an unusual rectangular, bow-fronted shape, stands close to the remains of the earlier old Kirk of St Bride. Here's some more background information on the ancient and mysterious Kildrummy Church.
The village of Kildrummy in the North East of Scotland is famous for its 13th century castle and amazing water gardens, but if you ever visit this village be sure to allow yourself to be lured to its mysterious little Kirk.
On approach to the parish of St. Bride you may not instantly recognise the building as a church - visitors continue to be puzzled by its strange resemblance to an old traditional Scottish mill.
No–one really knows the reasons behind the strange architecture; locals say the original building plans were mixed up, or perhaps the small church holds a darker secret. Perhaps something happened in the mill that saw its conversion into a church, or indeed perhaps the strange resemblance has a connection with the Kirk’s early Christian history. The original site on which the church stands lay between three rivers, a perfect location for ancient pagan rites, but the church’s early Christian presence is revealed in dedications to saints such as St. Machar and St. Ronan, found in the area. The dedication of the church to the early Christian St. Bride is also a reminder of this Dark Age.
It is thought the first church to be built on the site was dedicated to St. Bennet and was built by a Pictish King known as Brude in 581. Pictish stones remain in the grounds that hark back to this time. The medieval church which was built on this site and is thought to date no later than the 14th century was known as the Chapel of the Lochs. The present site still has connections to this time, the ancient font still trickles on, and the Bell Knowe remains. The Bell Knowe or little hill nearby was the place that the monks would ring out the Church bell which was hung from the ancient dead tree that still remains to this day.
In 1605, the Elphinstone Lairds of Kildrummy began rebuilding the church. The Kirk Porch that still remains was used as a burial aisle for the family, and this is recorded by the intriguing gravestones that still haunt the site.
It was in the 19th century that the present church was built from the stones of the ancient and earlier church.
Anyone visiting this place today will immediately be aware of the strange atmosphere and strong presence of the past. This is a place of mystery, intrigue and secrets. Perhaps the church is sot supposed to look like a mill at all, perhaps it simply records in some way the original architecture of its predecessors. Maybe this is what a church looked like many centuries ago, and this is why visiting the place is like stepping into the past, a past that still remains.
Here we have a postcard sent to some Barrie’s again relatives of those who provided us with these wonderful pictures. Posted to Marshalltown in Iowa. It has been sent from the Kildrummy Inn
The postcard reads. Dear Will, This we be quite a familiar spot, very like the old church. We assume she means Kildrummy Kirk) Will send you some heather next week, All well here. Much love Mrs H Haddow.
Below we have a picture of whom we understand is the Stuart children. This was taken in the 1930’s. Note the children are standing outside the inn. This is now where to porch dining area is.
Here we have” The Wee Kildrummy Inn Song”. This was started in the 50’s & versus have been added at various times right up to the present day. Some may find the words a little hard to understand. This is because it has been penned mostly in Doric. Doric is the name given to the local & broad rustic dialect used in the North East of Scotland. More specifically the old counties of Moray, Banffshire, Aberdeenshire & Kincardineshire. The song notes anecdotes of customers, visitors, locals & proprietors, events & mannerisms associated to happenings & goings on in & around the Inn over the years.
The Wee Kildrummy Inn Song
Oh, I wish I was in the wee Kildrummy Inn
They cater for your fancy, be it whisky, beer or gin.
Sae foo tae the the gunnels & drappin aff yer chin
You’ll get a kindly welcome in the Wee Kildrummy Inn.
Oh the Inn, the Inn the wee Kildrummy Inn
You’ll get a kindly welcome in the wee Kildrummy Inn!
Awa up in Dufftown, awa abeen the bin
There’s seven stills a workin there tae gare the whisky rin.
The managers on a double shift, his face looks afa grim
To keep them a drinkin in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
There’s young Jock Cooper fae the mains, a lang an supple chiel
Noo he gangs doon tae the Inn an takes his wife as weel
Tho Jock he favours double taps an Hazel a double gin
They aye seem weel contented in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
There’s auld McGregor fae the Den, a sodjer in his time
He micht hae been good lookin when he wis young and in his prime
Bit noo he’s turning auld & grim, haggard, bleered & blin
Buy aye manages a moofoo in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
There’s Sandy fae Drumallochie & Bertie farer doon
Tho Berties wearin oor in years an’ Sandys a bit a loon.
They’re like a pair o’ brithers but they are nae only kin
Bit you’ll find them aye the gather in the wee Kildrummy Inn
There’s Charlie Moir the jiner an Donald fae the mill
It disna tak them very lang tae polish aff a gill.
They’re nae a pair tae quarrel wi or kick up ony din
But it’s streakin foos the measure in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
There’s Wullie Smith fae Ednies a shepherd o’ a kind
An afa lad for rum & coke that ever I did mine.
It wis aye day in the winter when the drift wis blawin blin
He lambed a hunner gimmers in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
8. There’s Ian fae North Deskie an’ theres Doddie fae the sooth
They say atween the pair o’ them they raise an afa drooth.
There’s Duncan Keir an’ Birkie an a puckle mair a’ like
They’re aften there a gather in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
There’s Leslie and there’s Betty Rose, Nan & Dougie Keen
A better foursome you’ll nae meet between here & Aberdeen.
So Leslie noo is far awa as far as he can win
’ll mine the happy nichts in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
Noo Christine she’s oor barmaid, she’s as cute as ony born
She gangs wormin’ throo yer pooches like a grub among the corn.
Bill Souter came for Banker bit he had to pack it in
For abody spent their siller in the wee Kildrummy Inn
There’s Jimmy Gauld the jiner tae carry on my sang
The days for him are aye too short, the nichts are far oor lang.
He hisnae time tae travel & it’s far oor lang to rin
But he gulps a gless o’ whisky in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
When Doddie Coutts went up aloft tae answer for his sins
Peter met him at the gate and widnae let him in.
Say’s he “I’ll gae ye one request” Says Doddie wi a grin
“A spash of Deveron water in the wee Kildrummy Inn”.
There wis a funeral passin; on it’s wye up tae Strathdon
They thocht they’d stop an hae a dram afore they carried on.
The corpse said “Im in heaven noo, or as near as I can win”
So it left them a a’drinkin in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
There wis a man ca’ad Ben Cassie an afa man tae fish
He wis standin by the Don one nicht he thocht he’d have a p**h!
The line got wipped a’roon his stump and Ben wis rugged in
But syne he had the biggest fish in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
There’s auld Andra Strachan noo he’s turning auld & grim
A terrible cheil amang the weemin fin he wis in his prime.
Bit fin he gangs tae the toilet & guddle for his pin
You’d think he wis the faither o’ the hale Kildrummy Inn!
There wis a weddin here last wik, there wis an afa din
Christine stripped tae the waist an rakin the money in.
Jimmy on the counter haudin up his chin
He disnae like ta work in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
Come a ye folk fae far & near that’s listen in tae me
Although yer the Cabrach or the back of Bennachie.
If ye wint tae hae a nicht oot an ye canna raise the win
The biggest slate in Scotland is at the wee Kildrummy Inn.
It wis the day of Hogmanay & Denis feelin fit
He thocht he’d call on Christine & landed in the S**t!
The dumpling hotter’in in the pot wis suppin up the gin
Denis didna get his catch in the wee Kildrummy Inn
Oor barman comes fae Cushnie, he’s kent by Charlie Mac
Noo he could fairly fill the bar if he wis on his back
Bit syne he is a handy cheil fin trouble dis begin
Bit there’s never ony trouble in the wee Kidrummy Inn.
Bit noo my candle is burnt oot, my snooters on the wain
For I am turnin sleepy & it’s time I wis hame
But we’ll meet ye a’ the morns nicht if mither says we’ll win
And we’ll have another session in the wee Kildrummy Inn.
Noo it’s the 20 th century, tha Millenniums ben & gin
Inn keepers their ha’ ben many a change & noo Darren & Sylvia’s in.
Sylvia a bonnie lassie behind the bar, an Darren’s fit fine cookin!
It’s nae just a good drink you get noo but a fine foo fillin,
Served up in the restaurant at the wee Kildrummy Inn!
The next 3 pictures are believed to be when the Watt family were to proprietors. Below are 2 pictures of the Watt family. We understand these were taken around the 1930’s.
The picture below is taken from the same period.
Finally a more recent ariel colour photograph taken in 1973.
Again the Inn had many sources of income at this time. Not only was their a post office housed inside but note the petrol pumps in the now car park with the Esso sign on the far right as you look at the picture. We discovered the old concrete base & part of the plinth a couple of years ago whilst planting shrubs in this area. It took the JCB and a very strong chain to drag it out! It weight well over a tonne!
On the left hand side now a grassed garden you can see the allotment where much of the produce was used at the Inn. Behind you can just make out a figure in a blue top hanging out the laundry.
Just behind the wall in this area is where Maggie the horse spends her summer months.
A the back of the Inn you can see the farmers track runs from the car park through the back garden & along top right to where now the current gamekeepers cottage is.
The tin hay & industrial sheds are now long gone. Behind the main steading is our current Caravan & camping club site. And the far right of this area now sits half a dozen very well established pine trees.
At the front of the Inn bottom right of the porch front door is the letter box still collected daily! And to the left of the porch the old red telephone which we successfully campaigned to save from being removed back in 2004.
We wish to thank everybody who has provided pictures or information to enable us to compile this page. If anyone out there has more pictures, paper cutting or information on the inn, its history & proprietors from years gone by we would be delighted to know.
Call or email Darren on:
Last Updated (Thursday, 02 August 2012 15:20)