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Latitude: 57.0437 / 57°2'37"N
Longitude: -3.3135 / 3°18'48"W
OS Eastings: 320400
OS Northings: 795505
OS Grid: NO204955
Mapcode National: GBR W3.BC4V
Mapcode Global: WH6MB.27F1
Entry Name: Auchtavan, Queen Mother's Cottage
Listing Date: 10 February 2005
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 397924
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50075
Building Class: Cultural
Location: Crathie and Braemar
Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside
Traditional County: Aberdeenshire
Probably mid 19th century. Single storey and attic, 3-bay, unaltered cottage with piended dormer windows and outshot to rear. Coursed squared rubble.
S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrical. Centre bay with boarded timber door and letterbox fanlight, windows in flanking bays and dormer windows over outer bays flanking traditional rooflight. 4-pane and plate glass glazing patterns in timber sash and case windows. Grey slates. Coped ashlar stacks with clay cans; ashlar-coped skews with block skewputts.
INTERIOR: fine traditional interior with boarded timber walls; timber fire surround to E room and swey to W room.
Group with 'Cottage' and 'Threshing Mill'. While the Queen Mother's Cottage itself is a fine unaltered example of a traditional type, it is also significant historically owing to its link with royalty. Situated at the head of Glen Fearder (which means the 'glen of high water') and overlooking Lochnagar, Auchtavan is built on land purchased from the Earls of Mar by the Farquharsons of Invercauld who, in turn, sold the Balmoral Estate lands to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. In his description of shiels favoured by the royal family since the mid 19th century when Queen Victoria took over the adjacent Balmoral Estate, Wyness says "Perhaps the most fascinating shiel enjoyed by the Royal family is Auchtavan. At 1,500 feet above sea level, it is the favourite of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother". The name 'Auchtavan' derives from the Gaelic meaning 'field of the two kids', "a reminder that in accordance with feudal practice, the rental paid to the laird of Invercauld for Auchtavan was two young goats".