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Upperton Cottage

A Category C Listed Building in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire

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Latitude: 57.2471 / 57°14'49"N

Longitude: -3.0551 / 3°3'18"W

OS Eastings: 336427

OS Northings: 817867

OS Grid: NJ364178

Mapcode National: GBR L9TK.P61

Mapcode Global: WH7MM.13GN

Plus Code: 9C9R6WWV+RX

Entry Name: Upperton Cottage

Listing Name: Upperton Cottage

Listing Date: 14 November 2006

Category: C

Source: Historic Scotland

Source ID: 398913

Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB50680

Building Class: Cultural

Location: Glenbuchat

County: Aberdeenshire

Electoral Ward: Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside

Parish: Glenbuchat

Traditional County: Aberdeenshire

Find accommodation in
Kirkton of Glenbuchat


Probably early 19th century, partially rebuilt circa 1900. Single storey, 3-bay traditional cottage with lower piend-roofed, 2-bay ancillary adjoining at W, and timber porch from earlier cottage; fine sole survivor of early clachan. Roughly coursed rubble with squared rubble quoins.

Further Description

S (ENTRANCE) ELEVATION: symmetrical. Centre bay with small pitch-roofed timber porch incorporating small horizontal bipartite window on return to left; later bipartite windows (altered from single windows) in flanking bays. 3 small cast-iron rooflights. Slightly recessed bays of ancillary at outer left incorporating 2 horizontally divided stable-type boarded timber doors and 2 traditional rooflights.

4-pane glazing pattern in timber sash and case windows. Corrugated iron roof. Coped ashlar stacks with thackstanes and some cans and ashlar-coped skews with block skewputts.

INTERIOR: some early interior detail retained including boarded timber walls, centre staircase and fireplace with working swey to byre end.

Statement of Interest

This rare, largely unaltered vernacular dwelling at the former clachan know formerly as 'Uppertoune' or 'Uppertown' is the last of those described in the Banffshire Journal of October 1868 (reproduced in The Book of Glenbuchat) 'This is altogether a treat in the way of old cottages. We have little hesitation in saying that some of the dwelling houses (rare ones) in this clachan are over 300 years of age. The walls are all built with boulders of stone and clay. Few have any appearance of the hammer having been in use at the building. The corners are all round outside and inside the houses. Many fine convenient wall-presses and even concealments in the walls appear in the curious buildings'. Upperton Cottage is not one of the early examples described but nevertheless it is an important reminder of Glen life as reported in the Aberdeen Free Press of 8th April, 1902 'There is a feature about Glenbucket (sic) which should not be omitted in any notice of it, and that is the existence since feudal times of a number of 'clachans' throughout the glen. These little hamlets or groups of cottages, generally numbering from seven to ten, and all occupied, point to the existence of the old system when the houses of the inhabitants were huddled together for protection, and it is of great interest to note that they still remain in Glenbucket ' the only instance of the kind in a very marked manner known to the writer. There are four or five of these 'clachans' in Glenbucket. In later times as cultivation extended, the new homestead was erected on the newly reclaimed ground. James W Barclay, who purchased the Glen in 1901, wrote at that time of 'as many as ten to twenty 'fire-houses' in a clachan, built of stone, lime and clay and with thatched roofs. Peat burned in open fires with large hearths and chimneys sometimes 10 feet wide'.

The 1867 Ordnance Survey map shows the clachan of 'Uppertown' with a number of small buildings irregularly spread along a natural terrace with a few remaining run-rigs spreading out below them. Since 1813, when the Fife Estates advertised their properties in Glenbuchat for let by public auction, the system of run-rig cultivation was eroded by reducing the number of tenants to form single-tenanted farms and crofts. This action would erode settlements recorded as early as 1696, when the Poll Book lists seven families living at 'Uppertoune'.

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