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Lost Banff and Buchan
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Local History
Publication Date
06 September 2012
Available for Sale
Birlinn Limited
b/w throughout

Lost Banff and Buchan

by Daniel MacCannell - Find out more about the author

The region north of Aberdeen and east of Moray is difficult to define. Neither highland or lowland, depopulated or populous, it is a land of surprising contrasts. In this book Daniel MacCannell uncovers many aspects of lost Banff and Buchan. In addition to buildings, transport networks, industries, and ways of life which now no longer exist, from whaling to open-air market trading, he also considers other elements which have been forgotten over time. There are lost people – those whose lives have been of enormous significance but are now forgotten – such as the member of the Barclay family who became a Russian field marshal and architect of the ‘scorched earth’ strategy used against Napoleon in 1812, and the pilots of the Banff Strike Wing who fought valiantly against the German Navy during World War II. There is also the lost University of Fraserburgh, founded in 1595 but defunct by 1605; the village of Burnhaven, destroyed to make room for Peterhead Prison; and a lost literary master – the Turriff man who wrote Argenis, arguably the first novel ever written by a British person. The book also offers a new take on the history of smuggling in the area – of whisky from Cabrach down North Donside to Aberdeen, as well as of brandy and a surprisingly wide range of other commodities. The result is a compelling and imaginative journey into the past, packed with anecdote, fact and fascinating characters.

Daniel MacCannell, a graduate of Aberdeen University and UCLA Film School, is a widely published non-fiction writer who has received the Jack Nicholson prize and been nominated for the Fotokem Maverick Award for his fictional work. He edited the highly acclaimed book The Lost City: Old Aberdeen, also published by Birlinn. His latest book, How to Read Scottish Buildings, was published in autumn 2015.

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