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Local Information

A gaelic word meaning ‘mouth of the chattering burn (stream)'

On the River Spey, 15 miles south of Elgin in central Moray, Aberlour lies in a beautiful glen surrounded by glorious scenery dominated by Ben Rinnes. The village was officially named 'Charlestown of Aberlour', after Charles Grant of Wester Elchies. In 1812 Charles Grant laid out the village in its present plan - a mile-long High Street with the square to the west with two bridges - an old packhorse bridge crossing the burn of Aberlour and a modern steel suspension footbridge built by James Abernethy in 1902 which crosses the Spey. The original houses were built mainly of stones taken from the bed of the river and to the north east of the village stands Aberlour House built for Alexander Grant in 1838 to a William Robertson design. The Gordons of Aberlour lived there for many generations. Aberlour originally became famous for its orphanage, but it is now better known for Tourism, Whisky and Walkers Shortbread.
Aberlour Distillery: Built by James Fleming in 1879, the distillery sits at the junction of the Rivers Lour and Spey and within its grounds is the St Drostans Well, which provides a source of some exceptionally pure spring water - ideal for whisky.
Ben Rinnes: The beautiful and distinctive rugged peaks of Ben Rinnes (840m, 2775ft) dominate the skyline and are one of the best loved landmarks in the area. A popular location for hill climbers with accessible tracks on its lower slopes, It offers fine walking on high moorland and granite similar to the nearby Cairngorms. From the summit the views in all directions are superb - you can see eight counties and on a clear day even the Moray coast.
Aberlour Parish Church: A Norman style church rebuilt after a fire in 1861 and situated in the village square, is owned by The Church of Scotland.
Alice Littler Park: Donated to the village in 1980 by one of the village’s main benefactors Sydney Littler, this area surrounds the former railway station and has been attractively landscaped to form Alice Littler Park. It features attractive grassy areas, a fully equipped children's play area, a putting green in front of the old Station building in the summer and the Speyside Way Visitors Centre is nearby. The site is used each year on the first Saturday in August for the Aberlour Highland Games.
Craigellachie Bridge: Completed in 1814, this cast iron arch bridge which spans the River Spey at Craigellachie just outside Aberlour, was designed by the renowned civil engineer Thomas Telford. The bridge's single span (approx 46 metres/151 ft) was for its time a revolutionary design which was impossible to construct it of traditional masonry so it was cast in iron. At each end of the structure there are two 15 metre/49 ft high masonry mock-medieval towers. It is a magnificent structure and a fine example of Telford's work. It carried the main road and all its traffic until 1973 when its function was replaced by a reinforced concrete bridge. Telford's bridge remains in good condition and is still open to pedestrians and cyclists.
Suspension Bridge: A legacy of James Fleming, this bridge also spans the River Spey, and gave an alternative way to get across from Aberlour to Wester Elchies which for centuries had only been possible by ferry boat.
Linn Falls: Just a 20-minute walk from the Aberlour Distillery and located in an ancient scenic woodland setting with Alder, Oak, and Rowan trees surrounding it, Linn falls are also known as Linn of Ruthrie ('linn' means waterfall or pool into which a waterfall cascades). it's here the River Lour joins the Spey.
The Orphanage: Founded in 1875 by the Reverend Charles Jupp, the original premises were located at the west side of the village before being replaced in 1889. The new larger development, covering some 20 acres, included the Orphanage, School, Clock Tower and Farm Buildings. Further developments followed fires in 1931 and 1937 such as a new wing which was opened in 1939. In its heyday the Orphanage provided a refuge for over 1000 children at any one time but, by the 1960s, developments in Social Care reduced the demands for placements at the Orphanage and subsequently its closure followed in 1967. Later the Orphanage site was sold off for a housing development but the Central Clock Tower still remains and was restored between 2000 and 2004.
The Memorial Garden:


A community effort, assisted by the BBC's 'Beechgrove Garden' team, developed a Memorial Garden on part of the old Orphanage site, just off Farm Close. Centerpiece of the display is a statue with plaques depicting the history of the Orphanage. An avenue from the Memorial Garden leads to the remaining clock tower of the demolished Orphanage and it's here you will find information about the site and the present Aberlour Trust.
Aberlour Distillery

Ben Rinnes

Aberlour Parish Church

Alice Littler Park

Craigellachie Bridge

Linn Falls

The Memorial Garden

Some of the images above are supplied by James Gordon, local photographer ckick here to go to his website

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