The place-name ‘Cromar’ is said to be derived from the Gaelic meaning ‘the sheepfold of Mar’. It lies between the valleys of the Dee and the Don, and most of it lies within the Howe of Cromar, a relatively fertile vale. Cromar is nowadays a district of Aberdeenshire which lies in Royal Deeside, roughly halfway between Braemar and Aberdeen, to the west of Aboyne. Thirty miles inland from Aberdeen, in the Norther east of Scotland, in the United Kingdom. It is centered in the lands of Tarland and Migvy, Coldstone, Logy, and part of Tullich, and Lumphanan. Encompassing over 100,000 acres or 150 square miles.
For centuries it formed part of the great historic Earldom of Mar. Cromar is an area of great natural beauty, of especial interest to ornithologists and archaeologists. Surrounded by a sweep of hills, dominated by Morven 871m (2655 feet), this lower lying area is a mixture of farming, forestry and settlements, principally Tarland and Logie Coldstone. It is near to Aboyne and the Muir of
The area has evidence of human habitation going back to 4000 BC, notably the Recumbent Stone Circle at Tomnaverie, a souterrain or earth house at Culsh, as well as numerous burial cairns, lesser stone circles, Bronze Age fortifications and Pictish Stones. These antiquities point the existence of several distinct cultures living in the Cromar over the millennia.
Shouldering Morven is Culblean, the site of the Battle of Culblean in 1335. Running of the same hill is the Burn o’ Vat, here the burn has craved a cauldron like gorge in the granite. This was the hide of the notorious 18th century outlaw Gilderoy McGregor.
Among other historical sites there are Culsh Earthhouse, Tomnaverie Stone Circle and Coull Castle. The Aboyne Highland gathering is a major event held every September. The main settlement is at Tarland which has two architectural features. One is the ruins of the old parish kirk of St Moluag, a Celtic saint, which is part of a chain of such churches stretching from Dufftown via the Capel Mounth to Strathmore. Part of the lands belonging to the Barony Of Cromar were purchased In 1736 by William, Earl of Aberdeen and Patrick Duff of Premnay through the purchase of the encumbered estate of Drum, which included 500 acres from Cromar to just north of Dundee. Cromar House would be built in 1905 by Lord Aberdeen, and later sold to the MacRoberts in the 1930's. This would become part of the estates of the Earl's of Aberdeen, Seperate from the Duke of Fifes claims in Cromar.
Royal Legacy and the Duchy of Fife
Cromar which had been among the properties held by the Erskine of Mar family for generations was finally lost to them in the eighteenth century. At times during the seventeenth century it had been temporarily lost to them through settlement of debt but had always been regained. The lands were now to mainly fall into the hands of the Duff family although there was some land in Cromar owned by the Earl of Aberdeen. In 1736 William, Earl of Aberdeen and Patrick Duff of Premnay bought the encumbered estate of Drum, which included some lands from Cromar to just north of Dundee. This would become part of the state of the earl of Aberdeen. Separate from the Duke of Fifes claim in Cromar.
Through the Duff Family, The lands and Barony of Cromar would soon be held under the Royal Legacy from HRH Queen Victoria, through her sons King Edward VII and Prince Arthur , Grand Duke of Connaught. and there direct connections with the soon to be Duchy of Fife.
The connection would be held directly from Queen Victoria and her sons King Edward VII, his daughter, Princess Alexandria , ( who would inherit The Barony from her husbands estates in Fife), who would dispone them to her nephew Captain Alexander Ramsay of Maule.
And her other son Prince Arthur, Grand Duke of Connaught and his grand Daughter, from his only son, Prince Alastair, the Princess Patricia and her, only son Captain Alexander Ramsey of Maule who would inherit Mar Lodge and its estates including the Barony of Cromar.
Queen Victoria's Grandson, Captain Ramsey Of Mar, would eventually inherit Mar Lodge and its estates, including the Barony of Cromar, from his Royal Aunt, HRH Princess Arthur Connaught, Duchess Of Fife, other wise known as HRH Princess Alexandra, before marrying the second Duke of Connaught, Prince Arthur of Connaught, the son of the Prince Arthur, Grand Duke of Connaught and son of Queen Victoria.
Queen Alexandria and Prince Arthur were first cousins once removed.
HRH Alexandra"s father being the first Duke of Fife upon his marriage to her mother, HRH Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife (née Princess Louise of Wales), was also the eldest daughter of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra of Denmark.
Captain Alexander Arthur Alfonso David Maule Ramsay of Mar, great grandson of HRH Queen Victoria's through her son Prince Arthur, Grand Duke of Connaught. and Princess Louise, and there daughter, Captain Ramsays mother, Princess Patricia, would inherit Mar Lodge and its Estates including the Barony of Cromar, from his Aunt, HRH Princess Alexandria of Connaught, Duchess of Fife,and grand daughter of Queen Victoria, through her mother, Princess Louise, 1st duchess of Fife and daughter of King Edward VII, Estates in Fife.
Scottish Origins 1365 to Present
On of the earliest references to Cromar dates from 1365 when King David II, when
at Kildrummy in Aberdeenshire, [the home of his staunch ally Sir Andrew de Moray, inspected a charter granted by Thomas, Earl of Mar, to Ewan, son of Fergus, and his heirs of the lands of Huchterne in Cromar, within the Earldom of Mar. The following year, in Stirling, King David also inspected another charter granted by the said Thomas, Earl of Mar, to William de Camera, alias Chalmers, of the lands of Rathven in Cromar.
In 1390 King Robert II granted a licence to Malcolm Drummond permitting him to build a castle at Kindrochit, which at one time was the fifth largest castle, by area, in Scotland.
The Barony of Cromar had been contested and fought over since the13th century. From King David II in 1365, and into the hands of the Erskines of Mar, However in 1552 the lands were temporily lost. In 1564 the lands of Cromar and others were returned, granted to Arthur Erskine of Blackgrange, brother-german of John, Lord Erskine.
The lands of Cromar were transferred to Alexander Erskine of Gogar as heir to his brother the late Arthur Erskine of Gogar. But the following year among the lands inherited by John, Earl of Mar, from his father John, Earl of Mar, was Cromar.
Some of the land in Cromar was held by the Irvines of Drum during the seventeenth century, specifically in the parishes of Logiemar, Tarland, Coull and Coldstone. This possibly dates from 1618 when King James VI granted Alexander Irvine of Drum and his heirs the house and lands of Ruthven and others, in the lordship of Cromar, and parish of Logiemar.
In 1677 a Crown charter of Novodamus was granted to Charles, Earl of Mar, uniting the lands and baronies of Cromar, Braemar, Strathdie and Glencairn with the lordship and regality of Kildrimmie.
For his support for the Stuarts and part in the rebellion Mar was stripped of his traditional title and estates by the government at Westminster. In 1724 those properties in Aberdeenshire and the Lordship of Alloa were purchased from the Government by two members of the Mar family, James Erskine, Lord Grange, and
David Erskine, Lord Dun. They executed a disposition of the estates with an entail. Under this arrangement the Earl of Mar’s son Thomas, known as Lord Erskine, obtained the estates.
Cromar which had been among the properties held by the Erskine of Mar family for generations was finally lost to them in the eighteenth century. At times during the seventeenth century it had been temporarily lost to them through settlement of debt but had always been regained. The lands were now to mainly fall into the hands of the Duff family although there was some land in Cromar owned by the Earl of Aberdeen.
Part of the lands belonging to the Barony Of Cromar were purchased In 1736 by William, Earl of Aberdeen and Patrick Duff of Premnay through the purchase of the encumbered estate of Drum, which included 500 acres from Cromar. Cromar House would be built in 1905 by Lord Aberdeen on ths property, and later sold to the MacRoberts in the 1930's. This would become part of the estates of the Earl's of Aberdeen, and the MacRobert family, seperate from the Duke of Fifes claims in Cromar.
Cromar, belonging to the lands and titles included within the Earls Of Mar and the Duchy of Fife, would continue to have a rich history within Scotland and eventually into HRH Queen Victoria's auspices. This would result in the Royal Legacy the Barony of Cromar holds from the Mar Estate, held by the Duchy of Fife, and intermarriages and inheritances from the Royal family.