Grand Tour Of Scotland: Alford #1

We left Aberdeen and took the A944 and headed for Alford. The road was not that busy and we enjoyed the beautiful landscapes along the way. I did not stop along the way because we were already running a bit late.

Day 5: 15 August 2019 – Exploring Alford

Alford is a small country town happily nestled in rural Aberdeenshire with a peaceful and tranquil feel to it.

Skirted by the beautiful River Don and surrounded by the hills of Bennachie and Coreen, the area is a great place to relax from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

The place-name is thought to come from the Scots auld ford; its original position being on the banks of the Don. Alford gave its name to a battle of the Battle of Alford (1645). It is also the home of the Aberdeen Angus cattle breed. It is believed that the original breeding ground of the cattle was Buffal, located between Tough (Tulloch) and Craigievar nearby Alford. Another claim to fame for the town is Alford Oatmeal, ground at Montgarrie, just outside the town. 

Howe Trinity Parish Church

Designed by James Souttar and built-in 1867 as Alford Free Church.

Howe Trinity Parish Church, Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

Howe Trinity Parish Church is situated at the eastern edge of the rural Aberdeenshire village of Alford, alongside the main A944 road running through the community. The church was formerly called East Church and became Howe Trinity in 1999 when the parishes of Keig, Tullynessle & Forbes, and Alford were united. There is a car parking area to the front of the church, and a large, modern hall is attached to the rear.

There are houses around the church, and the manse stands to the west.

Houses surrounding the Howe Trinity Parish Church, Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Houses surrounding the Howe Trinity Parish Church, Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

The rectangular church is tall and narrow, with a square tower at the northwest corner, and there is a larger 21st-century hall complex joined to the rear of the church building. The church has granite walls, composed of large, roughly-finished (‘rock-faced) blocks, with paler bands of granite used for decoration. The steeply-pitched roof is slated.

The tall north gable and tower of the church form the principal elevation. The gable has a single window, composed of three lancets (pointed-arch), the central one of which is larger. The windows have small, latticed panes of glass. There are three bands or courses of paler granite; the top one rises into a relieving arch above the window to spread the weight of the gable around the weaker window. Above, in the gable head, is an oval window, again with latticed glazing. Mounted on the apex is a tall, stone cross finial. The attached tower, to the northwest, is slightly advanced from the gable and the side elevation. It is square on plan and of two stages. There may have been a tall spire planned to sit on top of the tower, but this was never carried out. There is a chamfered, recessed, pointed-arch doorway at the base of the tower. The double-leaf door has large, decorative metal hinge plates. Above is a pointed-arch (lancet) window. The west face of the tower has a small round window at ground level and a lancet window above. There is a sloping stringcourse above the doorway and a simple cornice at the top of the tower.

Windows of Howe Trinity Parish Church, Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

The above information on Howe Trinity Parish Church I got from the POWiS website.

Thank you very much for taking the time to join me on my travels through Scotland. I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did.

Till next time, safe travels and keep dreaming.

Have a fabulous day.