Kincardine O’Neil is the oldest village in Deeside. St Erchard established a church there in the 5th century. A well was later erected in his honour at the edge of the village. It is said that in 1057 Malcolm Canmore, rested with Macduff and some followers in Kincardine O’Neil overnight before catching up with Macbeth near Lumphanan and beheading him. It is believed that he then brought Macbeth’s head back to Kincardine O’Neil on a golden platter.
The first bridge across the river Dee was built by Thomas Durwood at Kincardine O’Neil, this was the only bridge until one was built in Aberdeen in 1527. At the Potarch Hotel you can see the Dinnie Stones. These two stones were used to counterbalance masons when working over the edge of Potarch Bridge. Large iron rings are fitted to the top. The stones are not equal in weight or regular in shape. In total they weigh 785lbs. In 1860 local strongman Donald Dinnie carried these stones, one in each hand, across the width of the road and back.
Lumphanan derives it’s name from the Church of St Finnan, the missionary who brought Christianity to the area - although it has been said that some locals think it followed an inhabitant meeting a sudden end after his ‘lum fa’n in’ on a stormy night!
Torphins is one of the larger villages in Deeside. The name Torphins is said to derive from Thorfinn, the Orkney earl. The famous Walkers Shortbread started in Torphins and is now available around the globe. In 1898 Joseph Walker opened his own bakery with a loan of £50 and the dream of making the finest shortbread in the world. A dream which was realised.
The village of Aboyne known as Charlestown - having been named from Charles, First Earl of Aboyne - is an attractive village which has evolved since being laid out in 1676 around the large village green. One of Deeside’s many highland games are held in the green every August. To celebrate the Millennium the committee of the Aboyne Games obtained planning permission to erect an iron gateway to the Green. The area chosen was the "fountain" opposite the Huntly Arms Hotel. The fountain, which was completed in 1904, was originally proposed as a memorial to Queen Victoria's diamond jubilee in 1897 though there was some delay in its erection and an additional celebration was proposed for the Coronation of King Edward VII.
Aboyne Castle is about half a mile north of the village and was the residence of the marquis of Huntly. It dates back to the 11th century and to have been a royal residence. The Water of Tanar flows through Glen Tanar before joining the Dee at Aboyne.