After yesterday’s ride from Montrose to Aberdeen, I came back to our current home near Banchory. Since I have lived here for 32 years (more than half my life), I think this house deserves a post to itself.
A croft is a small farm, with usually enough land attached to enable a small family to be self-sufficient with a bit of trading. Drumshalloch Croft lies on the Leys Estate associated originally with Crathes Castle and when it was crofted, had around six associated fields. Farming in the 20th century tended towards larger, more efficient farms based on an increasing use of machinery (a trend that continues) and Drumshalloch Croft ceased being a farm in the early 1970s. In 1987, Leys Estate sold the buildings to me. The croft house faces south and its downstairs rooms have high ceilings, with correspondingly low ceilings upstairs. This makes the downstairs rooms very light and was probably the one thing that attracted me most. A set of steadings (outbuildings used for cows and a diary) were also on the plot with a couple of sheds completing the buildings. The croft comes with its own water supply and septic tank.
When I moved to Drumshalloch Croft in 1987, Banchory village was about 2 km away and the little valley it is set within was totally dark at night. Banchory has been expanded, basically as a dormitory town for Aberdeen (though the planners claim otherwise) and nearly all the addition has been on “our” side of the village. The dark was lost in the valley about 15 years ago, and within the next two years it is likely that houses will be built up to about 100m from the croft. Sadly I doubt that we will stay much after that occurs – the peace will be gone too.