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Alford (pronounced /ˈɑːfərd/ (About this soundlisten)  Scots: Aaford or Awfort, Scottish Gaelic: Athfort) is a large village in Aberdeenshire, north-east Scotland, lying just south of the River Don. It lies within the Howe of Alford (also called the Vale of Alford) which occupies the middle reaches of the River Don.

Main Street, Alford - - 288309.jpg
Alford is located in Aberdeen
Location within Aberdeenshire
Population1,925 [4] (2001 census)
est. 2,050[5] (2006)
OS grid referenceNJ5716
Council area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townAlford
Postcode districtAB33
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
57°14′N 2°43′W / 57.23°N 02.71°W / 57.23; -02.71Coordinates: 57°14′N 2°43′W / 57.23°N 02.71°W / 57.23; -02.71

The place-name is thought to come from the Scots auld ford; its original position being on the banks of the Don.[citation needed] The "L" sound in the word has, over time, been dropped, and is silent. Alternatively, the name could be a tautology; a combination of ath and ford, both meaning 'ford' in Gaelic and Scots respectively.[citation needed] Alford gave its name to a battle of the Battle of Alford (1645). It is also the home of the Aberdeen Angus cattle breed, which is celebrated by a life-sized model of a bull on the edge of the town, which the Queen Mother inaugurated in 2001.[6] 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.

The Alford Valley Railway, Grampian Transport Museum, Alford Heritage Museum and Craigievar Castle are popular visitor attractions, with a range of other archaeological sites, stone circles, and castles (including Balfluig Castle, Castle Fraser and Drum Castle) being within easy reach by road. One stone circle, originally believed to be prehistoric, turned out to be a 20-year-old repica.[7] Situated in Alford, Haughton Country Park is a large and popular green space with a caravan park and woodland walks. The 18 hole Alford Golf Club is an attractive and pleasant course which has a large local membership.


Public transportEdit

There is a bus service connecting with Aberdeen, approximately 28 miles (45 km) away. There is much new housebuilding going on in Alford as of 2006 to cater for a workforce who mainly commute in Aberdeen to work in the oil industry.[citation needed] Bus services are operated by Stagecoach with dialabus services being operated by Aberdeenshire Council. Bus services connecting Alford to Aberdeen go by two different routes:

Notable residentsEdit


  1. ^ "Rannsaich an Stòr-dàta Briathrachais Gàidhlig" (in Scottish Gaelic). 2010-11-10. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  2. ^ Scots Language Centre: Scottish Place Names in Scots
  3. ^ The Online Scots Dictionary.
  4. ^ "Comparative Population Profile: Alford Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 2001-04-29. Archived from the original on 2011-05-19. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
  5. ^ [1] Archived September 30, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Davies, Caroline (2001-10-11). "Queen Mother helps to unveil statue of a bull". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2019-01-24.
  7. ^ Metcalfe, Tom; January 21, Live Science Contributor |; ET, 2019 02:33pm. "'Ancient' Stone Circle Actually Built in 1990s by Scottish Farmer". Live Science. Retrieved 2019-01-24.

External linksEdit