Huntly (Scottish Gaelic: Srath Bhalgaidh or Hunndaidh) is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, formerly known as Milton of Strathbogie or simply Strathbogie. It had a population of 4,460[1] in 2004 and is the site of Huntly Castle. Its neighbouring settlements include Keith and Rothiemay. Both Huntly and the surrounding district of Gordon are named for a town and family that originated in the Border country.[2]

Gordon Square, Huntly.jpg
Gordon Square, Huntly
Huntly is located in Aberdeenshire
Location within Aberdeenshire
Population4,460 (gro-scotland)
OS grid referenceNJ5353
Council area
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townHUNTLY
Postcode districtAB54
Dialling code01466
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament
List of places
57°26′46″N 2°47′17″W / 57.446°N 2.788°W / 57.446; -2.788Coordinates: 57°26′46″N 2°47′17″W / 57.446°N 2.788°W / 57.446; -2.788
Huntly Castle

Huntly is the historic home of the Gordon Highlanders regiment which traditionally recruited throughout the North-East of Scotland.[3] Huntly has a primary school (Gordon Primary) and a secondary school (The Gordon Schools) beside Huntly Castle.

It is the home of the Deans bakers, which produce shortbread biscuits. In November 2007, Deans of Huntly opened their new visitor centre.[4]

There is also a falconry centre just outside the town which does flying displays in their visitor centre during the season between April and October.[citation needed]


Huntly is home to Deveron Projects, an arts organisation that invites artists from all over the world to come and live and work in the town.[5][6] Since 1995 it has worked with a 'town is the venue' methodology, connecting artists, communities and places.[6][7] It hosts artists and projects that explore local, regional and global topics, such as forestry, geology, botany, foraging, anthropology, history, politics and art. Over 100 renowned artists have spent time in the town, including Roman Signer,[citation needed] Hamish Fulton,[8] and Christine Borland.[citation needed] Walking is often used as a medium to bring people together for these projects, and Deveron Projects has a Walking Institute that commissions artists to make walks.[5] Their annual Slow Marathon started in 2012 in collaboration with Ethiopian artist Mihret Kebede.[9] Deveron Projects also runs a community kitchen and gardening projects.[10] In 2013 Deveron Projects won Huntly the Creative Place Award, which recognises 'creativity across Scotland’s smaller communities'.[11]

Huntly also has Tin Hut Sessions, which offer open mic folk, blues, and traditional music gigs.[citation needed] Bothy ballads lie at the heart of Huntly and its surrounding areas' traditional music, and musicians Paul Anderson and Shona Donaldson both hail from the town.[citation needed]


There is salmon and trout fishing on the Rivers Deveron and Bogie, which are administered by the River Deveron Salmon Fisheries Board. Its other principal outdoor activities include golf, Nordic Skiing in Clashindarroch Forest, walking, mountain biking and Rugby. The local football team is Huntly F.C. Nearby is the start point of Scotland's longest horse ride trail, Highland Horseback, which runs 200 miles to the West Coast.[12] The Eastern Tigers martial arts have a kickboxing club in Huntly and currently use the Pensioners Hall and the Stewarts Hall. They have produced national and international champions.[citation needed]

Notable peopleEdit

  • Ian Cameron, father of British Prime Minister, David Cameron, was from Glass, Huntly; he was born at Blairmore House.
  • Ronald Center (1913–1973), composer, lived there from 1943 until his death in 1973, teaching first at the Gordon Schools, then privately.
  • John Henderson (born 1973), a PDC darts player, is from Huntly.
  • James Legge (1815–1897), scholar and missionary to China, was born in Huntly and educated there and at King's College Aberdeen, before leaving to his first mission post in Malacca in 1839. Across the next 43 years he worked in Hong Kong translating all the classic books of the Confucian canon in a huge series of books, a set still considered to be the gold standard of English translations today. He frequently returned to Huntly across his life in China, bringing three young Chinese lads to live there and get "a good Scottish education" in 1845. By the time they returned to China in 1848 they had all been invited to meet Queen Victoria, then a lively young woman. Legge retired from his mission work in Hong Kong in 1873, was named the first Oxford Professor of Chinese in 1876, and lived there until his death. His father Ebenezer Legge had been Mayor of Huntly, and the Legge family home is still in use, on the main square.
  • George MacDonald (1824–1905), writer, and influence upon JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis. Some of his novels, especially the Robert Falconer and Alec Forbes of Howglen play partly in Huntly, even if the name of the town is changed, and give an introduction to the life in Huntly in the 19th century.
  • William Milne (1785–1822), born at Kennethmont near Huntly, was the second British Protestant missionary to China (following Robert Morrison). He was the founding headmaster of the first Anglo-Chinese school, Ying Wa College, in 1818 at Malacca. (This school was subsequently moved to Hong Kong by James Legge in 1843 and still exists.)
  • George Philip, (1800–1882) was a cartographer, map publisher and founder of the publishing house George Philip & Son Ltd. He was born in Huntly.
  • John Perie (1831–1874) VC, born in Huntly.
  • Jo Pitt, para-equestrian (1979-2013), was from Huntly.[13]


  1. ^ "Table 1: Settlements in alphabetical order" (PDF). General Register Office for Scotland. Archived from the original (PDF) on 25 January 2012. Retrieved 5 December 2011.
  2. ^ Gazetteer of Scotland (1882-5)
  3. ^ Gordon Highlanders Museum website Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ "Dean's of Huntly Shortbread". Scotland on TV. Retrieved 5 December 2011.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ a b Morris, Blake. (2019). Walking Networks : the Development of an Artistic Medium. London: Rowman & Littlefield International. ISBN 1-78661-022-1. OCLC 1126214150.
  6. ^ a b Sacramento, Nuno. (2010). ARTocracy : art, informal space, and social consequence : a curatorial handbook in collaborative practice. Zeiske, Claudia. Berlin: Jovis. ISBN 978-3-86859-064-7. OCLC 679932663.
  7. ^ Hristova, Svetlana; Šešić, Milena Dragićević; Duxbury, Nancy (21 April 2015). Culture and Sustainability in European Cities: Imagining Europolis. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-317-67715-4.
  8. ^ Fulton, Hamish. (2010). Mountain time, human time. Milano: Charta. ISBN 978-88-8158-791-9. OCLC 696737211.
  9. ^ Morris, Blake (1 January 2018). "The Walking Institute: a reflexive approach to tourism". International Journal of Tourism Cities. 4 (3): 316–329. doi:10.1108/IJTC-11-2017-0060. ISSN 2056-5607.
  10. ^ Beattie, Kieran. "Deveron Projects in Huntly receives £270,000 from Scottish Land Fund". Press and Journal. Retrieved 5 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Media Release: 2013 Creative Place award winners announced!". Retrieved 16 July 2020.
  12. ^ Report in the Daily Mail on Highland Horseback
  13. ^ Scots paralympian Jo Pitt dies after lung condition by Natalie Walker, 4 May 2013, accessed 5 May 2013

External linksEdit