Ringing in the New Year with a look at old Braemar

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Braemar residents welcomed in the New Year last week with the chiming of the 175-year-old bell of

St Andrew’s Church.

St Andrew’s Braemar was built in 1839 to replace a smaller church on Chapel Brae.

Churches dedicated to St. Andrew have traditionally existed in Upper Deeside since 732 when bishop Acca of Hexham encountered Oengus Mcfergus, king of the picts, as he crossed the mount having been expelled from his diocese and carrying with him the relics of the saint.

The first church was built near the king’s fort at Doldencha, which is thought to be the site of the current St Andrew’s graveyard.

An exhibition of historical items is being set up at the church which will include the pictish font currently outside, moved from Ardgearg. It is thought that the font may originate from the chapel at Doldencha.

Any photos, information or artefacts to add to the exhibition would be welcome, donated or loaned.

Also within the church grounds, a community orchard has been established to celebrate 10 years of the Cairngorms National Park.

An apple tree has been planted within it to commemmorate the outbreak of World War One.