The Clockhouse, Tomintoul
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

The Clockhouse, Tomintoul

A village in the Moray parish of Kirkmichael, situated in Strathavon 14 miles (22 km) southwest of Grantown on Spey. At an elevation of 354m (1160 feet) and on the fringe of the Cairngorm Mountains, it is the highest village in the Highlands.

Tomintoul, was created as a planned village by Alexander Gordon, the 4th Duke of Gordon (1743 - 1827), who in 1775 decided to create a manufacturing settlement as a focus for the communities scattered throughout his upland property. The proposed textile and quarrying industries never took off despite its strategic position on the military road from Strathdon and Deeside to Fort George via the Lecht. The village only survived with the arrival of tourists in the wake of Queen Victoria's visit in 1853 even though she thought it a 'tumbledown, miserable, dirty-looking place'.

A long linear main street lined with stone or harled cottages opens into a central square. Buildings of interest include the Museum, Thomas Telford's Parliamentary Church (1826), the Catholic Chapel (1837) and Richmond Hall which was rebuilt as a Memorial Hall and Library after the First World War.

Tomintoul, which is situated at the southern extremity of a spur of the Speyside Way, has a Youth Hostel in addition to several hotels. Immediately to the southeast at the Lecht are skiing facilities. Tomintoul Distillery lies on the Malt Whisky Trail centred on Glenlivet 7 miles (11 km) north northeast of the village.

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