Discover places of Deeside with new publication

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A new book intended to preserve local identity has gone on sale, allowing readers to discover Upper Deeside past and present.

‘Place name discoveries: Upper Deeside and the far Highlands’ is the latest work by Dr Adam Watson, who has teamed up with Ian Murray of Ballater to produce this fascinating publication.

In this natural sequel to the recently reprinted ‘The Place names of Upper Deeside,’ the two local authors present many unpublished place names from Upper Deeside and from counties in the Highlands and beyond.

Brought up in Ballater, Ian Murray became accustomed to hearing places names from residents during ordinary conversation. In 1988, he decided to interview people who had lived in the more remote parts of Upper Deeside about local folklore and history. Ian’s findings led to his first book ‘In the shadow of Lochnagar’, published in 1992.

For this latest book, Ian has combined his knowledge of the area with that of Dr Adam Watson, who first became interested in place names back in 1939, when he read Seton Gordon’s ‘Cairngorm Hills of Scotland’.

‘Place name discoveries’ has been decades in the making, the result being a wonderfully illustrated exploration into the origins of both undiscovered and incorrect place names.

As well as Upper Deeside, Ian Murray and Dr Adam Watson visited Strathdon and Speyside in the course of their research.

Urbanisation has meant that through the centuries people have moved from remote glens into towns and villages, resulting in the loss of numerous names.

As readers will discover upon delving into this book, place names are often related to their location, be it the surrounding landscape or a nearby feature.

The Gaelic language features prominently in ‘Place name Discoveries’ with chapters focusing on incorrect Gaelic names on OS maps of Upper Deeside.

With around 130 photographs of places and people, it is a truly engaging portal into lives and locations past and present in Upper Deeside and beyond.

‘Place name discoveries: Upper Deeside and the far Highlands’ is available to buy for £19.99 at Yeadons of Banchory and Deeside Books in Ballater.

Some copies of the original 1984 edition of ‘Place names of Upper Deeside’ are still available from Deeside Books.