Turriff is a small town of around 5000 people in Aberdeenshire Scotland. Known locally as Turra which is thought to be Gaelic and / or Doric for hill or tower.
The buildings on the main shopping streets in the town are made predominately of local red sandstone with a number of them having listed status.
The Knights Templar are said to have had a base in the area now known as Turriff so this dates the town to somewhere between the 1100s & 1300s. The hillside that runs from Queens Road down to the Burn of Turriff is locally known as Temple Brae.
The first shots of the English Civil War were fired in the area around what is now known as the Auld Kirk in a minor skirmish known as the Trot of Turriff.
The Mercat (market) Cross, which is now sited in Castle Street, was originally erected in 1512, and signified the right to have a market in the town had been granted by the local landowner or bishop. A mercat cross was a sign of the prosperity of a town. The cross was replaced by the current 20ft. high red sandstone structure in 1865.
In the late 1700’s the town went through a period of planned expansion to capitalise on its status as the trading centre for a large agricultural areas around the town and various agricultural industries were operating in the town by the early 1800’s. Its location on the main Aberdeen to Banff road also benefitted the town.
In 1800 it was noted that the town was home to more than twice as many ale and whisky houses as butchers,
During the 19th century ‘feeing markets’ were held in the town. A feeing market is where farm workers, draymen, milk-maids and others would come to find work from the local land owners, being ‘feed’ or hired for the following year usually for 6 months at a time. The feeing markets were lively events where farm workers would meet up with friends and family, who had been working for other land owners for the previous year, before they went off to their new employment after the market.
In September 1857 the railway came to Turriff allowing goods from the town to be shipped to the rest of the UK. The railway was a branch line from the Aberdeen to Inverness line which went from Inveramsay to Macduff, passing through
- King edward
- Banff & Macduff