Opening the doors to a world of treasures in the north east

Aden Country Park in Mintlaw
Aden Country Park in Mintlaw

This weekend over 1,000 buildings across Scotland will be open and free to enter as part of Doors Open Days.

Many of the buildings taking part are not normally open to the public while some are opening for the first time.

Castle Fraser

Castle Fraser

Castles, churches, mosques, museums, fire stations, offices, theatres and even a distillery are some of the buildings taking part this year.

Doors Open Days is co-ordinated locally by Aberdeenshire Council.

The Aden Farming Museum at Aden Country Park in Mintlaw will open its doors on Saturday and Sunday (September 15 and 16) from 10.15am to 3.30pm.

The museum is housed in a rare, category A-listed, semi-circular farmstead built around 1800 and a coach house built in 1832.

Peterhead Library and Arbuthnot Museum

Peterhead Library and Arbuthnot Museum

This now houses the award-winning Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, containing a recognised collection of national significance awarded by the Scottish Museums Council (SMC).

During Doors Open Days, there will be various activities for children and an exhibition of black and white photographs of farming folk.

Hareshowe Farm at Aden Country Park will also be open at the same time – a typical small Buchan farm steading built in the 1890s.

Once located nine miles from Aden Country Park and owned by the Barron family from 1935 until the late 1980s, it was dismantled stone-by-stone and rebuilt on its present site in 1990-91 and returned to its mid-1950s character.

The farmhouse and most of the steading buildings are open to the public; it is a short walk from Aden Farming Museum.

There will be a pebble decorating activity in the steading for children.

The Masonic Lodge of St Anthony in Inverurie will be open from 10am to 4pm.

This lodge, the oldest in Garioch, was purpose-built in the 19th century and features internal murals and decoration including many photographs of members going back to World War One. Lodge members will be on hand to provide more information.

Castle Fraser is also taking part in Doors Open Days, but will open only on Sunday, September 16, from 10am to 4pm.

Castle Fraser is one of the grandest of the Scottish Baronial tower houses, a building to be savoured with its fine examples of towers, crow-step gables and coats of arms.

A walk round the castle is like viewing a huge piece of sculpture as the architectural details of the building shift, changing their shapes and relationship with each other and the surrounding landscape.

In the north of Aberdeenshire, Fraserburgh Heritage Centre will be open on Sunday, September 16, from 10am to 4pm, with last chance for entry at 3.15pm.

A Doors Open Days favourite, originally a barrel vaulted factory and then a foundry for CPT (Consolidated Pneumatic Tool Company), the building now houses the cultural, social and economic story of the town through artefacts, displays and over 20 ‘hands on’ activities.

The heritage centre will also have a timed programme of events on the day.

More details on these events can be found at www.facebook.com/FraserburghHeritageCentre) or its website www.fraserburghheritage.com.

Fraserburgh United Reform Church will also be open on Sunday for morning worship from 11am to noon; all are welcome.

General opening will follow from 12.30pm to 4pm, when visitors can explore the church building as well as the adjacent Macaulay Hall.

The original church building of 1803 was tragically destroyed by a fire in 2000. Inside, there is an impressive stained glass window depicting Christ and the fishermen casting their nets out to sea.

Meanwhile, in Peterhead, the Arbuthnot Museum will open on Saturday, September 15, from 10am to 12.30pm and again from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.

Head along and discover the wealth of Peterhead’s maritime history in one of Aberdeenshire’s oldest museums.

The collections are housed in a pink granite Free Renaissance-style building, built in 1891-3 to a design by D and J. R. McMillan and funded, in part, by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.

Explore the history of the museum in an exhibition celebrating its 125 years.

Doors Open Days is co-ordinated nationally by the Scottish Civic Trust.