Drinnie's Wood and Observatory
Drinnie's Wood and Observatory is located in the area of Fetterangus, Mintlaw, Aberdeenshire.
Drinnie's Wood was the property of the Drinnie family, and the octagonal observatory tower was built in 1845 by Admiral George Ferguson, fifth laird of Pitfour. The basic purpose of the tower was to provide a raised observatory, where the surrounding land could be viewed without obstruction. The tower is also attributed to the Admiral as an equine observatory, where he could watch his stables while his horses practised for races.
The observatory was previously described as an octagonal tower, harled brick with a grey granite belt course, cornice and crenellated parapet, built in three stages. There are tall shallow semi-circular arched recesses in the middle stage, and square windows at the top. The bottom has a brick well with a wooden spiral stair, collapsed and ruinous prior to the restoration.
In 1993, the structure was bought by Banff and Buchan District Council, and fully restored at a cost of £75,000. It was officially opened by Councillor William R Cruickshank, Convenor, on September 30, 1993. The lower section is painted white, and the restored spiral staircase leads to an upper viewing platform which has eight windows, each with a map mounted below to describe the view. A lower viewing area is also available, accessed by a wooden staircase.
Surviving in good condition after its restoration, the observatory is signposted from the nearby road, and lies a short walk from the small visitor's car park, which also has a picnic area. Access to the interior is restricted, controlled by a large door, usually locked.
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