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Pitfour Lake - Photography Competition - ASPC

As part of ASPC's photography competition, Gary Purvis has captured splendid shot of Pitfour Lake, near Mintlaw, which is a man-made lake in the North East.

Pitfour Lake - Photography Competition - ASPC

For May, we have chosen Gary Purvis’ splendid depiction of Pitfour Lake, near Mintlaw. 

Some among you, like me, may have thought – “there is only one lake in Scotland, the Lake of Menteith”. Well, according to my research, while that is the case, it applies, apparently, only to naturally occurring bodies of water. If you decide to create a man made body of water, you can call it a lake.

Pitfour Lake is man made, and until I saw Gary’s lovely photograph, I was, sadly, unaware of the existence of the lake. The day Gary took this, the North East seems to have been basking in fabulous summer weather. The sky, a mosaic of blue and white is an absolute epitome of big country, big sky. The North East coastal plain is renowned for rolling vistas across agricultural land, with limitless views in all directions. 

I am reliably informed that a walk round the lake provides a very agreeable outing, and may be supplemented by refreshment in any of the cafes in the area.

Aberdeenshire is rightly famous for its castles and mountains, but our coastal scenery is also splendid.

The lake was formerly part of Pitfour Estate – in its day a huge estate of something approaching 50 square miles in extent. At its apogee it was considered “The Blenheim of the North”. The first laird of the estate was John Ferguson, a Sheriff (Judge) of Aberdeenshire and a member of the Society of Advocates in Aberdeen. That Society exists to this day, and membership is open to solicitors in Aberdeen. 

The Estate was developed, enlarged, and improved by the first three lairds, descendants of the Ferguson family line, but the third Laird died, childless and the estate passed to an elderly relative, who possessed the estate for only a few months before dying. The last two lairds dissipated the assets of the estate through extravagant living and heavy gambling.

In its pomp, the estate possessed the lake, a racecourse and an observatory. It also possessed a mansion house of considerable size, built of granite. Eventually, what remained of the estate was finally disposed of after the First World War. One sidebar to the tale that caught my eye is that the mansion house was demolished, and the stonework utilised by Aberdeen City in the construction of Torry secondary school.

It is an interesting tale.

If you’re interested in learning more about each one of our images as part of our photography competition, then why not take a look at one of our previous submissions, here.


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