Delab Farm, Pitfichie West

Welcome to Monymusk Estate

Monymusk Estate is a traditional Scottish Estate in rural Aberdeenshire covering an area of approx 20 square miles. It encompasses the picturesque 18th Century village of Monymusk, farmland, forestry and the imposing House of Monymusk, which has been home to the Grant family since 1713. The Estate lets rental properties, land for grazing, tenant farms, and runs a farm in partnership with Farmcare, formally the Co-operative Group and now part of the Wellcome Trust.

Estate

Conservation

Green Butterfly Award

Monymusk Estate was awarded a Green Butterfly Award in 2009 by Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum, which recognises the work done by groups and individuals who look after our natural heritage and enhance and protect our environment. Over the last 30 years, Monymusk Estate has invested in a wide variety of environmentally-friendly projects improving the land and the estate buildings.




Firewood, Fishing, Shooting

The Estate manages large areas of woodland and sells hard and softwood logs which are available to order from Monymusk Estate Office. The Estate offers the traditional activities of fishing, shooting and stalking. Permits for salmon or trout fishing on the River Don are available to purchase via FISHPAL. The Estate runs a pheasant, duck and partridge shoot and roe deer stalking is sometimes available by prior arrangement.

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Monymusk House

Weddings and Events

Weddings at Monymusk House

The 13th Century House of Monymusk has been home to the Grant family since 1713 and is a venue for weddings and other events, offering a stunning location set in beautiful Estate grounds next to the River Don.

Monymusk Estate is delighted to be working with Country Flavours of Alford, one of North East Scotland’s finest wedding, event & outside catering specialists, to provide exclusive packages to suit your individual needs. Monymusk House can offer wedding packages with exclusive hire of the Estate for marquee, courtyard and lawn to the rear of the house.

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Village

Shop and Post Office

The post office offers all the usual services as well as a banking service for customers of its partner banks, which includes cash withdrawals. This is a very handy service for individuals, small businesses and charities, so they do not have to travel all the way to the banks in Inverurie or Alford.


Thrift Shop, Studio, Arts Trust

The Monymusk Thrift and Coffee Shop is a highly successful venture run by a small team of local volunteers and raises vital funds for Monymusk Village Hall and other local charities. The Studio is a working studio at No. 14 the village square which you can visit, browse in the gallery or attend a workshop. Monymusk also has an Arts Centre, where craft-fairs, concerts and exhibitions are held throughout the year in support of local artists and crafters.

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Local Activities

Walking

There are many pleasant walks around Monymusk village starting from the Village Square, including a circular route up to the Clyan’s Dam – a local pond and woodland, which has been designated as a dog walking area where owners can exercise their dogs off the lead. there is also a nice woodland walk at Paradise Woods, which follows along the banks of the River Don.

Cycling

The Forestry Commission has created some very exciting Mountain Bike Trails on Pitfichie Hill and Pitfichie Forest, which includes a red-grade (difficult) trail across granite hill tops, as well as a challenging orange-grade (extreme) downhill route.

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Estate

Conservation

Green Butterfly Award

Monymusk Estate was awarded a Green Butterfly Award in 2009 by Aberdeenshire Environmental Forum, which recognises the work done by groups and individuals who look after our natural heritage and enhance and protect our environment. Over the last 30 years, Monymusk Estate has invested in a wide variety of environmentally-friendly projects improving the land and the estate buildings.

One of our recent projects has been to run the estate vehicles on bio-diesel fuel, collected from used cooking oil, cleaned and processed on the Estate. The project is currently being extended to take in oil from local residents reducing both waste and the carbon footprint of the Estate.


Wildlife Conservation

Heron at the Dam, Photo by Colin Wood

The Estate Gamekeeper has been working with the Scottish Wildlife Trust in a project to conserve Scotland's red squirrel population. This has involved recording sightings and trapping greys. Previous projects have included the recording of minks in the area.

The Clyan's Dam, a pond and wooded area close to the village, and the banks of the River Don are frequently home to nesting swans, ducks and herons.

The Estate also runs a pheasant, duck and partridge shoot, so there are many birds seeking ground cover as well as fields of grazing sheep and cattle. Dog owners are requested to stick to the designated paths well away from any pheasant pens and fields with grazing farm animals. Dogs should be kept on leads at all times on the Estate (other than at the Clyan's Dam area - see below) in order to avoid disturbance to the wildlife, farm animals and young birds being reared on the Estate.

The Clyan's Dam and Woods have been designated as a dog walking area where owners can exercise their dogs off the lead, however dog owners are asked to take care when out walking in this area and to keep their dogs under close control to ensure that they do not disturb the animals. See Walking section for more dog walking guidelines and a map of the Clyan's Dam.


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Forest Conservation

Paradise Woods, Photo by David Hawson

Monymusk Estate manages its forests and woodlands to ensure that trees are replanted in a way that encourages biodiversity and wildlife to flourish.

One of our woodlands - Paradise Woods, is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and noted for its diverse range of flora, fauna and fungi. It is a broad-leaved, mixed (oak, birch, scotspine and yew) woodland along the River Don. It was classified as an SSSI in 1983 and described by Scottish Natural Heritage as: the largest, oldest and least disturbed oak woods in NE Scotland... with an unusually high number of vascular plant species (180) including many of the rarer woodland plants of the North East. The riverside section of the wood contains well-grown exotic trees and naturalised herbs which originate from 18th century plantings and gardens. In addition to its flora, Paradise Wood also has one of the richest faunas of broadleaved woodland in the North East, and is one of the two best sites in Aberdeenshire for terrestrial molluscs.

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Firewood

Monymusk Estate has large areas of woodland which are managed by the Estate Forestry team. Firewood is available to order from the Estate Office. Soft or hard wood logs are sold by the ‘tattie box’ of approximately 1 tonne.

Current Prices 2015 (incl. VAT)
Softwood Logs - £63.00 per box (subject to availability)
Hardwood Logs- £84.00 per box
Kindling - £3.75 per bag with orders above
Kindling also available individually from Monymusk Post Office & Shop.

Delivery charge - £24 if over 3 miles from Monymusk Home Farm. Please contact Monymusk Estate Office for more information or to place an order.


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Fishing

Beat 3 on the right, Photo by David Hawson

The Monymusk Waters are spread over 10 miles of the River Don and provide excellent salmon and trout fly-fishing. There are 24 named pools over 13 beats set in beautiful Aberdeenshire countryside.

The Monymusk fishing season runs from 1st April - 30th September. The river banks are subject to natural summer growth, and in the June/July months the vegetation will be at its highest point. Please take extra care when approaching the river bank for access in and out of the water.

Permits for Trout or Salmon/Trout fly-fishing rods on all beats except beats 1 & 2 are available to book via FISHPAL.



Beat Information

Beats 1 and 2 are two rod beats for salmon or trout fishing. Access from the banks is difficult, so wading is essential and a key is required for access. Booking for beats 1 and 2 is via the Monymusk Estate Office directly, tel: 01467 651333 or Email us - Office hours Mon - Thurs 9:00am - 3:00pm.

Beat 3 is a two rod beat for salmon or trout fishing on the right bank of the river. The river runs alongside farmland and is clear to fish from the bank. There is a fishing hut near the bottom of the beat.

Beat 4 and 5 are one rod beats for trout fishing on opposite banks. Beat 4 is on the right bank and runs alongside Paradise Woods, an 18th Century planted woodland, with tree cover along most of the bank. The river is fairly fast flowing and mainly shallow with boulders, but there are also pools suitable for wading. Beat 5 is on left bank of the river, also with tree cover.

Beats 6 and 7 are two rod beats for salmon or trout fishing on opposite banks. Beat 6 is on the left bank and both start from opposite a ruined building. They continue for half a mile downstream of the road bridge, which is approximately the middle of the beat. The beats run along the edge of fields with no tree cover. Beat 7 is on the right bank of the river.

Beats 8 and 9 are private beats of the Monymusk Homebeat - and are not available to let.

Beats 10 and 11 are two rod beats for salmon or trout fishing on opposite banks. Beat 10 is on the left bank of the river and runs alongside fields without tree cover. Beat 11 is on the right bank, also alongside fields and without tree cover. There is a fishing hut in the middle of Beat 11.


River Don Brown Trout

Up-to-date River level Info about the Don (the nearest station is at Bridge of Alford, located about 5 miles upstream of Beat 1) can be found on the FISHPAL website.

The website Fishing-the-Fly is a very good website with local knowledge of fishing on the River Don, fishing tips and info about other local lochs and trout fisheries.

A number of reviews have been written about the Monymusk Fishing Beats in 'Fly Fishing & Fly Tying Magazine', and 'Trout & Salmon Magazine'. Expert fly-fisherman Paul Procter who frequently returns to fish at Monymusk has written some wonderful magazine articles and has commented on his blog about the Aberdeenshire Don and Monymusk's excellent brown trout. There have been other excellent reports in several French and Canadian publications.

The Monymusk Waters. Click for a larger map


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Properties & Lettings

Homes for Rent

Monymusk Village

Monymusk Estate has many properties, some of which are occupied by Estate workers and farm tenants, but the majority are leased as residential properties on Short Assured Tenancy Agreements. Many of our tenants have lived on the Estate for a long time, but properties do sometimes become available. Up-to-date information can be obtained from the Estate Office. We do not operate a waiting list for properties on the Estate, so the best way to register your interest is to keep in regular contact with the Estate Office.

We have a range of properties from outlying farm cottages to those within the village itself and the rents reflect the individual nature of each property. We carry out regular maintenance of our properties and make sure properties are in good a good state of repair before new tenancy agreements commence. Our Estate Maintenance team deals with any problems promptly and efficiently. Monymusk Estate is a registered Landlord with Aberdeenshire Council.


Land Lets and Other Properties

The Monymusk Estate sometimes has land to let for grazing of horses or sheep, and there are occasionally other commercial or residential properties that come on the market.

For more info or to register your interest in land or other properties that may become available please contact the Estate Factor, Larry Irwin at Strutt & Parker, Banchory on tel: 01330 824888


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Shooting & Stalking

Common Pheasant

The Estate runs a pheasant, duck and partridge shoot and organises a number of shoot days over the season. Some of these days are taken by a Shooting Syndicate and others are available as let days. Please contact the Estate Office for more information.

The shooting season runs from October through to the end of January and shooting takes place on Fridays and Saturdays. Householders in the vicinity of the shoots are notified in writing of the shoot dates.

Walkers and dog owners are reminded to stick to the designated paths well away from any pheasant pens and to keep dogs on leads at all times anywhere on the Estate (other than the Clyan's Dam area). This is to avoid any disturbance to wildlife and to the young pheasants being reared on the Estate.

Roe deer stalking is sometimes available by prior arrangement. Please contact the Estate Office for more information.

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In This Section

Weddings

Corporate Events

House

Weddings

Sir Archie's daughter's wedding at Monymusk

The 13th Century House of Monymusk has been home to the Grant family since 1713 and hosts weddings and other events. The House offers a stunning location for a wedding set in beautiful Estate grounds next to the River Don.

Your wedding ceremony can be held in the beautiful marquee, the gardens or in the Billiard Room of the House. Alternatively there is the picturesque 12th Century Church of St. Mary’s in Monymusk village, which is just a short walk from Monymusk House.

Marquee at Monymusk House

Monymusk Estate is delighted to be working with Country Flavours of Alford, one of North East Scotland’s finest wedding, event & outside catering specialists, to provide exclusive tailored wedding packages. The partnership began in 2013 after Sir Archie Grant’s daughter Katie held her wedding reception in a marquee at Monymusk House and employed the services of Country Flavours of Alford to co-ordinate and cater for the event. After several months of planning a friendship was formed and Country Flavours were retained as the Estate’s exclusive caterer.

Monymusk House holds Wedding Exhibitions and Open Days and at our last event there were numerous exhibitors in the marquee and grounds, free canapes and cocktails and a Fashion Show in the House. There were also vintage tractors to transport visitors to St. Mary's Church in the village.

For further information about catered events at Monymusk House please visit Country Flavours of Alford's website and contact them to discuss your specific needs.





Corporate Events

Monymusk House is the perfect location to hold a corporate event such as a board meeting, conference or business seminar. There is an impressive Board Room in the East Wing of the House, which is the perfect place to impress a new client or to give your staff some time away from the office. Alternatively, the stunning Dining Room in the Great Hall or Billiard Room of the House can be used for larger events.

Board Room, East Wing

Dining in the Great Hall

Billiard Room

Please visit the Monymusk House Facebook Page below to stay up-to-date with the latest events at the House, and don't forget to save or 'Like' us!

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Village

Shop & Post Office

Monymusk Post Office & Shop

The post office offers all the usual services as well as a banking service for customers of its partner banks, which includes cash withdrawals. This is a very handy service for individuals, small businesses and charities, so they do not have to travel all the way to the banks in Inverurie or Alford.

The shop proprietor and post mistress is Fiona Grant. The shop stocks all the usual household essentials as well a selection of local produce: Fetternear Strawberries and Jam, Katie's Eggs from Torphins, Ola Oils, Mackie's Ice-cream, Collie's Meats and Pies, and not forgetting our very own Monymusk Blossom Honey.

Monymusk Mugs


There is a good range of wrapping paper and greetings cards including some made by local artists and a drop off and collect dry cleaning service, via the Old Mart Cleaning Company in Alford.


Monymusk Honey


The Shop sells a beautiful range Monymusk Mugs by Fiona Grant Ceramics, with 6 different designs by local artist David Hawson. They are available either boxed or unboxed and make excellent gifts. Designs include Monymusk House, the 4 sides of the village Square and Pitfichie Castle.

Opening Hours: Monday - Friday from 9:00 am - 12:30 pm


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Thrift Shop

Monymusk Thrift Shop

The Monymusk Thrift and Coffee Shop is a highly successful venture run by a small team of local volunteers and raises vital funds for Monymusk Village Hall and other local charities. Come along and enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a delicious homebake after browsing for a bargain.

Good quality contributions for the Thrift Shop are welcomed, including toys, clothing, smaller items of furniture and bric-a-brac etc. Contact Lorna Pole on tel: 01467 651476 or drop off at the shop on any weekday.

Opening Hours: Thursday and Friday mornings from 9:15 am - 12:15 pm.


The Studio

The Studio Monymusk

This is a working studio at No. 14 the village square which you can visit, browse in the gallery or attend a workshop. Artist skills include; jewellery making, print making, textiles, bookbinding, sculpture, photography and woodcarving. Monymusk Mugs are also available to buy here.

Opening Hours: Saturdays from 10am - 4pm or by arrangement.

The Studio
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The Arts Trust

The Arts Centre

Monymusk has an Arts Centre, a charity run by the Monymusk Arts Trust, where craft-fairs, concerts and exhibitions are held throughout the year in support of local artists and crafters.

Opening Hours: daily from May to September with art exhibitions and local crafts for sale. During the winter months concerts of chamber music, plays and the Doric Festival take place which raises vital funds for the group.

History of the Building

The Arts Centre building is a converted church in Monymusk village next to Todlachie Burn. It was originally a lapidary (stone polishing) mill in the mid-18th Century, although it was never particularly successful. In 1801 the building was converted into an Episcopal church for the congregation of Blairdaff, 3 miles away. Windows were put through both floors and an organ made by Henry Cephas Lincoln of London was installed in the 1820s or 30s. This family firm was one of the five or six leading organ manufacturers in London and due to a number of commissions for the Prince Regent in Brighton (who became King George IV in 1820) Henry was able to call himself 'Organ Builder to the King'!

When a new Episcopal church was built in Kemnay attendance soon dwindled as Kemnay was closer and on the same side of the river for the majority of its worshippers. The building remained as a church until 1939, when it was used to store furniture from Monymusk House, which was being used as a hospital. After the war it remained boarded up until the mid-1980s, when a survey of the building revealed the forgotten organ once again, amazingly still in 80% working order. Fund raising began in 1987 to restore the building and organ, which was restored by Alexander Edmonstone of Perth and the Centre itself was opened in 1990.

For more information and event listings visit the Arts Trust Website below.

Arts Trust
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Local Activities



Walking

The Clyan's Dam & Woods, Monymusk

Monymusk is close to Bennachie and Millstone Hills where there are Forestry Commission Trails popular with hill walkers and wildlife enthusiasts.

The Walk Highlands website gives very good directions and reviews of local walks at Pitfichie, Millstone Hill, Bennachie and others.

There is a good circular walk around Monymusk village which goes along the banks of the River Don, however please remember that the House of Monymusk is a private residence so walkers should not wander too close to the House or through the private gardens. Visitors are also reminded that Monymusk Estate is a shooting estate and there are many farms with grazing animals, so please avoid any areas with pheasant pens or fields with farm animals and please keep dogs on leads at all times.




Dog Walking

The Clyan's Dam and Wood area has been designated as a dog walking area where owners can exercise their dogs off the lead, however dog owners are asked to take care when out walking in this area and to keep their dogs under close control to ensure that they do not disturb the wildlife. See map below.

Clyan's Dam & Woods, Monymusk

The Scottish Outdoor Access Code sets out guidelines for walkers. It also encourages dog walkers to act responsibly, by making sure dogs are kept under proper control to avoid disturbance to farm animals and other wildlife. Owners should always remember to pick up their dog's waste as it can spread diseases, especially if the dog has not been regularly wormed. A leaflet with more information for dog owners is available to download below.

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Cycling

Downhill Trails

The Forestry Commission have created some exciting Mountain Bike Trails on Cairn William and Pitfichie Hills, which includes a red-grade (difficult) trail across granite hill tops, and a challenging orange-grade (extreme) downhill route.

The Scottish Downhill Association used the Pitfichie bike trails for the Scottish Downhill Championships in 2004 and 2015. Image courtesy of www.descent-world.co.uk

View from Pitfichie Trails

Places to Stay

The Grant Arms Hotel, Monymusk

The Grant Arms Hotel
Monymusk
AB51 7HJ

Tel: 01467 651226

A former Coaching Inn during the 18th Century. The hotel has been renovated and modernized to a high standard whilst retaining its traditional character. There are 12 ensuite bedrooms, a lounge bar, dining room and a public bar offering real ale and a fine selection of wines and whiskies. Lunch and evening menus are available in the lounge and dining areas.

Grant Arms Hotel

Knowehead Croft B&B, Monymusk

Knowehead Croft B&B
Monymusk
AB51 7SQ
Tel: Sue Routh on 01467 651438
Email: sue@knoweheadcroftbandb.co.uk

Knowehead Croft
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Email Form

Contact

Monymusk Estate Office

The Estate Office is located in the East Wing of Monymusk House.

Directions
From the Village Square: turn right at the Church tower and follow the back driveway down to the House of Monymusk. The Estate Office entrance is across a courtyard at the back of the House.

Office Opening Hours
Mon - Thurs: 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
(Closed on Fridays)



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