You are presently on a tour of the town of  KEITH with pictures and explanatory text

This is  Page 2

Featuring - Junior Primary School, Catholic Chapel, Milton Tower, Glen Keith Distillery and The Institute


This was the starting school for the 5 year old's. Known locally as the "Green School" it was built in 1864 at a cost of 6000  with the main donation coming from a certain Mr Robert Green. The rest of the money was raised locally. The pupils were taught here until they were 9 years old when they then moved on to the Senior Primary or "New School" which is pictured later. After this school they then move on to the "Grammar" school which will also be featured later. I seem to recollect that the entrance door used to be here on Drum Road. The Junior Primary school  is an impressive building,  facing you, as you proceed down Moss Street travelling North towards Inverness. A new Primary School has been built in School Road and this building has now been taken  over by 'Stagestars Scotland' as a Dance School, Performing Arts School and Theatre Company.

Situated at a high point overlooking a large part of Keith this fine chapel  is known as St Thomas'    chapel. Built in 1830 and finished in 1831 the front is designed in Roman Doric style. The interior,     displays a portrait  of "The Incredulity of St Thomas" presented to the new chapel by Emperor Charles X of France. There is a memorial inside,  to the Roman Catholic martyr, John Ogilvie who was canonised in 1976.  The two statues at the front, one on the left and one on the right  of the main entrance, and slightly hidden by the trees, are of St John Ogilvie on the left and St Thomas on the right. They were crafted by Father Basil Robinson of Pluscarden Abbey near Elgin. The dome, made of copper topped with a cross,  gives rise to indifferent TV reception in the immediate area.

This is the only surviving portion of the Castle of Milton, built by a George Ogilvie around 1480. Once upon a time, the building extended to the left, as you look at the picture, 14 feet to the River Isla, and at that point there was a vertical drop of around 20 feet into the Linn Pot  which is a deep pool of the river. It is claimed that an underground passage runs from the Auld Brig' to the Castle with the entrance to the passage at Campbells Hole. It is also said that some treasure lies in the Linn Pot  after part of the castle fell into the river Isla. Various attempts have been made to recover the treasure, without success. The Milton Tower was used as a trade mark for W. Park who traded as a wine merchant near Langstane Lane off Mid Street. This is a close-up of the plate on the wall and a further picture here which gives another view of  the imposing structure.

This was the site, in years gone past, of a meal mill known as "The Mill of Keith". It was owned at the finish by "The Angus Milling Company" prior to it's closure in 1956. It was then bought by Chivas Brothers who converted it to a distillery which went into full production at the end of 1958. This was  the first distillery in Scotland to be fired by gas, as opposed to the usual coal firing. The distillery has been out of production since 1999. Bottles of Glen Keith are very hard to obtain and have become very valuable. The distillery is alongside the Linn Pot  which is a very deep pool part of the River Isla. This distillery is only blessed with one pagoda. This is the base of the large tree pictured.

The Institute is the most important building in Mid Street with an imposing tower rising to around 90 feet. Building commenced in 1885, with the foundation stone laid by Mrs Taylor of Glenbarry, and completed in 1886 but without the clock tower due to lack of  funds. A commemorative stone can be seen on the wall along the lane, beside the building.  After a fire in 1888, the Institute was rebuilt, with the clock tower, library, reading room, court  room, and large and small halls, Council chambers and a cafe' open to the public. In 1975 the cafe' closed and the library got larger premises in Union Street. The Institute now houses The Moray Council's  local offices for Rent and Tax collection, Registrar and Housing facilities. Another view of Mid Street with the Institute Clock dominating the picture.

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Page Updated 1st April 2014