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

This is  Page 7

Featuring - Keith Grammar School, Stroupie Brae, Keith Bond No 2, Regent Square and Senior Primary School


The Keith Grammar School which stands on a site bounded by Banff Road and School Road was opened in 1965 and cost  275,000. This complex effectively provides a full course of secondary education, to local pupils and pupils from a catchment area with a considerable geographical spread. In the same grounds are the Swimming Pool, built in 1970/71 and the Community Centre. In 1973 the school leaving age was raised to 16 years and an extension was opened opposite the front entrance to the school, housing a modern kitchen, biology labs and classrooms upstairs. Also on the same site  is the hurriedly erected Senior Primary School opened in 1939. An aerial view of the Old Keith Grammar School and Minerva in 1973  brings back a lot of memories.  The Story of Minerva is told here.  She was stolen from her retirement stance in February 1999.


On a barren moor which was the ground at the top of the " Stroupie Brae", in 1646, there ensued a challenge to fight  between Gen. Baillie (Covenanters) and James Graham (Royalists), the outcome ending in Graham retreating to Alford followed by Baillie where a battle took place and ending with Baillie being defeated.  Bounded on one side by the Turner Memorial Hospital grounds  and the "Cuthil" on the other the "Stroupie Brae" and  " Steppies" were  brilliant places for sledging  in the winter but you had to be aware of the the railings in the middle. (See also Laundry Brae). From a vantage point  on the "Steppies" looking towards the Auld Brig'  you have a wonderful view across the Old Cemetery towards Fife-Keith with Earlsmount , "Tesco's" and the now privately owned Keith/Dufftown railway line  all in full view, with Strathmill Distillery in the distance up the line. 


Keith Bond No 2 occupies the site of the former Railway Locomotive Sheds,  when Keith was a very busy Junction with, in the 1960's, around 100 men employed  at these sheds alone, with a  mixture of train drivers, cleaners etc. Only one wall of the Loco shed was retained, when Chivas Brothers decided to site this  bond here, after the Loco shed had closed down in the 1970's. This bond is used to "dump" mature whisky from the barrel, store it in vats, and use Road and Rail tankers to transport the whisky south for blending and bottling. The rail transport has disappeared and all transport is by road now. The mature whisky is collected from a wide area including local distilleries, with quite a lot coming from Malcolmburn, which is another warehouse complex around 5 miles from Keith.


The Burgh of Keith is actually divided in two, comprising of a  South part called Keith and the Northern part called Fife-Keith. The dividing line is the River Isla.  Regent Square is in Fife -Keith and boasts some very fine looking buildings. One of these listed buildings, which looks onto the square, and is in Georgian style, is Regent House which had a chequered history, at one time being a Post Office, a Rent Office and a distribution centre for Ration books during the second World War. On the North side of the Square is the Grampian Hotel. On the South side is the Fife Arms Hotel. So the traveller is spoiled for choice. The other square, at the southern end of the town is called Reidhaven Square.


In 1851 you may be surprised to learn there were 19 different schools in the Parish of Keith. This largely came to an end in 1872 with the Education Act ( Scotland ) which eventually led to an amalgamation of schools. After many, many  years, this building was the eventual result of the coming together of many of the schools in the Area. This school is known locally as the " New School" which  was built during the Second World War, and opened hurriedly, because of the War, in 1939. This school serves pupils aged 8 to 9 years old, who move up from the "Green School", until they move on to the Grammar School at age 11 years, which is on the same campus. There they will finish their education and leave at age 16 or move on to Further Education or University. The main picture on the  left is a view of the Main Hall. This is a view of the Main Entrance which houses Reception and Offices.

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Page Updated 1st April 2014