Tuesday, 2 August 2016

The Colony

The Colony

Originally shared by Jon “the chef” Hole

The Colony Bennachie (Beinn na Ciche: 'hill of the breast').
was a squatters' community on "commonty", or common land, on one side of Bennachie, a range of hills near Aberdeen, in Scotland.

From the beginning of the nineteenth century common land in the parishes of Chapel of Garioch and Oyne on the east side of Bennachie became home to a community of squatters.

This settlement was known locally as the Colony. A small number of families led a crofting life supplementing it by doing skilled work, such as dyking, quarrying and knitting.

In 1850 it is believed the Colony had a population of 55.
In 1859 eight neighbouring landlords took possession of sections of Bennachie as part of their estates.

This action, recognised in law from 5 March 1859, has become known as the Division of the Commonty.
As a result, the population on the side of the hill began to decline.
Most of the crofts were built on land claimed by Col. Charles Leslie of Balquhain and Fetternear.
His son, Charles Stephen Leslie, was responsible for evicting some of the residents in 1878.
The last of the colonists, George Esson, lived on the hill until his death in May 1939.

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