In 1955, in Primrose Bay, near Duffus, and just to the east of the quiet fishing village of Hopeman, the Second World War came back to haunt the locality ten years after it had ended when a boy was killed by a bomb he had found on the foreshore, and three other children were injured. The area had been used as a training ground during the war. This tragedy prompted a search which led to the discovery of 122 bombs, of which 20 were unexploded.
There are plenty of reminders of the past in and around the village of Duffus. The castle, which now stands as a ruin on a huge mound, or motte, surrounded by a wide, deep ditch, was originally built in 1150 as an earthwork and timber fortification by Freskin, a Flemish soldier. A later version was constructed from stone and lime. The castle was abandoned in 1705. The ruined Duffus parish church dates from the early 13th century, and functioned as the parish church for over 600 years. The remains, of which the existing structure is mainly 18th century, include a holy-water stoup and the remains of a spiral staircase. The village of Duffus has a mercat cross as its centrepiece, and has been the recipient of a Best Kept Village award. Duffus is a short distance inland, while Hopeman is built on a gentle slope overlooking the sea, with sandy beaches to the east and west of the harbour. Each year in August Duffus holds a gala which has as its climax the crowning of the Rose Queen, Rose Prince and Rosebud. In 2006, the gala was also the venue for the North of Scotland Ferret Racing Championships: the overall winner was a ferret called Holly. Three cheers for Holly!
Map of the area.
© 2002 Kouros, via Wikimedia Commons