03 October 2023

Historic James Hunter Fountain at Banchory is rebuilt

Works to relocate and rebuild a historical memorial in Banchory have been completed.

The James Hunter Fountain has been reconstructed through Aberdeenshire Council’s Historic Asset Management Project.

It was gifted to the community of Banchory in 1914 by the prominent businessman James Hunter who served as Provost in the 1880s.

Hunter, born in 1832, became a very successful general trader and licensed grocer, selling - among a wide range of provisions - tea, fish, game and spirits to both the local community and the Balmoral Estate.

He lived at ‘Montague’ at 74 Station Road with his wife Agnes Adams and, upon his death at the age of 78, was buried in St.Ternan’s kirkyard on 16th July, 1910.

Sadly the fountain he had so generously donated was plagued by traffic accidents – shortly after it was first installed it was damaged by a vehicle and then, having been relocated to the A93 Station Road junction, it was again struck by a vehicle in late 2019, with the damaged sections being stored by the council.

While not a listed structure, the polished grey granite fountain is nevertheless a much-loved attraction in the town.

Several locations were suggested for the fountain but it was finally agreed that the new location should be at the new entrance to the graveyard just off the A93.

The council’s Marr Area Manager, Janelle Clark, said: “It’s tremendous to see the iconic fountain back in all its glory and located on a new site quite close to where James Hunter lived which will protect it from traffic and where it will be passed by many visiting the new section of the village cemetery. Assets such as this play an important role in Aberdeenshire’s rich history and it is important that we treasure and protect them for future generations to enjoy. I would like to thank our local councillors, officers and community groups who have worked tremendously together to have the fountain reinstated.”

A Banchory Community Council spokesperson added: “As Banchory continues to develop and change, it is increasingly important that we value the heritage of the people and communities who came before us and that we link their stories to the places they lived and worked. We're pleased that we were able to work in partnership with council officers and our friends at Banchory Heritage Society to achieve this.”

John Reid of Banchory Heritage Society said: “We are very happy that the Hunter fountain has been rebuilt and moved to a safer site near his old house and shop. James Hunter did so much in Banchory and many a school child in the local schools in the parish were to benefit from the Hunter Bursary and Medals.”