To gain a real impression of Macduff, you should find your way up to Doune Church standing on a hill high above the harbour. This can be reached either from the centre of the town, or up a minor road slanting above the main road from Banff Bridge.
The church was built in 1805, though most of its very striking appearance dates back to a major rebuild undertaken in 1865. Nearby is a little park surrounding an anchor placed at the brow of the hill. From here you can look right down on Macduff and clearly see the relationship between the town and its harbour. On a nice day this is a wonderful spot from which to watch the comings and goings of a busy fishing port. Near to Doune Church is the octagonal granite war memorial built in 1920 and looking for all the world like the rook from a very large chess set.
A harbour was first built in Macduff in 1760, though at the time the village was known by its original name of Doune. It became Macduff in 1783: the family name of the landowner, Lord Fife, was Duff. The residents at the time suggested a compromise name of "Douneduff", but this sounded too much like "Doon with the Duffs" for Lord Fife to accept. He went on to spend £5000, a large amount in the day, significantly extending the harbour. Further expansion continued through the 1800s, and fishing continued to be central to the economic health of Macduff.
Lovers of boats will inevitably find their way to the harbour, which in any case has the main road through the town running immediately alongside it. Here you can happily while away the odd hour or two looking at the boats and listening to the gulls and to the hum of a busy port. Apart from the harbour itself, the town's principal visitor attraction is the Macduff Marine Aquarium, overlooking the shore to the east of the harbour.
Heading west from Macduff brigs you round Banff Bay to the valley of the River Deveron and Banff on the far side of it. This unpredictable river was only finally tamed by the seven arched bridge completed in 1799 by John Smeaton, whose other claims to fame included the Eddystone Lighthouse. An earlier bridge had been built here in 1765, but it was swept away in 1768. The old ferry was brought back into use, until it was lost in a flood in 1773.
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