The Gordons o' Girnoc
My Family - 'Camlet John'
The Girnoc Farms
Past Research
Location Map
Gordon Tombstones
The Bovaglia Family Tree
Researching Bovaglia
The Bovagli' Manuscript
Location Map
Bovaglie: The Guard House of the Girnock
There can be fewer finer locations than that of Bovaglie, for it stands guard over the southern end of the Girnoc, peering out-towards the majestic highs of Lochnagar. Here the Girnoc track cuts away, disappearing eastwards through the woods of Bovaglia, and onwards to the Genechal, the Distillery, and then beyond to Royal Balmoral.

Robert Smith in his wonderful little book -
Land of the Lost - takes us on a walk through Bovaglia "The shuttered windows of Bovaglie tell the old story: this was once a busy fairm-toun, now it is dead and deserted." Leaving the elbow of the Camlet, following the 'Bovaglie Roadie,' it is a relatively short approach. The first signs of a settlement are the ancient, gnarled, and wind ravaged Ash and Rowan trees, which mark out the corners of the old kailyards.

"BOVAGLIE (for Both Faicille). Guard-house. Both, house; faicille, gen. of facill, watch, guard. The house had been occupied by persons guarding cattle in a glen against thieves. F and v, and c and g are interchangeable"

Bovaglie is a holding of about 1500 acres of hill pasture and has been owned by the Gordons of Abergeldie over many centuries. Bovaglie has been tenanted by a yeoman family of Gordon over much of this time. The last of the Bovaglie Gordons was Miss Elizabeth Gordon, who rented the estate up until the pre war years (WWII), and who, as a spinster, entrusted the management of the estate to her nephew, Victor Cook of Counteswells House, Bieldside.

The Bovaglie Wuid has some infamy, in that the great Strathspey musician, J. Scott Skinner, wrote a tune called
Bovaglie's Plaid, inspired it seemed, by a local saying that the wood "haps, shelters, Bovaglie ferm like a plaid." 
Today the wood is probably a shadow of its former glory with evergreen aforestation replacing the mixed hardwoods of ancient copses. Isolated pockets of wind-stunted Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) and lichenous pollards of aged Mountain Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) are now the only reminders of this ancient 'wuid."

Deer are often seen sheltering in Bovaglie Wood, and the summertime rubbing of velvet from their antlers, has 'cored' the telephone and power supply poles. As you can imagine the wind has done the rest. A forlorn attempt to save the power supply can still be seen, for one of the few poles to survive, has only done so because of the ingenuity of the farmer, who many years ago, wrapped wire tightly around it to put an end to the deer rubbing.

Bovaglia has seen SEVEN centuries come and go. In 1358 it was known as Botwaglach, which by 1607 had become the more recognisable Bovaglich.

In all it has carried at least 12 different spellings:
1358 - Botwaglach;
1607 - Bogvaglich;
1666 - Balbaglie;
1698 - Bavaglich;
1725 - Bovaglaig;
1764 - Bovaglack;
1782 - Belvaglech;
1799 - Bevaglie;
1806 - Bavagly;
1822 - Balvagley;
1848 - Balvagly;
1860 - Balvaglie.
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