Fyvie Homecoming Festival 29 – 31 August 2014 , a 3 day cultural festival at venues in and around the village. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The name of Fyvie itself has changed since earliest days when it was known as Fywin.
According to one authority, the name is derived from the Gaelic flodh abhuinn meaning “wilderness by the river”.
Fyvie Castle, that “crowning glory of Scottish baronial architecture” has a colourful history dating from the twelfth century when it served as a Royal residence. At that time the village of Fyvie probably lay in the midst of the Crown demesne and forest, with only one or two
buildings standing where now there are many. Over the subsequent centuries, however, Fyvie Village has witnessed many fascinating incidents in its own right.
The River Ythan, famous for the pearl mussels found in its many deeper sandy pools, or pots, was once known as “the Rich Rig of Scotland.”
According to tradition, the large pearl in the Crown of Scotland was procured in the Ythan a few miles downstream from Fyvie. This stone,
“for beauty and bigness the best that was at any time found in Scotland”, was presented to James VI in 1620 by Sir Thomas Menzies of Cults. Such was the economic importance of the pearl fishery of the Ythan that Charles I granted patent rights to one Robert Buchan. In the years 1762 and 1763 it is also recorded that a considerable number of pearls were found which sold for 1/- to 10/- each and two so large as to go for £2 and £3. One Aberdeen merchant, expecting £100 Scots for a consignment of Ythan pearls to a London jeweller, was agreeably surprised to receive payment of the sum in Pounds Sterling (equivalent to £1,200 Scots) thereby discovering the true market value of this commodity.
The many small valleys, or dens, running off from the Ythan provided the water power for numerous mills. In 1503 only those at Tifty and Petty had been founded. However, by 1793, it is recorded that there were some 13 corn mills, 2 fulling mills, a barley mill and a lint mill in the parish.
THE LEWES OF FYVIE
In October 1644 Fyvie was the scene of a skirmish between 1,000 Royalists led by the Marquis of Montrose and 3,500 Covenanters under the command of the Marquis of Argyle. Montrose’s Irish regiment won the day but another aspect of their visit soon came to be celebrated in the popular ballad “The Bonnie Lass o’Fyvie”. Perhaps inspiration was found in the Inn of Lewes, the oldest ale house in the parish and certainly well established by 1723 when it first entered into the historical record.
PRIORY OF ST. MARY
For almost 300 years a small Benedictine priory, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, graced the elevated river terrace overlooking the Howe o’ Fyvie.
Little now remains but a cairn and a cross, erected in 1868, to mark the site in Maryfield. A few pieces of decorative sandstone masonry can be found incorporated into the fabrics of Fyvie Parish Church and All Saints Church in the nearby hamlet of Woodhead.
FYVIE PARISH CHURCH
Dedicated to the apostle St. Peter which may possibly indicate the early foundation of the church by St. Boniface in AD 715. The first written record, however, dates from 25th February 1178 when King William the Lion confirmed the gift of the church of Fyvie, and all its lands and income, to Arbroath Abbey. The mediaeval church stood for several centuries but in 1776 had to be extensively repaired at a cost of £20.
By 1808 it had eventually to be replaced by the modern church, this being about double the width of its predecessor. The oldest stone in the graveyard datesback to 1592 and the church bell originates back to 1609.
The stained glass window in the apse of Fyvie church was gifted by American friends of the Forbes-Leith family, Lairds of Fyvie, in memory of Percy Forbes Forbes-Leith of the 1st Royal Dragoons who died in 1900 whilst serving in south Africa. This exquisite work of art was created by Louis Comfort Tiffany, in his unique style and colouring, and depicts the Archangel St. Michael astride the Wheel of Time and bearing a flaming sword and the Banner of the Cross.
FYVIE OLD MANSE
Birthplace in 1864 of Dr. Cosmo Gordon Lang, Baron of Lambeth,
Archbishop of York, 1908-1928, and Archbishop of Canterbury, 1928-1942.
In the mid-19th century John Mackie of Lewes formed a crack company of Fyvie Volunteers, close on a hundred strong which, as a Fyvie Company, was later incorporated into the 2nd Voluntary Battalion of the Gordon Highlanders based at the Regimental Hall opposite the Lewes of Fyvie.
In the Great War some 300 men from Fyvie parish enlisted for France, many of them continuing this local tradition and joining up with the
Incorporated in the east gable of Fyvie church are three incised Pictish stones dating from about the 7th century AD. Added to the group is the shaft of a Christian cross, a few centuries later in date, bearing an
embossed “key” pattern.
MILL OF TIFTY’S ANNIE
In the 17th Century a ballad circulated throughout Scotland telling the sorry tale of one Agnes Smith, daughter of the local miller, William Smith of Tifty. Better known as Nan, or Annie, her passionate romance with Fyvie’s lowly trumpeter, Andrew Lammie, met with overwhelming family resistance. Even the intervention of Lord Fyvie, himself taken with Annie’s beauty, was to no avail. Suffering dreadfully at the hands of her own family she died in January 1673 whilst Andrew was away in Edinburgh. Buried in Fyvie Kirkyard, Annie’s original headstone has faded away and her grave is now marked by a memorial raised by public subscription in 1859. Andrew Lammie is remembered through a crude sandstone figure, complete with trumpet, which stands on top of Fyvie Castle.