Udny is the name of an area
rather than a single village. Lying just south of
Pitmedden between Ellon and Oldmeldrum, Udny Green
has the village church, the village green, the
school and Udny Castle. About 4km away is Udny
Station, which, as the name suggests, was the
location of the station on the old Formatine and
Buchan Railway. The line has now been converted
into a cycleway/footpath which winds its way
through beautiful countryside. Anyone wishing to
learn more about this or other local railways, may
find Ewan Crawford's "Railscot"
Scottish railway history site of great interest.|
Udny Castle near Udny
Green is a typical Scottish tower house with
ornamental turrets, built by the Udny family
in around the 15th century and still in the
hands of family decendants today. Additional
wings were added in the 19th century but were
demolished in the 1960's.
In 1634 the family moved to their other property of Knockhall Castle, but after a devastating fire 100 years later, they returned to Udny.
During the eighteenth century, medical research at universities was hampered by a shortage of dead bodies upon which to perform investigations. Many bodies, cadavers, were purchased illegally from "resurrectionists" who exhumed recently buried bodies for this purpose. In Scotland, the fear of bodysnatching, led some parishes to invest in methods to protect the deceased.
In Udny, they built a
Morthouse. This circular stone building houses
a revolving wheel upon which a coffin would be
placed and kept securely under lock and key.
When another body was deposited, the wheel
would be turned slightly to accommodate the
Eventually, when a coffin had been rotated one full revolution, it could safely be buried because the corpse would be sufficiently decomposed as to be of no use to the body-snatchers.
If you need a reliable taxi service in this area ...