Port Erroll Primary School  Cruden Bay
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Cruden Bay beach from the salmon nets

 


Local Area

Port Erroll School is situated in the small picturesque coastal village of Cruden Bay, twenty-five miles north of Aberdeen, the oil capital of Europe. The village's location, along the Bay of Cruden, is enclosed by a two and a half mile long white sandy beach on the Eastern edge and woodland around the North and Western edges. Originally a fishing settlement, the quiet old harbour is still in use by a small number of salmon fisherman.

Popular with the tourists, Slains Castle sits dramatically on the cliffs of the Cruden Bay coastline. It is said that the castle inspired Bram Stoker to write 'Dracula' after visiting the Earl of Erroll on one of his many visits to Cruden Bay. It is stated that he wrote his most famous publication while staying in the village's Kilmarnock Arms Hotel.

Another hit with the tourists, and locals alike, is Cruden Bay Golf Club. The facility attracts visitors from all over the world and features both 18- and 9-hole courses, as well as a driving range and first class club house. The course ranks among the best in the UK and 52nd in the world.

History

The history of Cruden Bay is closely linked with the building of Slains Castle when the Earl of Erroll built Slains Castle and the harbour of Port Erroll in the late 1590s. Due to its location around the Bay of Cruden, Cruden Bay was established as the name of the settlement beyond Port Erroll and the harbour with an extension of the railway line from Ellon at the turn of the twentieth century. Along with the railway, the golf course was set up, along with a luxurious hotel and a tram which linked the golf club to Port Erroll.

Slains Castle has an interesting history in itself. It was created in 1597 on the base of an existing tower house, and was extended over the years. With a lavish lifestyle and expensive building costs, the last Earl of Erroll had to sell the castle and the buyer allowed it to fall into disrepair. The roof was removed in 1925. A maze of ruined walls remains today where grand halls and living spaces once stood.

Events of the early 1900s prevented Cruden Bay from being strongly established as a tourist destination. In the 1930s the railway line was disconnected and the tram was removed. By the second World War, the Cruden Bay Hotel was used as a military hospital, fell into disrepair and was eventually demolished.

Port Erroll School was built in 1903 right in the heart of the village. With the oil boom in the 1950s and 60s, a growing population saw the need for a new school to be built. The Braehead Drive school was finished but with a continued increase in population the old school was required again and served as the infant annexe for Primary 1 and 2. After being completely destoryed by fire in 2000, the Braehead Drive building was replaced in August 2003 with a state-of-the-art facility, capable of housing all children in primaries 1 through to 7.