Weather Recording in




Royal Deeside,

Aberdeenshire Scotland

(pages under development)




An unusual cloud formation seen late afternoon September 2001. The cloud was roughly south of the village towards Glenshee. Morrone hill is visible in the bottom right of the picture



Braemar, an historic and pretty village in Royal Deeside, can arguably claim to be at the centre of Scotland. It can certainly claim to be the coldest village in Scotland, having twice recorded the lowest temperature -27.2 C (-17 F). Like much of the east side of Scotland, the rainfall is not high and averages just under 900mm (35 in) per annum spread fairly evenly throughout the year.


Braemar has also one of the longest 'continuous' sets of recorded weather data in Scotland, recording starting here nearly 150 years ago. The original observatory, donated by Prince Albert in 1855, is still standing though no longer used for weather recording. The current weather station is only feet away from the original.

As at other stations the weather observer records the weather conditions and note various air and soil temperatures, plus rainfall and amount of sunshine. Some summaries of these data are given on these pages.


The original weather station at Braemar, viewed from the south. It was donated by Prince Albert in 1855.

The present recording station can be seen to the left.

Sadly, the weather vane no longer works.



A brief history of weather recording in Braemar

An observatory , consisting mostly of a large-louvred wooden erection , at the entrance to Braemar , was established in 1855 by the Prince Consort. Mr Aitken - a bank agent - was appointed the first observer. He kept up the observations , with keen interest , for more than 50 years. On completing half a century of observations in 1905, he received a letter of thanks and appreciation from King Edward VII. Soon afterwards, Mr Aitken retired from active work and the thermometers were transferred to Balmoral .Mr Aitken removed the raingauge to his own garden - a few hundred yards from its former site, and he continued to take the record until his death in April 1908. Mr Aitken's successor at the bank then continued the rainfall readings.

In 1911 , Mr R.A.Clark - a local dispensing chemist - took up the question of re-opening the climatological station and , ultimately , a committee raised funds for its re-equipment. The Meteorological Office lent a maximum and minimum for 5 years - to make a comparison between the "Stevenson screen" and the "Observatory". Differences were negligible. Mr Andrew Watt , Edinburgh - taking with him a barometer - visited and approved the station on the 13th June 1912.

The records at the station were traditionally kept by the Manager or 'Agent' of the Union Bank just a few yards across the main road through the village. (The building now houses the Bank of Scotland but no bank manager resides there.) The tradition was continued through to 1980 when James Donaldson retired after being recorder for 22 years. Ricky Graham, headmaster of Braemar School, was the 'weatherman' for the next 19 years and recorded the record low temperature on 10th January 1982. (The same temperature had previously been recorded on 11th February 1895.) The author of this page, Mike Franklin, is a mere novice of one year's standing.

A sunshine recorder was set up in April 1929. It was moved to the top of the tower of St. Margaret's Church
(45 feet or 63 steps) in 1962. Although this tower is easily the most suitable spot for the sunshine recorder, the length of the Braemar 'day' is affected by the surrounding hills. Indeed, in mid-winter the maximum sunshine is no more than about 3.5 hours!


The top of St Margaret's Church is seen behind the ruins of Kindrochit Castle.

In the background is Craig Choinnich. For much of the year the sun rises behind this hill delaying the onset of direct sunshine.


More Information On....

 Braemar and area

 Braemar surrounds and environment

 Braemar Attractions

 Braemar History

 Events and Entertainment

 Activities and Sports

 Services and clubs

 Braemar Gathering and Highland Games

 Top of Page


Pages on Braemar : Surrounding Area and Environment

Area around Braemar

Weddings in Braemar

Outings to Braemar

Pictures of Braemar

Braemar Weather

Weather Summary

Braemar Weather 2000



Page written by Mike Franklin, Braemar, 26th January 2002

Web : Callater Lodge

e-mail mike