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THE ancient town of Banff consists of two distinct parts, the first of which, called

the body of the town, lies partly on the lower extremity of the plain, skirting the river,

and partly on the declivity. The second portion, called the sea-town, stands on an

elevated level which terminates abruptly within a short distance of the sea, by which it

is bounded. When viewed from the low ground beyond the river, the sea town appears

to stand on a long elevated ridge, as seen in the engraving, and having the battery on

its northern extremity. On a piece of table-land, projecting midway between the town

proper, and sea-town, and nearly opposite the mouth of the river, stands the Castle, a

plain, modem edifice, but commanding an extensive and varied prospect of the sea,

the town, the hill of Macduff, the sweep of the river, and the beautiful slope opposite,

surmounted by the woods of Mount Coffer.

The streets of Banff, though composed of houses varying much in size, are

generally straight and of a convenient width. The High-street, Castle-road, and a street

in the sea-town, terminating in the battery, form a continuous line from south to north,

of about half a mile in length. In the progress of recent improvements, many of the

old houses have been pulled down and replaced by others; so that now scarcely a

feature of primitive architecture is left to remind the spectator of the olden time — the

characteristic dwellings of our forefathers—

“When walls of oak and hearts of steel

Stood surety for the public weal.”

About twenty years ago the comfort and convenience of the inhabitants were

greatly promoted by the addition of an excellent market-place, laid out in a central part

of the town and furnished with every necessary accommodation. Public baths have also

been erected by a joint-stock company, and the town is lighted with gas.

In the southern approach to Banff, the road is carried over the Doveran by

means of an elegant and substantial stone bridge, consisting of seven semicircular

arches, with a clear water-way of one hundred and forty-two yards. This handsome

structure was finished at the expense of government in 1779, and is highly ornamental

to the town and neighbourhood. From this point the view of Duff House, in the centre of

a beautiful park, is seen to great advantage. In proof of this, the reader has only to cast

his eye over the engraving, which, to those who have not been the original, conveys a

faithful and striking resemblance to Banff and its vicinity. Seen so near as to render its

elaborately carved ornaments visible, the appearance of Duff House is particularly rich,

graceful, and majestic. It contains a fine gallery of paintings, many of them by the first

masters of the art. This baronial mansion was built nearly a century ago, after a design

by Adams, in the Roman style, but has never been finished in its original detail. The

body of the house is an oblong, consisting of four lofty stories; the first of which is a

rustic basement, over which rise two stories, adorned with fluted pilasters, and an

entablature in imitation of that on the temple of Jupiter Stator, in the Campo Vaccino at

Rome. Over this entablature, which surrounds the whole structure, is an attic story,

surmounted by a balustrade. The four corners of the building have projections

resembling towers, which break and vary the outline, overtop the attic story, and are

adorned at the angles by an upper range of pilasters with an entablature of the

Composite order, and crowned by dome-like roofs, on which are placed octagonal


The town of Banff has much to recommend it as a residence. It possesses

both coast and inland scenery of a superior description, and is particularly healthy. It

has excellent schools, classical and commercial: various places of public worship, as

observed by the established Presbyterian, the Episcopalian, the Seceder, and others. It

has abundant markets, frequent and regular mails, public baths, literary, scientific, and

benevolent institutions; boarding-schools, and society equal at least to what is generally

met with in a remote provincial town.

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