Just 25 miles west of Aberdeen on the banks of the River Dee is the quaint village of Kincardine O’Neil, known locally as Kinker. Nestled between the larger settlements of Banchory and Aboyne, this village is heralded as the oldest village on Deeside with a history dating back before Christian times, once a ferry crossing point and connections to the early development of Christianity credited with a church set up by St Erchard around 933AD. This historical busy location, with its volume of passing traffic on middle age trackways led to the development of nearby settlements and early castles such as Aboyne Castle.
In the 19th century, the Deeside Railway was built. However it bypassed the Kincardine O’Neil and this fact impeded its expansion in contrast to other neighbouring settlements. The houses that line the main street were not heavily modified by later development and thus the architecture reflects that of the late 18th and early 19th Century. This led to Kincardine O’Neil being declared a conservation area in 1978.
Earth-house specimens were found to have existed near the ancient village of Kincardine O’Neil. These houses were all under ground and had narrow, low entrances so they would not be visible. There is an earth-house a few miles from Kincardine O’Neil, which has been preserved and can be visited.