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The story of Aden’s history and heritage is a fascinating one. From the recently discovered Neolithic structure to the 10th-century Book of Deer, to today’s Country Park designed landscape, laid out in the 18th and 19th centuries, there is a lot to learn from Aden’s past. Click on the links below to find out more about Aden’s archaeology, the estate landscape, park history, farming heritage, natural history, Book of Deer, or the North East Folklore Archive.


There are currently four key areas of archaeological interest within the Country Park boundaries, a Neolithic site, the Mansion House, the remains of a T-shaped building, and WWI practice trenches. Significant archaeological excavation and assessment have been carried out at these sites, where a wide range of schools, archaeological groups, university students, and the general public all helped to volunteer and engage with the park’s archaeological heritage.

Estate Landscape

Aden Country Park has a charming balanced landscape which has been shaped over the years by agricultural land use, and the historical planting fashions associated with the former owners of the estate. Many of these features still exist today, including informal woodland, managed parkland, rhododendron-lined paths, Victorian arboretum, wildflower meadows, and secluded gardens, with many areas of the park considered to be of high potential habitat value.

Park History

Aden’s history is a fascinating one. Aden (pronounced Aa-den), meaning bonnie burn or brae, is a 230-acre country park which has a rich agricultural heritage dating as far back to the Neolithic period. From this early settlement to the first known recording of Aden occurring in the Book of Deer manuscript, to the ownership by the Comyn, Keith, and latterly the Russell family, Aden has always provided its people with an agricultural livelihood.

Farming Heritage

The farming heritage of the park dates back to Neolithic times when people foraged for fruits and berries, domesticated cattle, and were considered to be the first farmers. From this era on, Aden continued to provide an agricultural lifestyle for the people working the land. This is clearly demonstrated through the courtyard steading buildings, one of the finest examples in Scotland of a symmetrically planned farm building complex. Aden’s farming heritage is also visible when visiting Hareshowe Farm.

Natural History

With a diverse range of species which includes a huge variety of nesting and migrating birds, a wealth of aquatic and land invertebrates, amphibians and mammals, resident roe deer, and even osprey, Aden offers safe and easily accessible places for families and children to observe and engage with wildlife. Many of the species found at Aden are included on the Scottish Biodiversity List and Local Biodiversity Action Plans which identify the species and habitats of the highest priority for biodiversity conservation in Scotland and within the Northeast.  

Book of Deer

The Book of Deer is a rare example of a pocket gospel book and is possibly Scotland’s oldest manuscript and includes the earliest surviving example of written Scots Gaelic in the world within its margins. As the only pre-Norman manuscript from this area known as “former Pictland,” it provides us with a unique insight into the early church, culture and society of this period. Amid the Latin text and the Celtic illuminations, there can be found the oldest pieces of Gaelic writing to have survived from early Medieval Scotland. 

North East Folklore Archive

In the Spring of 1997 Aberdeenshire Council commissioned the conversion of the derelict old laundry house building in Aden Country Park into a home for its digital North East Folklore Archive and Recording Studio. NEFA, the North East Folklore Archive is an internet resource for the study and appreciation of the cultural heritage, traditions, and social history of North East Scotland. Although originally housed in the old laundry building, NEFA is now purely an on-line resource.  

To make your visit to Aden as enjoyable as possible, we have pulled together some key information that you might find useful before visiting. Information includes Find Us, Opening Times, Park Map, Things to Do, Accessibility, and Contact Us. Please click on the square box below to visit the Visitor Information section of the website

Visitor Information

Throughout the year, Aden Country Park hosts a diverse range of public and private events and activities, either in the park, or within the onsite Aden Theatre. To find out more information, please click on the square box below to visit the What’s On section of the website.

What’s On

To keep up to date with what has been happening in the park, whether it’s that we’ve managed to secure funding to improve the parks facilities, letting you know about any events, or perhaps volunteer opportunities, please click on the square box below to visit the News section of the website


The story of Aden’s history and heritage is a fascinating one, from the Neolithic structure to the 10th century Celtic monastery, to today’s Country Park designed landscape, there is a lot to learn from Aden’s past. Please click on the square box below to visit the History & Heritage section of the website.

History & Heritage

Got some free time? Want to meet like-minded people? Or simply want to do your bit to help improve this much-loved country park? Whether you are a company, group, or individual, there are various ways you can support Aden Country Park. Please click on the square box below to visit the Get Involved section of the website.

Get Involved