The farming heritage of the park dates to Neolithic times when the people were considered to be the first farmers. People in the Neolithic era foraged for fruits and berries and domesticated cattle. From this era Aden continued to provide an agricultural lifestyle for its people.
Aden Home Farm building
Aden Home Farm is one of the finest samples in Scotland of a symmetrically planned farm building complex associated with an historic mansion house. The Russell family, who purchased the estate in 1758, were responsible for the enlarging of the mansion house and construction of the home farm in the early 1800’s. Indeed, in 1758 Alexander Russell of Montcoffer enlarged the Aden House, and commenced a programme of agricultural improvement to the estate as was common among landowners across Scotland during the period after the Jacobite uprisings.
Under the 2nd laird’s tenure, Alexander Russell’s eldest son and heir, also named Alexander Russell, saw the building of the highly unusual semi-circular farm steadings circa 1800. The semi-circular farm steading layout with a central doocot tower gives a commanding architectural presence to the stable buildings and can still be seen today. During this period Lairds were adopting new scientific approaches to the organisation and management of their estates and constructing buildings to allow the efficient deployment of the new technologies, based around horsepower.
Today, the Aden’s farming heritage is visible all around the now designated country park, and in particular at the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum or when visiting Hareshowe Farm.
Hareshowe of Ironside – Marget Barron, her father and Prince the horse
Hareshowe of Ironside originally stood near New Deer. In the late 1980s Margaret Barron contacted the Aberdeenshire Farming Museum to find out if they would be interested in some old equipment. The Museum not only took the equipment – they bought the whole farm!
Rebuilding Hareshowe Farm of Ironside in Aden c1990
In 1990 Hareshowe Farm was bought by the local council, dismantled and then brought to Aden piece by piece, where it was rebuilt. If you look carefully, you can still see the numbers on the stones that helped the builders put it back together. Hareshowe Farm is a typical small Buchan farm steading built in the 1890’s. The building was home to the Barron family for many years. Hareshowe was home to cattle and working horses as well as to chickens and turkeys. Hareshowe of Ironside is now Hareshowe of Aden and is maintained as a living history exhibit as a 1950s farmstead.
Hareshowe Farm as seen in Aden Country Park today
Hareshowe Farm washing day