The Road to Maggieknockater explores Aberdeen and the North-east through its place-names. It shows how place-names can tell you about the countryside, about the weather, about myths and legends, about forgotten settlements and raiding cateran. It takes you to crofts with names like Cauldhame and Scrapehard and to one mysteriously called Wealthytown.
It shows how onomastic (the study of names and their origin) has developed over the years and it examines various aspects of the place-name game, among them field names (one retired naval commander called his fields after the battleships he served on), and place-name rhymes, which were used by country folk to mock their rivals on other farms and villages.
It takes you to Old Groddie, where illicit stills were busy in the old days, and to old tracks where 50,000 Hielanmen went marching to the Battle of Harlaw. It tells you how a tiny Bible led the author to the wild Aberdour coast to visit a substantial old Scots house of great charm . It follows the trail of St Dostan when he came to Scotland to Christianise Buchan and to Old Deer where the famous Book of Deer was written.
It chases ghost roads , listens to the poem of a humble packmen near Aberdeen, solves the mystery of the Golden Pumphel, and heeds a warning to Haud yer feet! .