The owner of a famous Deeside castle neighbouring the Queen’s residence at Balmoral has died.
John Gordon, or Baron Abergeldie, had been a well-known face around the Royal Deeside community since he moved into his ancient family home in 1972.
The A-listed building lies on the southern banks of the River Dee, just east of Balmoral Castle and Crathie, and narrowly avoided being washed away by rising floodwaters during Storm Frank.
It is understood Mr Gordon died earlier this week in an Aberdeenshire care home.
Deputy lord lieutenant of Aberdeenshire Marcus Humphrey paid tribute to Mr Gordon, who was the 21st laird of the estate.
He said: “I knew John and used to get on quite well with him.
“He was a very hard-working farmer, and restored Abergeldie Castle to what it is today.
“I would meet him in the village in Ballater from time to time for a chat, and I am very sorry to hear this news.”
John Sinclair, owner the H.M Sheridan butcher in Ballater and chairman of the Ballater Highland Games, said: “He always did his shopping on a Friday in the village, and came into the shop a lot.
“I remember one time we had an English lady in on holiday visit the shop, and she was telling me how much she wish she could meet a laird to see what they look like.
“John was standing in the shop in his farming gear with muck all over his wellies and told her she was looking at one, that’s the kind of character he was.”
Abyone, Upper Deeside and Donside councillor Geva Blackett added: “John was a well-known but private man, well-respected by many in the area.
“I first met him almost 30 years ago on a bus going from the long stay car park to Aberdeen Airport, and we got chatting.
“I always found him a very interesting man to talk to, one who had a great love for this beautiful area and who loved his estate and castle with a passion.
“He will be sadly missed.”