- Written by Peter Burnett Peter Burnett
The Northern declivity of the hill of Parkhouse is called Aikey Brae or Yackie Brae. In the 1980s there was a play by The Invisible Bouncers, the theatre group of Alastair McDonald, called Pinky Brae, and it was an exceptional hit, at least in the North East. I'm trying to track down some stuff about the play at the present.
The name Aikey Brae is supposed to have derived from the aiks (oaks) of the area, which once clad the hill. Another idea is that the hill claims its name from Achaicus (or Yochock) a Pictish King.
Until the 20th century, the Aiky Fair was still held in the area, and marked with the removal of the relics of Achaicus’ brother, St Drostan, from Aberdour to Deer, on the third Wednesday in July.
On Aikey Brae, it is said one of the Earls of Buchan fell from his horse at hunting, and was killed. The facts of the case state that this happened because the earl had called Thomas the Rhymer, the great prognosticator, Thomas the Lyer.
Though Thomas the Lyar thou call’st me,
A sooth tale I shall tell to thee
By Aiky-side thy horse shall ride,
He shall stumble and thou shalt fa’;
Thy neck-bane shall break in twa,
And maugre all thy kin and thee,
Thy own belt thy bier shall be.