Duff House holds many World War II secrets
'What's the War Got to With Us' aims to bring to life the dramatic events surrounding Duff House in WWII and to ensure that these are not forgotten.
The project forms part of the bigger enterprise of 'Their Past Your Future', a UK-wide learning enterprise.
Memories and stories surrounding the role of Duff House in World War II appear in an exhibition running to 11 April.
The stately home of Duff House, built in 1735 for Lord Braco, hides many WWII secrets.
Duff House now functions as an annex of the National Galleries of Scotland, maintained by Historic Scotland and Aberdeenshire Council.
Shrapnel damage is still visible on the exterior of Duff House
During the war, the imposing building, designed by William Adam, served firstly as an internment camp then as a German prisoner of war camp and latterly as an HQ for allied personnel.
In 1940 the house was bombed by a German plane that flew over from Nazi-occupied Norway. The Heinkel plane dropped bombs on Duff House, and Banff and Macduff. The bomber succeeded in killing six of his comrades, German POWs in Duff House, as well as three others.
Allan Burnett, co-ordinator of the project, is now hoping to fill in the blanks that surround the history of Duff House at the time and bring the "untold story" to the attention of those living in the community as well as the wider world.
Oral history is at the heart of the project and this, along with photographs and memorabilia, will be captured in a dedicated project website due to launch in 2010.
Polish soldiers spent time at Duff House
Memories gathered so far include the recollections of a German prisoner of war , held captive at Duff House when he was 17 and locals, now in their nineties, who can still recall the day of the Banff and Macduff bombings.
Burnett said: "It is a story that puts Duff House at the heart of local folk memory. This is how war arrived suddenly and brutally in a quiet corner of north-east Scotland."
Burnett admits that the reason for Duff House being bombed is still "a bit of a mystery."
It is thought that from the air Duff House looked like an important landmark - the large building would have been surrounded by Nissan huts and barbed wire at the time, perhaps suggesting some strategic importance in its wartime role.
The wartime map of the area remains a mystery
Today the visual evidence of the impact of World War II on Duff House is clear, ranging from shrapnel damage on the exterior of the building to the graffiti and "hidden" map inside the house.
The project hopes to unearth the knowledge and stories connected to the visual clues and piece together the full story of Duff House and World War II.
If you have memories or information relating to the project contact Duff House on 01261 818 181 or email