Read all the latest news from Gairland, as well as fascinating insights into the history and heritage of some of our buildings and the communities around them. From the historic halls of Braal Castle in Halkirk to the storied streets of Elgin, our history journal dives into the stories of how we used to live, work and thrive.
In the last few months I’ve been immersed in the local heritage of Moray and Caithness, piecing together as much information as I can on a variety of topics …
Moray throughout the ages has been described by historians as a land of rich, fertile soil which could boast prime agricultural lands with a less harsh climate than that experienced in other areas of Scotland. There’s no doubt that this good fortune contributed greatly over the centuries to the economic development and growth of the region.
I’ve always been fascinated by history. Living in an old farmhouse, I was amazed by the detailed historic map we had on the wall dated 1654, which clearly dates our farm to that era. Although the farm is no longer family owned, I’ve still got the map proudly hanging in our home today.
The requisitioning of country homes, hotels and stately manors was widespread across the whole country during both the First and Second World Wars. The north of Scotland was no exception, with several fine buildings being repurposed to serve as hospitals, schools, maternity units or accommodation for the military undertaking training or carrying out special duties in that area.
Just as granite defined the character of Aberdeenshire since it was first used, Caithness’ foundation is based on the buildup of millions of years of sediment which formed another strong and durable material – flagstone.
Having done some digging on the various references to Badenoch in this area and reading about the infamous Wolf of Badenoch, I’m swaying a little on just how fierce a tyrant he was compared to his peers, who all ruled very firmly with their sword at this time. What is certain is that there’s no absolute certainty.
Moray was without doubt one of the most important regions of Scotland from early times, with the county town of Elgin becoming a place of great influence. The surrounding forests and rich plains became the favourite destination for early monarchs to enjoy prolific hunting grounds. In the early 1200s, the town was established as the main episcopal seat for the local bishopry …
At first glance, Fairview House on the outskirts of Halkirk looks like a fairly contemporary building. The comprehensive refurbishment programme undertaken over the last decade masks the historic significance of the building, which now provides a fine collection of affordable, comfortable residential flats.
Salmon fishing as a sport in Scotland was well established before the 19th century, but it took some considerable time for people to be persuaded
The original Castle at Braal probably dates back to the mid-14th Century and is deeply rooted in the strong Nordic influence that reigned in the
It’s hard to imagine just how much today’s High Street has changed over the centuries. From the distinctive arcaded dwellings of the 1600s to the
Who doesn’t just love the delights of a traditional department store? There’s something for everyone. These shops dominated town centres across the UK from as
‘Hospitality’ may feel like a reasonably modern term in the sense of going out to enjoy a drink, a meal or entertainment, but it has
Speyside Business Centre is a reasonably new addition to Fochabers’ environs, particularly in comparison to some of the fine historic buildings which make up this
While the 19th Century brought a flood of formal banking houses, ‘tippling houses’ and ever-increasing shop premises within the centre, it was felt that respectable
Similar to Elchies House which formerly stood on the site of the Caledonian Bank (which currently houses one of our serviced business centres) at the
There are still many families who will remember visiting the very stylish Park House Hotel & Restaurant at some point in their lives … that
With industrialisation, the growth of a decent railway network and busy sea trading with Europe and the rest of the country, Moray experienced a boom
Moray was prospering in the early 19th Century with wealthy landowners and merchants choosing to build prestigious homes slightly out of the town centre, where
Throughout history, Moray has stimulated a strong sense of entrepreneurship and innovation. People often made their living working for family businesses, many of which were