Preserving Our Past

Picture of The History Series

The History Series

In this collection of carefully researched blog posts, our resident historian (and wonderful Office Manager) Kay Jackson delves into the stories that shaped our buildings, and the buildings and communities around them.

Masonry work at Caledonian House

One way of acknowledging the importance of the past is by preserving historic buildings and structures. It is worth taking care of them for various reasons. They may be an example of a particular style of architecture, or represent a significant era, or a milestone in the town’s history. Keeping this history alive for future generations will ensure the past remains very much part of our lives.

Older buildings are often made with unique materials from local quarries or further afield. They generally have detailing and features that you can’t find these days, like decorative facades, unusual glasswork or interesting inscriptions about past residents or craftsmen. This gives these buildings their own identity and distinctive character. From quirky uneven ceilings, rustic beams and open fireplaces, these old buildings display a real personality of their own.

During the 18th Century, local quarries along the Moray coast achieved a considerable reputation far beyond Moray. In 1746 there were thirteen quarries between Burghead and Hopeman. Clashach quarry even had its own jetty and was used to transport stones to different parts of the country. Masonry skills were handed down from father to son for generations. Sadly, these skills declined over the 20th Century but in recent years, there’s been a welcome revival in specialist skills training in traditional building methods. There’s a social and economic benefit in that restoration projects are creating opportunities for old methods of workmanship to be supported, creating new talent. Traditional stonemason skills are once again being taught to young apprentices who will help preserve this valuable legacy for the future.

Giving people the opportunity to work or live in comfortable, distinctive surroundings has always been part of Gairland’s ethos. Heritage is more than just a fixed memory of the past that has a particular significance in the life of our community, it is also an active resource for the future. We are proud to have played our part in the careful restoration of several historic properties for future generations to enjoy.