Elgin history – the lone Wolf …?

Wolf of Badenoch

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.

The wild side of Elgin history …

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 …

Close Encounters

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 more stately architecture of the Georgian and Victorian eras, life in the many closes leading off the High Street was much less appealing. In medieval times, access to what was […]

Are You Being Served?

Old photo of the St Giles Shopping Centre in Elgin

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 early as 1796, when it is reputed the world’s very first ‘one-stop-shop’ was opened in London, selling haberdashery, millinery, jewellery and clocks.  Many of these stores were established by drapers […]

Hospitality Down the Ages


‘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 its roots firmly in ancient history. During the age of early travel and the development of trade routes across the north of Scotland, local inns offered primitive rooms with stable […]

All Singing, All Dancing

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 Elgin Society needed a special meeting point for celebrating grand occasions in veritable style. The formidable Assembly Rooms building was situated at the top end of North Street, opposite the […]

Banking on Us

Bravo House in Elgin

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 west end of the High Street, the 17th Century ‘Braco Banking House’ became home to a well-to-do family, the Duffs, who started the lucrative business of lending money to estate […]

Sophistication Comes to Elgin

A menu from the old Park House Hotel in Elgin

There are still many families who will remember visiting the very stylish Park House Hotel & Restaurant at some point in their lives … that includes one of our team here at Gairland. Coming from a busy farming background, eating out was definitely not a regular occurrence for the family in the 1970s, but she […]

A Touch of Italian Style

Elgin Museum

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 period during the 19th Century with a strong focus on urban development. The medieval settlement of Elgin was fast becoming a much bigger conurbation, spreading over to the once separate […]

Homes to the Gentry

Vintage map of Elgin

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 the increase in banks, shops and hostelries did not constitute a peaceful way of life. The back closes remained home to poorer families trying to make a living as best […]