29 September 2006
The scaffolding round Corgarff Castle has been taken down after the completion of a four-year conservation project. Historic Scotland, which cares for this unusual castle in its remote and orgpectacular moorland setting, has been removing much of concrete used to coat the outside walls in the 1960s. Much of this has now been replaced with traditional lime based mortar of the type used by the original builders of the Castle.
Mike Pendery, Historic Scotland District Architect, said: "We are delighted that the work has been completed and visitors can once again enjoy an uninterrupted view of this fine castle. It has been a long and complex task to remove the protective concrete applied to the walls in the 1960s and replace it with traditional materials.
The castle is in a highly exposed location and the stone needs good protection as it has to be able to withstand the very worst the Scottish climate can throw at it."
The time the work has taken reflects the scale and complexity of the project. Back in the 1960s the conservation team had opted to use modern concrete on the walls, but after four decades it was in need of replacement.
These days there is often a preference to use authentic materials and techniques to ensure that historic buildings retain as much of their original character as possible. That, however, does not mean that there is no place for new technology, and small areas of the walls are being used to test the effectiveness of the latest generation of protective coatings.
Notes for editors
- Corgarff Castle is eight miles west of Strathdon on the A939. Telephone 01975 651460. Tickets are £4 for adults, £3 for concessions and £1.60 for children.
- Corgarff Castle consists of a 16th century tower house surrounded by a distinctive 18th century star-shaped perimeter wall. This was designed to allow the garrison get a clear shot at attackers coming from any direction.
- Throughout its history, Corgarff has been of great strategic importance guarding the quickest route from Speyside to Deeside. It was this position that prevented the Castle from being left to decay, as in the 1700s, tower houses like this were seen as old-fashioned.
- Although originally the home of the laird of Corgarff, it was later occupied by Jacobite troops during the ’15 and ’45 Risings. After being requisitioned by Government forces after the Battle of Culloden (1746), the Castle became a soldiers’ barracks. In 1802 it returned to private hands, and was given to state care in 1961.
- In its landscape setting, Corgarff is one of the most visually striking monuments in Scotland. The sight of it is appreciated not only by visitors to the monument, but all those that travel the lonely Lecht Road.
- Historic Scotland has 345 outstanding historic properties in its care. These include some of the leading tourism attractions in the country, including Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart Castles, Fort George, Linlithgow Palace, the Border Abbeys, and Skara Brae.