Kirkmichael, Black Isle

  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © Chris Bowes
  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © Steve Wood
  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © The Kirkmichael Trust
  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © The Kirkmichael Trust
  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © Andrew Dowsett
  • © The Kirkmichael Trust
  • © The Kirkmichael Trust
  • © The Kirkmichael Trust
  • © The Kirkmichael Trust

Application Type

AABC Conservation

Level of Award

Commendation

Region

Scotland

Local Authority Area

Highland

Information about this scheme

Kirkmichael is a category B listed building and Scheduled Ancient Monument set on the Udale Bay in the Black Isle. The original medieval ecclesiastical building ceased to be used for worship in the 18th century after which its condition deteriorated and in recent times had fallen into significant disrepair. The local community were so concerned about the state of the buildings that a Trust was formed in 2002 and a programme of fundraising was started to salvage the buildings, including two large mausolea in the graveyard, and create a heritage display that would tell the story of the site and link the building to other local heritage sites. Works started on the restoration in 2016 including: masonry repairs using the best match for the original materials after analysis by Scottish Lime Centre Trust and others; a new roof using as much of the original material as possible and matching reclaimed slates; new solid oak doors and bespoke fixed-light windows; new Caithness stone floors; new paths that were graded to improve access whilst blending with the existing levels so that they didn’t look like ramps; a new green sedum roof on an existing flat topped monument to provide weather protection. The project included sensitive archaeology, much of which was assisted by local volunteers, to complement the repair works. Throughout the works there were a number of visits and workshops that engaged the local community in the history of the site and the techniques and materials used in the restoration. The final part of the project was the display of medieval ornamental grave memorials, which were relocated inside the Nave of the building, and adding interpretation throughout the site. The display includes “as-new” carvings of existing medieval stones to illustrate the original appearance of two gravestones, on top of bespoke seat displays in the Nave and Chancel of the building. The restored external monuments were also tied into the narrative of the site with new interpretation panels.

Credits

Architect

McGregor Bowes

Client

The Kirkmichael Trust

Main Contractor

Laing Traditional Masonry Group Ltd

Quantity Surveyor

Torrance Partnership

Structural Engineer

David Narro Associates

Archaeologist

Highland Archaeology Ltd

CDMC

McGregor Bowes

Conservator

Laing Traditional Masonry Group Ltd

Graphic Design

Studio SP

Heritage Interpretation

Caroline Vawdrey & Dr Jim Mackay

Heritage Interpretation & Exhibition Design

McGregor Bowes & Studio SP

Historic Buildings Consultant

Ian Parsons Architect

Light Manufacturer

PhotonStar

Sculptor

Stoneworks

Other

Andrew Dowsett Photographer

Sub-Contractor

Old School Fabrications

Other

Primary Use Class

Class D1f - Public Library/Archive/Visitor Centre