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New Heritage Hub for Dingwall

Published: 26 January 2012

An exciting study is set to develop plans for a new Viking-themed heritage hub near Dingwall town centre.

Cromartie Memorial car park and potential heritage hub building (© Eileen Brooke-Freeman) Cromartie Memorial car park and potential heritage hub building (© Eileen Brooke-Freeman) Zoom With the support of The Highland Council, Dingwall History Society has this month commissioned OJT Heritage, consultants in tourism and archaeology, to develop plans for the new centre. The consultants will work closely with the community to explore a range of models aimed at enhancing tourist information facilities for the town.

The new project came about through The Highland Council’s involvement in the THING Project.  Dingwall’s recently discovered Viking thing or meeting place is thought to have been a large mound, the site of which is now occupied by Cromartie Memorial Car Park near the town centre.

The new study will look at plans to develop the heritage hub adjacent the Cromartie Memorial Car Park by using a disused public convenience building located beside the site. In addition OJT Heritage will explore plans to improve interpretation and public access to the thing site and works to stabilise the nearby derelict St Clement’s Aisle, which is the only remaining fabric of Dingwall’s medieval parish church. 

A survey of heritage facilities in Easter Ross and the Black Isle will also be carried out to assess how the new centre could best complement existing tourism facilities in the region and most effectively draw more visitors to Dingwall.

Cllr Margaret Paterson, Dingwall and Seaforth Ward said “this is a great opportunity to look at creating a new quality visitor attraction for Dingwall. We hope that a new heritage hub will help the local economy and attract more visitors to spend time in the town centre.

Dingwall History Society is also keen for young and old alike from the local area to get involved and are asking older residents of the town to share their memories of the area surrounding the Cromartie Memorial Obelisk and St Clement’s kirkyard. In particular they are very interested to see any privately held historic photographs or postcards of the area, which could help inform interpretation for the heritage plans. It is also hoped to eventually involve youngsters and budding historians in the project by encouraging local school children to explore the town’s Viking history through events and competitions. 

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