NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Secret priest training site in Moray to be restored

Scalan Image copyright CNPA
Image caption Scalan dates back to 1767

A group of historic buildings where Catholic priests were once trained in secret to avoid persecution are to be restored and repaired.

Scalan was a small community set up in the 18th Century in the Braes of Glenlivet in Moray.

It was used for training priests at a time when practising of the Catholic religion was illegal.

The Roman Catholic seminary was originally built in 1767 in the guise of a farmhouse

The Cairngorms National Park Authority's planning committee has granted planning permission to Crown Estate Scotland to carry out a variety of work at the site.

This includes the restoration and repair of the site's north and south mill buildings that were added in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Image copyright CNPA
Image caption Mills at Scalan are to be restored

A timber waterwheel is to be brought back into use and new access path constructed.

Historic graffiti from as far back at 1874 will also be preserved.

Park planning officer Stephanie Wade said: "The proposed works look to help preserve the historic fabric and integrity of the mill buildings while giving members of the public greater accessibility to the site.

"It is very much supported by both Historic Environment Scotland and the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland and the plans meet with our own policies around the reuse of old buildings and our support for cultural heritage projects."