South Scotland

Sandstone carvings tell story of Dumfries

Rosefield mills Image copyright Grant McIntosh

Look down at your feet while walking and you could easily miss them.

However, if you raise your head for a moment while strolling around Dumfries they are there at every twist and turn.

Carved out of sandstone are figures, dates, faces and symbols of all sorts.

Some have suffered a little more wear and tear than others but they all form an intriguing backdrop to any town centre stroll.

Image copyright Grant McIntosh

Sandstone has been quarried in the area for years and forms the backbone of many of its most prominent buildings.

Now a research scheme hopes to dig deeper into the "lost stories" of these decorative designs and the people who made them.

The Dumfries Stonecarving Project (DSP) aims to document the entire journey from quarry to completed building.

It wants to speak to people with a family connection to the properties - or who worked in the quarries.

It is being run by the Dumfries Historic Buildings Trust, the group set up to celebrate the architectural heritage of the region.

Image copyright Grant McIntosh

Working in partnership with Dumfries and Galloway local archives, they are searching for information about those involved in the "once-booming" stonecarving industry.

The information gathered will then help highlight the town's heritage of sandstone carving.

It will ultimately be made available online and will also form part of a special exhibition at Dumfries museum this summer.

The trust is now looking for people to help carry out interviews or explore the archives.

Tara Beall, project lead, said: "We're looking for volunteers who might enjoy burrowing into archives and learning how to follow the thread of a story.

"We're also looking for people who want to learn how to interview local people, and highlight Dumfries' important heritage.

"This is a great way to start the new year, trying something new and learning new skills.

"There's great satisfaction when you uncover something that's lain hidden in the archives, which can then be shared with the wider world."

Related Topics

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites