Gardenstown

From Pratt (1858)

Skirting the hill to the westward of this glen [Bracoden] for some little distance, we descend by a winding path to the village of Gardenston or Gamrie, which, like Pennan, is built on the margin of the Moray Firth, at the base of a steep hill. The road, following its turnings and windings down the face of the brae cannot be far short of a mile, the direct descent not exceeding a sixth of the distance. In making our way to it, we descend from terrace to terrace, and look down, as it were, into the very chimneys of the houses below. The situation is singularly striking. The houses are perfect eyries, built on ledges and in the recesses of the cliff. The lower and older part of the village is close upon the sea. The harbour was crowded with boats, and two small sailing craft were receiving their cargo of fish. Men with the loose sailor-jacket, red woollen nightcap, and huge boots peculiar to their craft; women with the national serge petticoat, short wrapper, and head-gear—consisting of a handkerchief fastened under the chin—all familiar to a Scottish eye, gave a pleasing animation to the scene.

Above High Green, a turn in the road leading down to the harbour, a substantial amount of house-building has taken place and there is even a modern supermarket and petrol station. Since Pratt's time very little has changed below High Green: the seatown is a series of close-packed tiers of cottages, clustered into the magnificent cliffs that line the coast. The cottages built closest to the sea stand gable-end to the coast, but higher up the cliff the cottages face the sea, and the magnificent seaward views.

(Revision date: Friday 16th March 2012)




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