Strichen

From Pratt (1858)

Strichen or Mormond Village, is very prettily situated on the left bank of the stream, the Mormond rising to the height of nearly six hundred feet immediately behind. The western slope of the hill stretches out into what may be called a spur, terminating in a level plain, upon which the village is built. The Mormond here forms a very fine object. On its south-western brown there is a figure of a horse cut out in the turf, occupying a space of nearly an acre, and filled with white pebbles—known as the White Horse of Mormond.

The Town-house, built in 1816, is the most prominent object in the village. At the north-east end of the building is a square embattled tower, surmounted by an octagonal lanthorn, also embattled, and a very elegant spire, with an embattled belt about half-height. The corners of the tower are surmounted by round flat-headed turrets.

Adjacent to Strichen is an imposing recumbent-stone circle, one of many in Buchan, apparently well-preserved, but in fact rebuilt relatively recently; and beyond the circle is the ruin of Strichen House, a melancholy, though still imposing relic. A postcard image is a faded reminder of the house as it was.

Unaltering, the village of Strichen preserves a feeling of separation, in time and place, from the other settlements in Buchan. It is one of the largest planned villages, the main modern development having been undertaken in the late 18th century, and largely completed in the early19th century. Its two most striking public buildings are the parish church built in 1893 (McKean, 1990) at the northern end of the High Street, and the massive, even ponderous town house described in detail by Pratt, above.

With relatively little modern development, the village has a feeling of architectural unity, the cottages in terraces sharing a common plan, total uniformity being avoided by a variety of ornamental detail, especially cherry-cocking, hooded windows, cantilevered dormers, hooded porches supported on generously proportioned brackets, and even architraves and porticos. Some of the shops are disfigured with obtrusive modern signage, but others maintain the character of the times when the streets were first built, adding to the consistency of the architectural experience.

(Revision date: Friday 16th March 2012)




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