There appear to be around 1400 fortified buildings in Scotland, ranging from the pile of stones to the recognisable castle. Enquiries are always being received from potential restorers, and therefore, part of the SCA's service portfolio should be a complete photographic record of all such buildings and ruins.
It is estimated that within the current membership, photographs exist covering 65% + of the remaining structures. Copies of such photographs, accompanied by a small Ordnance Survey map to show exact location, plus comment on restoration potential, would be a positive benefit to all enquirers. Like all databases, there would be an onus on the Association, to have a rolling programme of photographing to check on deterioration etc. Regionalisation of data, and areas of responsibility, would be established.
One of the initial objectives of the Association was to be a caring and sharing body. Across Scotland owners are encountering the same problems, pitfalls, lack of solutions, lack of availability, resulting in the often asked question - "where can I find ?". We intend to hold information on recommended skills as employed on restorations, for example - wood turners, joiners, masons, hand-casters, plasterers etc. Currently the membership is being encouraged to supply this information on a manual basis (also includes Tools, Materials and Masons' Marks).
Along the same lines, there is a need at times for specialist tools, which are extremely difficult to obtain. You never know, a fellow member may have exactly what is needed or know someone who has.
Initially the thoughts centred upon furnishings, but although the title may be misleading, the content is wide-ranging e.g waxes, stains, brushes, furniture, flags and banners, stones, beams, flagstones and so on.
Having talked with many members, and having visited them, there is also a wealth of background information available generally surrounding old maps, drawings and manuscripts. More importantly, perhaps, there are some first class textual reference books within the membership, which could provide the key to unlock someone's problems.
Organisations are expected to invest time and effort in research, and are often judged by their "scientific" output. Very little information is available on the "Masons' Marks" topic, and it seems like an opportunity to produce a paper in the future. This would reveal the areas of activity, the concentration of masons, the extent of their market-place, and the types of stone used in space, etc.
View our extensive collection of castle postcards (circa 1900).