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The Scottish Castles Association
preserving the past for the future

home page about us aims & objectives Aims & objectives

Aims & objectives

Castle Tour Threave

  • Improving public awareness of Scotland's castles as a valuable inheritance and tangible reminder of its cultural heritage
  • Encouraging the responsible ownership, conservation and restoration of ruined structures, and other buildings at risk, in the belief that, in many cases, restoration offers the best means of ensuring their long-term survival
  • Creating a permanent record of Scotland's castles and their individual histories
  • Providing a forum for castle owners, and interested individuals and organisations, to discuss, and seek solutions to areas of common concern
  • Promoting the study of Scotland's castles, of the circumstances which gave rise to their creation, and of all the people and activities associated with them, at all levels of the education system
  • Providing advice on appropriate methods of conservation and restoration, backed by a skills database
  • Bringing together potential restorers with appropriate properties for restoration
  • Achieving as wide a membership as possible, encompassing castle owners; potential owners and restorers; architects, artists and craftsmen; academics, students, writers and historians; and enthusiastic members of the public
  • Liaising with other bodies, including government departments, local authorities and other conservation organisations, in the pursuit of the above objectives
  • Organising national and international meetings in the context of the above objectives

Castle Photographic Records

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.

Skills and Trades

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.

Reference Material

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.

Masons' Marks

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.

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