Historic Elgin monument revealed after £45k clean-up

ONE OF MORAY’S most iconic monuments has been revealed once again to public eyes following a £45,000 restoration project.

The Muckle Cross on the High Street in Elgin has been shrouded from public view for several months as work was being carried out on its stonework and general repairs.

Today the monument was officially reopened just a few days after the covers and scaffolding was removed. Work on the cross was made possible thanks to funding from Moray Council, Elgin Common Good and the Elgin Conservation Area Regeneration Scheme (CARS).

Experts from Darroch & Allan planned and carried out the work, which has included the removal of the lion at the top of the monument – this will now be replicated and replaced, with the original remaining for its own protection at the Elgin Museum.

The Muckle Cross was constructed around 1888 although there is believed to have been a cross on the site since the late 1300s.

CARS officer Ellen Cox said the Cross was only one of around 30 projects to have benefited from funding from the regeneration scheme, with work on another 20 due to take place over the next few months.

She said: “The CARS programme has less than a year left to run so time is running out for owners and occupiers of properties in Elgin town centre to access money for building repairs.

“The scheme provides grants to help with the cost of a wide range of external repairs, including historic shopfront improvements, fascia signage, roofs, gutters, downpipes, stonework, windows and doors.

“Owners and occupiers of both residential properties and businesses are eligible to apply but the programme ends on March 31, 2018 and all eligible construction works must be finished prior to that date, so time is of the essence.”

Among town centre properties already to have benefited are Thunderton House, St Giles Church, Victoria Cottages, Elgin Bridge Club and the Harvest Centre Church.

The CARS programme, worth approximately £3.3million, secured funding from Historic Environment Scotland, Moray Council, Elgin BID and the Elgin Fund.

Launched in 2013 to help regenerate the central area of Elgin, it also includes a number of other initiatives such as training and education, the removal of high level vegetation and public realm improvements.

Owners or occupiers considering applying should contact Miss Cox on 01343 563656 to discuss their proposals.