Issued: 28 June 2012
Unveiling Of Model Of Brechin In The 19th Century
A model showing the centre of Brechin as it was in the early 19th century has gone on permanent display at the Town House Museum. The model is primarily based on the historic map by John Wood-which was published in 1823-and includes historic buildings such as Brechin Castle and the Cathedral, and roads including Church Street, St David Street and Swan Street which even today follow the original medieval street pattern, despite the fact that the original names have long since gone.
The model, which has been funded by Angus Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Townscape Heritage Initiative (THI), was created by model maker, Brian Gallagher of BG Models. He has produced numerous impressive models of buildings and towns in Scotland, including one of Kirriemuir in 1604 which is exhibited in Kirriemuir’s Gateways to the Glens Museum.
After initial discussions with Angus Council’s museum’s staff and the THI, work began on the model in January 2012 and took more than five months of painstaking work to recreate the centre. The work has been aided by referring to a wide range of historical sources such as David D Black’s history of Brechin and Mc Gibbon & Ross’s Ecclesiastical Architecture of Scotland, in addition to the historic maps. The 1:350 scale model measures 1.3m X 1.1m and is housed in a moveable display case.
The model reveals the interesting topography of Brechin, with its steep High Street as well as the proximity of the castle to the centre of Brechin and the importance of the river South Esk. The area immediately to the front of the Town House Museum is the site of the former Market Square. The model depicts a typical market day where traders from a wide area came to sell their produce and would certainly have been bustling with activity.
Councillor Mairi Evans Angus Council planning spokesperson, unveiling the model today, said: “Many of the buildings shown in the model are still recognisable today and follow their original form which was long and narrow. The model shows the many walls that were used to mark out the plots and it also shows how the back lands were used for animals and fruit trees. Some of the buildings have now been demolished, including the Swan Hotel -now replaced by the Northern Hotel - and the former school house located on the site of the Mechanics Institute.”
The convener added: “The model is a valuable addition to Brechin’s Town House Museum, which has also benefitted from THI funding and is one of several buildings in the heart of the town to have been successfully restored under this programme. It is very appropriate that the building, which is the site of the former Tollbooth, is the home to this exhibit which will undoubtedly complement the many local treasures that are already on display in the museum. The model will be of interest to local people in Brechin as well as to visitors to the town and I hope many people will take the chance to view it.”