VisitScotland backs quarry visitor centre
The chief executive of Visit Scotland has backed a plan to transform one of the biggest man-made holes in Europe into a visitor centre celebrating the north-east’s granite heritage.
Malcolm Roughead will travel to Aberdeen’s Rubislaw Quarry this afternoon to learn more about proposals to create a £6million tourist destination at the site.
He will meet project director Hugh Black to discuss the significance of the nowflooded quarry, which gave the Granite City its nickname.
Mr Roughead said: “I am thrilled to be attending today and to hear Hugh’s plans for the Rubislaw Quarry heritage centre which, I hope, will eventually be a great asset to the city.
“It seems very fitting that in this, Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology, we are discussing marking something which has played such an important part in Aberdeen’s past – almost 75% of Aberdeen’s buildings, bridges and monuments were made from Rubislaw granite.”
Mr Roughead’s visit will coincide with a Scotlandwide art project taking place at Rubislaw and the top of Ben Nevis.
Artist Henry Castle has taken a slab of granite from the Aberdeen quarry, one of the lowest points in the country, to its highest – the peak of Ben Nevis.
And today, he will team up with the global subsea company Kongsberg to convey a stone from the top of Ben Nevis on a controlled descent to the bottom of Rubislaw Quarry with a GPS positioning buoy.
The technology will mean the piece of Ben Nevis will always be locatable. Mr Black said: “We are delighted to help Henry Castle finish his work in making the connection between two different locations but both iconic landmarks – Ben Nevis and Rubislaw quarry.
“Everyone knows Ben Nevis is the highest point in the UK, but very few people will be aware the floor of Rubislaw Quarry was once the lowest accessible piece of land in the UK, covering approximately three acres, sitting more than 100 metres (328 feet) below sea level.
“These are very exciting times for us as we get closer to establishing a world-class visitor centre at Rubislaw Quarry, where we can share the story of Aberdeen’s granite heritage and how the Granite City was once the centre of the world’s granite industry.” for collectables. They are mostly ordinary everyday objects, but ones that we just don’t see anymore – which makes them of much interest historically.
“The Victorian high chair is quite unusual, with its leather work and buttoning – it looks like it has been well used. And we have also got an old-style fridge – which would have kept things cool in the days before electricity by water evaporation.”
After being purchased by Mrs McMurtrie in 1960, the A-listed 16thcentury Balbithan House underwent a huge restoration project – and has just been advertised at a significantly reduced price of £800,000.
Situated near Kintore in the heart of Aberdeenshire, the grand nine-bedroom home has been on the market for around three years.
Selling agent Galbraiths has blamed the economic downturn or even the new land tax for the longevity of the listing, but confirmed interest has been “extremely high” in recent months.
BY KIERAN BEATTIE