Cromarty East Church - Ross-shire, Scotland

Cromarty East Church is a Category A Listed building described as “the epitome of a post-Reformation Church”. It is now in the care of the Scottish Redundant Churches Trust (SRCT). The church was generally considered to date from the early 17th century. However, evidence gathered during the work on site has established that parts of the building date back to the 14th century. The SRCT has worked hard to raise the profile of the church and secure funds towards conservation and repair of the historic fabric. The church appeared on BBC ‘Restoration Village’ in 2006. It has received grant aid from a number of bodies, notably the Heritage Lottery Fund, Historic Scotland and The Highland Council. For more information, see:

Scope of Work

Cromarty East Church: detail.

Pictured: Cromarty East Church: detail.

LTM were contracted as main contractor by SRCT to undertake the conservation and repair works to the historic fabric. Works commenced on site in October 2008 and included the comprehensive repair of the building fabric (masonry, joinery, slating, plastering, painting and drainage works) and focused on the removal of the existing cement harling and replacement with a traditional lime harling. Substantial repair and consolidation of the internal plasterwork was also required.

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Challenges and Considerations

Human bones buried under the church flagstone!

Pictured: Human bones buried under the church flagstone!

The Conservation Plan identified the full range of works required to the building. In addition to the physical conservation and repair works, LTM masons worked alongside the Highland Archaeology Services, employed to undertake a detailed archaeological inspection of the site and monitor the conservation works. A number of bones were uncovered when the flagstones were lifted inside the church, an interesting discovery which required LTM to work very closely with the archaeologists throughout the contract to ensure that the remains were protected.

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Solutions to Problems

Cromarty East Church: during works.

Pictured: Cromarty East Church: during works.

The building fabric was vulnerable to degradation and decay due to the impervious cement harling. LTM masons concentrated on the careful removal of this inappropriate harling and reinstatement with a suitable lime harling. Works also included the reinstatement of the drainage system around the church in order to address the prevalent issues of internal dampness and to encourage the building to dry out.

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Cromarty East Church


Cromarty East Church - Ross-shire, Scotland

Area of Expertise

Ecclesiastical Buildings

Craft Skills & Solutions

  • Lime Plaster Conservation

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Cromarty East Church - Ross-shire, Scotland

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