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City's historical cobbles find new home at EXPO (02/07/10)
Granite cobbles that once paved the streets of Inverness city centre have been given a new lease of life as part of Scotland’s Housing Expo.
In keeping with the Housing Expo’s aim to promote eco-friendly living and the use of sustainable materials, the cobbles and setts, which date back to the late 1800s, will now be incorporated in to the landscaping of the development at Milton of Leys.
Once part of Union Street and Church Street in Inverness, the cobbles formed the street surfaces until they were overlaid between the First and Second World Wars. They were excavated over a period of time over the past 10 years as part of the city’s Streetscape Scheme and have remained in storage under the protection of The Highland Council.
The incorporation of cobbles and setts support the Expo’s environmentally -friendly commitment which enabled a new use for the formerly surplus, yet historic, materials.
Inverness Provost, Councillor Jimmy Gray visited Scotland’s Housing Expo to mark the incorporation of the cobbles and setts into Scotland’s Housing Expo. Laying one of the setts, Provost Gray said: “It’s very fitting that a part of the city’s history will play a role in Scotland’s efforts to shape the future of living in Scotland and the rest of the UK.”
The use of the City’s historic setts and cobbles has been welcomed by the Inverness Architectural Association. The Association’s President, Calum MacLean said: “There are a lot of new ideas being showcased at the Housing Expo, not just the buildings, but also the streetscape and the ways in which development and its pavements and roads have been designed and laid out.
“The blend of old and new materials creates a look that is fresh and exciting. It works on many levels. In environmental terms we are reclaiming materials instead of using new. Socially we are reclaiming the public realm for pedestrians and residents and using these materials to reduce the impact of cars, rebuilding a sense of community. In terms of character and identity we are reclaiming part of the town’s history.”
Chair of Scotland’s Housing Expo Board, Councillor Jean Urquhart said: “Visitors will be able to see the cobbles and setts as part of many decorative and construction features that form the Expo development landscape. It’s fantastic to be able to recycle Old Inverness to create a new, vibrant and exciting community.”