Earlier this year, I was asked to help in the restoration works of this building by a colleague. There are several reasons why this building has inspired me.
Despite being built in 1690, Buckie House is still standing today. When Buckie House was built, most buildings in Europe were built with stone and clay mortar - materials which can easily cave in to neglect and climate changes over time. A lot of tourists visit Anstruther and as these pass by Buckie House cracks on the wall and damage to the shells have been the result of 80-90 years of heavy road traffic. Aside from these “wear-and-tear” consequences, Buckie House has also survived changes brought about by modernization. Some buildings in the Anstruther area have been demolished, abandoned or used for purposes other than the initial reasons for putting them up. For example, according to an appraisal report by Arc-Architects, “a magnificent medieval church in Anstruther Western was reduced in the 19th century, changed into a church hall in 1963 and is now marked for foreclosure.” Through the years, the city council has made decisions regarding infrastructure in this part of Scotland to satisfy the need for more efficient land & property allocation.
Another battle Buckie House has won is aesthetic in nature. The house features various styles. Some shells are formalised in a pattern to mimic ashlar (large rectangular stones) whilst other areas have completely artistic patterns and form abstract designs, even a huge butterfly. Although it had been the trend in the 1900’s to decorate one’s house with shells, there is only a small handful remaining today. Changing fashion has seen the shells removed from many similar houses. For Buckie House, there has been much effort to maintain it and keep it as a landmark for this city in Scotland. Previous restoration works had been done on the house prior to the job I was asked to help out with. The public has been ...
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