Welcome to the Number 30 Blog

This blog will document the refurbishment of this beautiful building in Huntly town centre.

The eagerly awaited start of refurbishment work to Number 30 The Square, (former Cruickshanks building) has finally begun!

Whilst it probably feels like a long time since HDT purchased this building, it’s only a little over two years, during which time LDN Architects along with their Design Team have worked with HDT to design it, obtain Planning Permission, Listed Building consent and the Building Warrant then Tender for contractors. And crucially, significant funding has been secured in this time to carry out the work.

This complex process usually takes much longer than two years with numerous projects of this size taking many years to get to this point, so it’s great for the town that we’ve been able to get to this stage reasonably quickly.

The building schedule runs until December 2022, and then there will be a period for snagging and final fit-out, so its hoped that it will be fully ready in early Spring, 2023.

Through this blog, we will be able to regularly record the progress of the build with photos and information so everyone can see how the building work is developing.

Bancon Construction, who are carrying out the building work, have begun the full strip-out, which has revealed some of the fascinating history of this building, and a few surprises too. Old windows and door openings have been exposed, along with some well-preserved stonework to the wall of the former pend.

A Victorian stained-glass window has been revealed, which would have been in the original outside wall between the two buildings and inside the former pend. Although one pane is broken, this can be replaced, and the window kept in place.

Interesting items were found inside the walls which appear to have been placed there by builders around 1850, rather earlier than the datestone on the building of 1875. These artifacts will be re-installed in displays when the centre is completed.

The small figure is known as Frozen Charlotte, or sometimes they were called, Penny dolls. The name Frozen Charlotte apparently came from an American ballad about a little girl who was going to a Ball and didn’t want to cover up her pretty party dress with a coat, so she froze to death on the carriage ride. A little macabre, but historically quite fascinating. Only one is perfectly preserved, others were found to have missing pieces. The stone marbles are probably Victorian too.

Quite a large collection of very tiny (dolls house?) teapots, jugs and plates were inside the walls too and amazingly, even the teapot lids were preserved. These are only about 2cm high.

Over time, as the building was altered, spaces were enclosed, but the strip-out revealed a small hidden cupboard along with its brass coat hooks and wood panelling, giving a small vision of what the building would have looked like over 145 years ago.

More to follow soon…