Time to improve The Square?

Kintore’s 18th century Town House is an imposing centrepiece to the town which was granted its first Royal Charter in the 12th century.

It is all the more noteworthy because of its double curved stairway to the council chamber on the first floor. This double outdoor stairway is reminiscent of European town houses. Many a rathaus or hotel de ville features a double stairway.

kintore town house
A paved concourse would do much to enhance The Square and the Town House

I was admiring the town house just this morning when I was in The Square to get my P&J. I was there early enough to beat the conversion of the Town House concourse into a car park. After 9 am there are usually a number of cars that drive round the chain over the drop-kerb that is presumably meant to keep cars out.

The surface of that concourse is old tarmacadam which has seen better days.

Surely – given improvement projects that have taken place elsewhere in Aberdeenshire – it is about time that this concourse was improved, to show off the Town House and The Square to best advantage.

The concourse could be laid out in granite cobbles or paving slabs and, since there is a parking area behind the Town House, it would be sensible to close off the front to cars.

Would that we had the courage and the humour to do something like this French cobbled square, The corner is turned up to reveal a tartan-style pattern under the cobbles. Now that would be a feature to put Kintore Square on the map!

The Square in Kintore is something special but it is looking a little run down. It would take very little to give it an upgrade to make it a real hub befitting the ancient Royal Burgh of Kintore.

  • The Town House in the centre of Kintore dates from 1747. Work began in 1737 soon after the Earl of Kintore was elected Provost and the cost of the construction was £850 Scots. The Town House stands on the old market stance on which the annual Marymass Fair was held. It contained a tolbooth (jail), a schoolroom, a council room and a house. There is some dubiety about the origins of the clock. Some say it was presented to the burgh by the Earl Marischal, others say that "Macphersons Clock" (as it was known in the 19th century) came from Banff.

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