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Cromarty Gardening Allotments - Cromarty Estate Old Walled Garden?
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Cromarty Gardening Allotments - Cromarty Estate Old Walled Garden?

The recently formed Cromarty Allotments and Gardens Society is looking for ground around the town which might be suitable (and available) for allotments and as a community garden where those without land of their own can grow their own produce, flowers and fruit. It's pretty difficult to find somewhere which is large enough and within the environs of the town so that access is easy.

This photo shows a piece of land that the society feels is absolutely ideal for the purpose - the old walled garden adjacent to the Brewery. It's handy for all, very sheltered and sunny, and having been used for a very similar purpose in the past, would be a relatively easy piece of land to get back into good order. Sadly, though it has lain fallow and unproductive for many years, the owner is not currently supportive of the idea of a community garden here. Hopefully he'll change his mind.

In the meantime, you can learn more about the society and its aims on the new web site - www.cromartygardening.com. If you'd like to join, or have any suggestions about suitable land, please contact the society's secretary.

View picture #1138 and picture #989 for an idea of how it used to look.
Picture added on 03 June 2009
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Cromarty House and Gardens
Is this what used to be known as "the big gairdens?" I remember going with Mam and Granny to buy fruit and veg there and can still smell the tatties. All the produce was weighed out on an old fashioned scale. I hope the CA&GS gains permission to use the land.
Added by Margaret Tong on 04 June 2009
Who owns the walled garden?
Anonymous comment added on 06 June 2009
I cannot help thinking that Henrietta the pig will be reincarnated and flying before you get to use this piece of land. Hamish Stewart allowed me to keep a borrowed pony, Tigger, in here before he reluctantly sold it. I fenced off the yew tree by the burn to avoid poisoning and picked up every fragment of broken glass from that ancient greenhouse shown in the old photograph. Within weeks I was told that the new owner was afraid my pony might eat precious plants and given trotting orders to find somewhere else to keep him. He would have kept the grass manageable and would certainly not have eaten the only remaining plant I could see; a white jasmine on the wall of the greenhouse. We moved him, courtesy of Sandra's dad, to the daffodil field; what a kind gentleman he was. Mr MacFarlane was always willing to help me with ponies and I still have the tiny tartan head collar he gave me for Biscuit.
Added by Ann Hill on 08 June 2009
Sadly, it looks like you're right, Ann. I've also added a picture of the other section of the walled garden which is also unused - see picture #2394. That section, whilst more shaded than the picture above, would still make a pretty good community garden area for allotments. Ah, well.
Added by Colin Dunn on 08 June 2009
On reflection I can see how a bit of feudal cap-doffing and the handing over of every tenth carrot could have had it's attractions !!!
Added by Ann Hill on 09 June 2009
Whose Land Is It Anyway??? Perhaps it is time now for the people of Cromarty to register with the Community Right to Buy process, established under the Land Reform Act of 2003, whereby communities can buy out their landlords. See more info here - www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2004/06/19478/38602 - or ask your Community and Highland Councillors about this.
(Lights blue touchpaper and retires to safe distance....)
Added by Sheila Currie on 09 June 2009
The walled garden is part of the Cromarty Estate, so is owned by Nightingale plc.
Added by Colin Dunn on 09 June 2009
Perhaps I should clarify that the 'walled garden' shown in Colin's photograph is, indeed, part of the Cromarty estate. If you look at picture #678 (an aerial view), you will see that land within the wall is divided into four sections. We own the easternmost portion next to the Causeway (Old Manse/Old Orchard), Chris Smith is in the Garden House (middle section with bright blue bits), and the uppermost section near the burn is the 'walled garden' shown in Colin's photo. The Cromarty Estate also owns the long rectangular section between the border of trees and the three areas mentioned above.
Added by Kristina Dupar on 10 June 2009
I have spoken to the owner, John Nightingale, about this. He points out that it is zoned for housing in the Local Plan and he does not want any sitting tenants there in case he decides at some point to develop it. However he has no plans to build there at the moment. I suggested a lease for a period of years but he was not able to offer that.
I understand his position but I feel it is a great pity that it's sitting there untended when there is such a need for land to grow food. How on earth did it ever get zoned for housing?!
Added by John Wood on 21 June 2009
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Cromarty House and Gardens

James, Catherine and Anne ClarkCromarty House Drive - c1980Cromarty House Drive - c1980Cromarty House WellCromarty House WellWorking at 'the Berries' in Cromarty House gardensTaking a break at 'the berries'Cromarty House GardensCromarty House - c1920Warships leaving the Firth