Corsee House, Nairn

2nd February, 2013

With a head full of the cold, and feeling more like it’s flu, we weren’t in the mood for going far from home.

So, here are some interesting things about Nairn:

Statue of Dr. John Grigor

Behind the Sports Club and the Police Station, just off the main route through Nairn and close to the bus station is the museum. Sadly closed for the winter it would seem.

But, situated outside Nairn Museum is the statue of Dr. John Grigor, a man for which Nairn owes much of it’s current day existence.

When Grigor returned to Nairn in the 1800s, the former ships surgeon, found an impoverished fishing and market town.

Born in Nairn, in 1814, the son of a town solicitor originally intended to follow in the family tradition and take up a professional in law. However, he changed direction in 1831 and took up the study of Medicine in Edinburgh.

After spending some time on board ship as surgeon, he had failed to make his fortune and returned to Nairn on the advice of his uncle. At this point Nairn had a shortfall in medical provision with a lack of surgeons and no hospital. He returned to Nairn in 1837.

Doctor, Ships Surgeon, and Pioneer

Doctor, Ships Surgeon, and Pioneer

Although he married, he did not have children, and dedicated his life to the improvement of Nairn. His sometimes controversial outlook made him an interesting character in Nairn but he was responsible for many fine buildings and spent a brief period as Provost.

He brought a clean public water supply to Nairn and built the first hospital, as well as some fine hotels as he turned Nairn into a tourist hotspot of the period, attracting folk from all over Europe to partake of Nairn’s ‘clean air’, good climate, and salt water baths promoting Nairn on its health benefits.

But, Nairn has much older links…

The Patron Saint of Nairn is Saint Ninian; thought to be the first Roman Catholic Apostle of Christianity in Scotland and responsible for bringing Christ to the Picts.

His exact date of birth is unknown but generally accepted to be in the 4th Century and it is believed he died around 432.

He is mentioned by Bede, the much revered (although often slightly floral in his accuracy) historian.

Nairn now boasts St. Ninian’s Football Club (not sure Saints played football…), St. Ninian’s Church, and even the masonic Lodge St. Ninian no. 575 on the roll of the Grand Lodge of Free & Accepted Masons of Scotland.

And, the Bowling Club which also stands next to the Museum.

The drive to the museum, past the police station etc, is lit by a number of the more traditional lampposts found in Nairn. In fact, you can see three different ones in the space of a hundred yards!

Historic lamp and post, originally from the railway station

Historic lamp and post, originally from the railway station

The oldest appears to be this fine copper example (above) which would appear to have been relocated from the railway station at some point.

Next to that, and mirrored on the other side of the drive, is one which carries the image of St. Ninian and the County motto:

Lamps depicting Saint Ninian, patron saint of Nairn

Lamps depicting Saint Ninian, patron saint of Nairn

Why it only shows the saint on two of the four sides and not even opposing ones is a bit of a mystery.

Our newest Nairn lamps

Our newest Nairn lamps

Most recently we seem to have acquired new lamp tops to the older posts.

These strange looking lamps are actually quite attractive although a row of copper ones would always be more impressive.

Behind the museum is a park with some very old trees which leads to the backs of Victoria Street.

Almost directly in line with the museum lies Corsee House, once a nursing home, it is now boarded up although a recent addition appears to be a residential caravan so perhaps it has been bought from the council and will shortly undergo renovations…

Corsee House, Nairn

Corsee House, Nairn

The imposing facade of the house can easily been seen from the park and it appears it has remained empty since mid 2010.

Sidewall was once and internal wall of the structure

Sidewall was once and internal wall of the structure

Ground floor extension to the rear, possibly housing the heating system?

Ground floor extension to the rear, possibly housing the heating system?

According to the Council’s website the asking price was for offers over £275,000 which is not small change.

Although it is a substantial property for the money, it will require a lot more invested in it to return it properly to its formal glory.

Like many of the large empty properties in Nairn, we shall keep and eye on it, and await its fate.

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4 thoughts on “2nd February, 2013

  1. Hello Janet, I think the lamp with St. Ninian might be the Provosts Lamp, I am sure there two. The last place I knew them was above the door of Roonie Watson shop at the top of the high street brae on the corner with Church Street. I am pretty sure Fred Knowles was Provost prior to Ronnie Watson. Thanks for the photos amd memories. Regards from a very hot dry New Zealand, Min Walker (Davidson)

    • Thanks for looking at my blog. Yes, there are two. One either side of the road up to the museum. Nairn seems to be intent on having as many different lamps as possible! Every road seems to be different.

      It’s snowing here at the moment, but I’m not sure I’m envious of your hot New Zealand weather.

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