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Cycling across the Scottish Highlands coast to coast from Aberdeen to the West Coast in May I recorded a few of the outposts that we came across.

The Sawmill in a previous post was part of this collection.

Most were utilitarian buildings, and many were abandoned or closed-up to protect them.

There is something I love about abandoned buildings.

I look for the ‘low road’ structures, the ones that tell us a powerful story about how they were used, and the people that might have lived or worked there.

They tell us about the budget the builders had available.

They tell us about what social aspirations the developer had.

They tell us about the difficulties of building on that site.

They tell us if the use was functional or formal.

They tell us what sort of weather dominates an area and from which direction it comes.

They are a good barometer for social, aesthetic and environmental change.

In our work dealing with rural buildings and renovation, they also inspire me to keep looking at the vernacular and traditional for inspiration.

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