22 April 2022

Iconic Macduff Cross to get major refurbishment

A major 12-week refurbishment of the iconic Macduff Cross is about to get underway.

Contractors Aberdeen Straight-Way Ltd were recently appointed by Aberdeenshire Council to undertake the enhancement project at the Cross – better known locally as ‘The Anchorage’.

Straight-Way - a not for profit organisation overseen by The Way Trust registered charity - will begin works on Monday (April 25) with completion expected in early July. 

A road closure will remain in place throughout the scheme, however it is business as usual for local businesses based in the area which will remain open throughout.

Macduff Cross was erected in its current form in 1783 by the Earl of Fife to mark the occasion of the town becoming a Royal Burgh. 

The present viewing platform and concrete steps appear to have been laid out in their current form in 1983 in celebration of the Cross’s bicentenary, however old photos and a painting show some sort of viewing area dating back to the 1900s. 

In recent times it’s been identified that the platform and landscaping surrounding the Cross are in need of improvement to address structural issues relating to the position of the monument on top of the coastal slope.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Environment Team commissioned Banff company Addison Conservation and Design to prepare initial ideas on how this important landmark might be improved in terms of the appearance of the platform beneath the cross and its general setting.

In early 2020 a public engagement exercise was carried out and a final design was agreed which resolved the structural problems and aimed to improve the area for locals and visitors alike. The forthcoming works will include the installation of a new footpath, seating, lighting and planting of wildflowers and broom to help stabilise the slope.

Christine Pert, of the council’s Historic Asset Monument Project, explains: “The viewing platform around the Cross is no longer fit for purpose, both physically and aesthetically so we will be removing the existing platform, repairing the Cross and base, and re-landscaping and improving the area of open space around both the Cross and anchor. 

“By removing the platform and introducing significant planting designed to stabilise the slope, the important historic landmark’s future will be secured for the benefit of all for many years to come.”