Townlands Barn, Cromarty


The Townlands Barn is a category A Listed building of two storeys and attic. Originally built in 1694/5 as laird’s house known as Sandilands House, it is partly concealed behind two later, and less distinguished, single storey extensions. Much of the original interior of the residence was lost when the building was converted to agricultural use some time after 1812. Use of the buildings ceased a number of years ago and have since lacked maintenance and been vandalised.

Following Townlands Barn coming into community ownership in 2018, Cromarty Community Development Trust (CCDT), which is a not-for-profit company set up by Cromarty & District Community Council to carry out projects that benefit the community,  is tasked with trying to find a viable future for the building.


In 2004, the Trust commissioned a feasibility study into the restoration of the Townlands Barn in order to establish whether there was a viable new use for the property, whether it was repairable, and crucially, whether funding would be available to cover the conservation deficit. The study confirmed residential use would be the most viable option for the repair and re-use of the property and consultations with the principal funding agencies sought support for the proposed scheme to whether it would be eligible for grant assistance. The building was acquired by Highland Small Communities Housing Trust as part of a wider land acquisition for residential development on the backland site, in partnership with Albyn Housing Association. Whereas the Trust was open to enquiries regarding partnership opportunities for this project, it met challenges in sourcing funding by Historic Scotland and the Heritage Lottery Fund towards residential schemes in rural locations. The property was placed on the market for sale and it is understood to have been purchased with a view to creating a residential care home.

Design Team

LDN Architects Conservation Architect and Lead Consultant
Torrance Partnership Quantity Surveyors
AF Cruden Associates Structural Engineers
Graham and Sibbald Chartered Surveyors


Funding towards the feasibility study was secured from the Architectural Heritage Fund and Ross and Cromarty Enterprise.

Funding was secured from the following organisations: