STAY-AT-HOME holidaymakers can now find information on more than 50,000 places of interest right here in the Highlands, at the click of a mouse.
A new website can direct visitors to anything from a petrol station dating back to the 1950s to one of the country’s remotest phone boxes.
The site, which went live yesterday, provides a database of more than 50,000 historic buildings, archaeological sites and finds dating from prehistory to the present day.
Developed by Highland Council’s planning department, the resource not only catalogues a diverse range of historical sites but also one or two more quirky attractions and items.
Take for example the 1950s petrol station at Brora, Sutherland. Users who stumble upon this “monument” are welcomed with a page of information including pictures, exact location and a blurb on the site which boasts two pumps. A group of World War II accommodation blocks can be found at Portmaculter and the miniature castle at Achmelvich is another curiosity.
Welcoming yesterday’s launch Highland Council’s planning chairman Ian Ross called the source an “evolving record of information and knowledge”.
He added: “Our officers are constantly improving the record as new information comes to light.”
Noel Fojut, head of archaeology at Historic Scotland, which provided a quarter of the £40,000 cost of creating the site, said: “In recent years we have been working with several partners to make the information about the historic environment, held in almost every council area in Scotland, more accessible to a wider audience.”
He added that the Highland project had been so successful that it had already spawned a national initiative led by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland to improve collection and access to digital records of sites and monuments across Scotland.
Anyone who is interested in delving into Scotland’s historic past should log on at http://her.highland.gov. uk or visit www.highland.gov.uk/archaeology