TINKERS’ Heart in Argyll has become the first site relating to the traveller community in Scotland to be officially recognised as being of national cultural significance.
Historic Scotland has officially added the formation of quartz stones in Argyll known as Tinkers’ Heart to the schedule of National Monuments.
The document was signed by the Director of Heritage Management Barbara Cummins.
She said: “It has taken a long time to get to this point and I’m delighted that we’ve finally been able to add Tinkers’ Heart to the Schedule of Monuments of National Importance.
“I’d like to express my sincere thanks to all those who contributed to our public consultation, which allowed my team to gather enough new evidence to ensure that the decision to schedule the site was the correct one.
“Particular mention should also be given to the petitioner, Jess Smith, to local community group Here We Are, who were extremely helpful and encouraging throughout the whole process, and the landowner.
“It has been well documented that Historic Scotland originally chose not to schedule the site when it was originally assessed.
“The persistence of a group of campaigners, persuaded us to carry out an internal review of our processes.
“In doing so we came to the conclusion that understanding of the material heritage of Scottish Travellers is not as advanced as it could be, and so we launched a consultation exercise to gather up more evidence, and made the first steps with academic partners to explore this somewhat neglected area of Scottish culture.
“I believe that the end result is not only the landmark recognition of this traveller site but also the introduction of a new methodology which I hope will pave the way for how we undertake our work in future.”
Following the original decision not to schedule the site, a review of the process was undertaken and an extensive public consultation carried out by Historic Scotland, asking anybody with information relating to the site to get in touch.
At the same time, interested parties such as the landowner, local community group Here We Are, and the Heart of Travellers group, were contacted by Historic Scotland for their views and to try to outline a collective vision for the site.
Thanks to the quality of the evidence gathered, Historic Scotland decided to place the Heart on the Schedule of Monuments of National Importance, which they maintain on behalf of Scottish Ministers.