Grantown has a unique heritage and as one of the most prominent planned towns and the home of Clan Grant it can tell much of Highland history. The story of the modern highlands follows on from the Jacobite rebellions and their aftermath. It is a product of the Age of Enlightenment. It highlights the political and practical responses to the problems of Highland land use, over population, famine and poverty in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. It continues with the Victorian love of the Highlands and the revival, subsequent decline and current revitalisation of Highland communities.
The town and the surrounding countryside illustrate many elements of Highland history. The plan of the town and the architecture of many of the buildings support Professor Smout’s assertion that it is one of the most interesting and best preserved of all Scotland’s five hundred or so planned settlements. The new regality cross points to the unique ceremony of the transfer of the Market Cross from Old Grantown to the New town.
The clock on the orphanage building in the centre of the Square was built with funds originally destined for sufferers from napoleon’s campaign in Russia. From here not one but two regiments were raised during the Napoleonic Wars. Here saw the last appearance of the Fiery Cross in the Highlands as it was sent out to raise the clansmen in 1820 to rescue Lady Grant trapped in her house in Elgin by an angry politically motivated mob. There are many many such stories to be told and further witnessed by the roads and bridges, the forests and farms, the castles and churches and the important prehistoric sites. The Award winning Grantown Museum helps tell and interpret some of these stories.