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Historic Environment Scotland awards £68,500 funding to Historic Kilbride

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) has awarded £68,500 funding to Historic

Kilbride from its Covid Recovery Fund to support Scotland’s historic environment

sector from the impacts of the pandemic.

This funding will enable Friends of Kilbride to undertake Phase 3 of its programme of

restoration and renovation of the Kirk and Session House in Lerags Glen. This will

involve removal of the root bore of a large and invasive sycamore in the northwest

corner of the Kirk, and consolidation of the north wall, session house, and wall

heads. The sycamore root bore, from a tree felled ten years ago, has been identified

as presenting the most serious threat to the stability of the extant buildings, and at

present it is not possible to access either the session house or the north side of the

Kirk because of the danger of falling masonry.

The project follows on from Phase 2, in which the west gable wall was rebuilt and the

West door made safe. This was made possible by generous grants from the Caraig

Gael Wind Farm Community Trust and the Clan MacDougall Society of North

America. During those works, which took place in the summer, a trench was opened,

which revealed that the original cobbled floor of the Kirk is intact. It cannot, however,

presently be exposed and restored because of the ongoing risk of damage posed by

the sycamore root bore.

The works will be undertaken in early 2021 by stonemason Michael Hogg and

TreeWorks Oban. The project will be supervised by consultant architect Shauna

Cameron and consultant archaeologist Dr Clare Ellis of Argyll Archaeology.

Seymour Adams, Chair of Friends of Kilbride, said: “We are delighted to receive this

generous grant from Historic Environment Scotland, which recognises both the

importance of the ruins at Kilbride and the success of the first two phases of our

conservation programme. By the time the site reopens to the public in the spring,

local craftsmen will have transformed the visitor experience of Historic Kilbride,

despite the Covid 19 pandemic.”

Alex Paterson, Chief Executive at HES, said: “From museums in the Highlands to

historic venues and buildings in central Scotland and the Borders, we are pleased to

support a diverse range of projects the length and breadth of Scotland as part of the

Historic Environment Recovery Fund. By helping to protect jobs, reopen historic sites

and maintaining investment in traditional skills training and apprenticeships, we hope

to support the wider recovery of the sector and Scotland’s economy.”

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