South Scotland

'Architectural gem' near Ancrum to be restored

Ancrum monument Image copyright Phil Wilkinson
Image caption The building in the Borders is more than 150 years old

A restoration project is to start on an "architectural gem" hidden away in the Scottish Borders.

The Monteath Douglas mausoleum, near Ancrum, was built in 1864 but has fallen into disrepair since the death of the last family member in 1964.

Funding has been secured from a range of organisations in order to return it to its former glory.

David Freeman, of The Friends of the Monteath Mausoleum, said people would appreciate its history and fine design.

The building is the tomb of Gen Sir Thomas Monteath Douglas who chose its location on the top of Gersit Law.

Image copyright Phil Wilkinson
Image caption The restoration of the structure should be completed by late next year

It was constructed by local craftsmen, to a design by Edinburgh architects, Peddie and Kinnear.

After the death of the last family member more than 50 years ago broken roof windows and door panels have led to internal damage while exterior stonework has also become overgrown.

It is currently on the Buildings at Risk Scotland Register and is listed Grade B by Historic Environment Scotland.

Due to a lack of clarity over ownership, the Friends of Monteath Mausoleum was formed in 2014 to save the structure.

'Fine monument'

It has been awarded more than £100,000 toward the project from the Fallago Environment Fund, WREN's FCC Scottish Action Fund and BCCF Environmental.

The members have already worked hard on the building to remove ivy and weeds from the surrounding area.

Mr Freeman said: "This fine monument was deteriorating through neglect.

"It is in the same area as Peniel Heugh, Fatlips Castle and St Cuthbert's Way long-distance path, but poor access and the general state of the building meant that hundreds of people passed by on the A68 every day without knowing of its existence."

The restoration should be completed late next year and the mausoleum will be shut to the public during the work for health and safety reasons.

However, it is hoped paths can be kept open to allow visitors to enjoy the views in the area.

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