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Strathleven Artizans commemorate Bannockburn 700th anniversary

Posted onJune 28, 2014

Strathleven Artizans commemorate Bannockburn 700th anniversary

Strathleven Artizans commemorate Bannockburn 700th anniversary

Strathleven artizans unveil reconstructed throne of Robert the Bruce to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn

Strathleven Artizans will today unveil a spectacular reconstruction ofRobert the Bruce’s Throne to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn. The stone will be unveiled tonight at a private event in Dunfermline Abbey and will be on display this weekend as part of Bannockburn Live.

The project, which has taken eight years to reach fruition, began as an idea hatched by local history collective Strathleven Artizans when a 700 year old tree, reputed to have been planted by King Robert the Bruce fell at Strathleven House in the winter of 2005.  Inspired by the rich history of the tree the group set out to salvage it in this landmark endeavour.  They enlisted the help of some of Scotland’s finest craftsmen including world-renowned wood carver and sculptor John Donaldson, architectural patternmakers Pollock Davies, Bridge of Weir Leather and embroidery from automotive interior specialists Transcal. Historic Scotland assisted with the traditional skills elements of the project.

The throne will be displayed for the first time this evening at a private ceremony hosted by the Earl of Elgin of the Name of Bruce in Dunfermline Abbey before making it’s way to the National Trust for Scotland’s Battle of Bannockburn visitor centre as part of Bannockburn Live.


Duncan Thomson, Chairman of Strathleven Artizans said,

Strathleven Artizans have worked since 2006 to promote Robert the Bruce, his family and the period in which he lived in our area. Robert the Bruce is one of Scotland’s best-known monarchs, and his story has captivated people for generations. We hope that in tirelessly reconstructing his throne to commemorate the 700th anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn we once again bring the great monarch’s story to life, not only to those who are familiar with it already but to a whole new audience and for future generations, still to learn. This project has been both a celebration of traditional skills and a tool for education for both young and old.”

David Mitchell, Director of Conservation at Historic Scotland said,

“We were pleased to be able to assist Strahleven Artizans with this project. While minimal evidence made it difficult to recreate a wholly authentic throne, the process of re-creating it and highlighting aspects of Bruce’s life are just as important in this case, and it will certainly be a talking point. Incorporating wood from sites across the country and further afield, the throne is a celebration of traditional skills and helps to tell Bruce’s story.”

The Throne has been a grass roots initiative, which has received the backing of Lord Elgin and his family who are the living decendedents of Robert the Bruce. It has caught the imagination of people with global press coverage as interest as it started to become a reality

Philip Barlow, Artizans’ Fundraiser and Strategist said,

“The project had captured the imagination of a range of people, from craftsmen to aristocrats, politicians and historians. The Throne project has been funded by the people for the people as a fitting commemoration to Robert the Bruce, King of Scots. This has been a grass roots initiative, which has been paid for by public and private donations from around Scotland and internationally. Donations can be made to the project at www.strathlevenartizans.com/throne

For your chance to see the throne, join the celebrations this weekend at Bannockburn Live, tickets still available online at www.ticketsoup.com/bannockburnlive or on 0844 481 8727.

Drum Castle Banchory hosts a display of fashion design

Posted onMarch 28, 2014

Drum Castle Banchory hosts a display of fashion design

Drum Castle Banchory hosts a display of fashion design

Drum starts new season in style

The National Trust for Scotland’s historic Drum Castle near Banchory takes a trendy turn this springtime, as it hosts a display of fashion design.

The small exhibition commences on 3 April when the castle re-opens to the public for the visitor season. It features the artwork for a bespoke series of t-shirts designed for Trust properties in the North East, Angus and Moray by students from Gray’s School of Art.

The pieces have been selected following a competition with the 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates studying the BA (Hons) Fashion and Textile Design.

Drum Castle’s beautiful library will be the setting for the simple exhibition of the 13 pieces. The library is currently under wraps while a repair and restoration project concludes on the castle’s medieval tower, providing a neutral backdrop to the unusual, bold and beautiful designs.

Drum Property Manager and project manager, Alison Burke said:

“We’ve tapped into the creativity of some of Scotland’s most promising fashion and textile students to provide a completely fresh take on Drum Castle and the Trust’s other gems in the North East and beyond.

“We asked students to come up with stunning designs that are inspired by those beautiful places, but which also come at these historic sites with a contemporary attitude.

“The winning designs are striking, individual and will look fantastic on t-shirts to be snapped up and sported by visitors to our properties, supporting new design talent and raising vital funds for the Trust’s conservation work at the same time.”

Thirteen of the exhibited designs, inspired by Brodie Castle, Castle Fraser, Craigievar Castle, Crathes Castle, Drum Castle, Fyvie Castle, Haddo House, House of Dun, Leith Hall, Mar Lodge Estate and Pitmedden Garden will be printed up on t-shirts which will be available for sale at selected Trust sites from 1 June 2014.

Drum Castle re-opens for the 2014 visitor season on 29 March. It offers a unique architectural combination in Scotland – a square tower, and a Jacobean mansion house with exuberant Victorian additions. Inside there’s a superb collection of furniture and fine paintings dating back to the days of the Irvine family who lived here from 1323 to 1975.

The medieval tower at Drum is currently under scaffold as major repairs are underway. The £700,000 project is funded by a grant from the National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA which was made possible by the generous support of an anonymous donor and Historic Scotland.

For more information on Drum’s huge range of activities, follow them on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/DrumCastleGardenEstate.


Repair Project for Gate Church International gets go ahead

Posted onAugust 14, 2012

Repair Project for Gate Church International gets go ahead

Repair Project for Gate Church International gets go ahead

The repair project at Gate Church International on Perth Road, Dundee, has got the go ahead!  The extensive programme of repairs to the external fabric of the building (spire, tower and the front of the building) will start on Monday 20th August, with the work scheduled to be completed by the end of the year.
The £154,876 repair project has been made possible by the generosity of several grant funders, including Historic Scotland (£51,911), Heritage Lottery Fund (£47,000), Scottish Churches Architectural Heritage Trust (£3,000) and the Baird Trust (£3,000).
Originally built in 1868 to the design of Frederick Thomas Pilkington, the building is an excellent example of mid-19th century church architecture by an important architect, and as such it is Category A listed. These essential repairs, which will restore structural stability and make the building watertight, will safeguard the future of the building for many years to come.
The project manager at Gate Church International, James Anthony, said: ‘It’s great news that we’re
getting started with these essential repairs, and we’re grateful for the generosity of each of the
grant funders. Throughout the repair project there will be no disruption to any of our weekend
church services or other activities. For those that are interested, you can find more information
about the repair project at www.gatechurch.co.uk.’
Colin McLean, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland said: “As well as being an architectural
landmark, Gate Church provides a gathering place for worshippers of all ages. The Heritage Lottery
Fund is delighted to be able to secure the future of this fine building so that it can continue to play
its valuable role improving the life of many in the community.”
Martin Fairley, Historic Scotland’s Head of Investment and Corporate Finance Policy said: “I am
delighted to see that this funding will help to protect the future of this A-listed church. It is really
important that we safeguard our Scottish architecture and heritage for future generations to enjoy.”

Click the photo below to play the video

Tay Hotel Dundee now Malmaison Dundee

Posted onOctober 23, 2009

Tay Hotel Dundee now Malmaison Dundee

Tay Hotel Dundee now Malmaison Dundee

The former Tay Hotel languished in limbo for a long time during the run up to the Waterfront Redevelopment. In 2009 Historic Scotland threatened to refer the redevelopment of the hotel to an ombudsman. It did not agree that a planned glass ceiling was in keeping with the character of the building. The building was subsequently bought by the Malmaison group and opened in 2014.

This short clip formed part of news round ups which were being tested in 2009. The clip has black and white title cards at the beginning and end which were dropped the next day. The Dundee Channel blue logo was introduced for the first time on 27 October 2009.





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