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£1.5 million aid for historic buildings

19 August 2014

More than £1.5 million has been awarded to help repair seven historic buildings across Scotland as part of Historic Scotland’s Building Repairs Grants scheme.

The announcement was made by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, whilst on a visit to Hospitalfield House in Arbroath, which had itself been awarded £500,000 as part of the scheme.

Ms Hyslop said: “We are incredible lucky in Scotland to have a built heritage which is the envy of the world. By investing in these important buildings we are not just ensuring the protection of these vital, tangible connections to our past but also ensuring that they play a prominent role in the future of their communities.”

“Hospitalfield is a great example of a site which has served a range of purposes throughout its long and distinguished history and now, thanks to the support of Historic Scotland, Creative Scotland, and others, a new chapter in its history can be opened. I’m sure that Hospitalfield will serve as a cultural hub for the people of Angus for many years to come.”

The house has its origins as a medieval hospital, serving pilgrims visiting Arbroath Abbey. By 1813, when Walter Scott visited and was inspired to write his book The Antiquary, the house was part of the country estate of the Fraser family. Only thirty years later, artist Patrick Allan married the heir to the estate, Elizabeth Fraser, and the couple set out to remodel the house - a project that took over 70 years.

They created the wonderful interiors, vast Picture Gallery, and accumulated the important Victorian collections of painting, sculpture and furniture.  In 1890 Patrick Allan-Fraser died leaving the house and estate for the support of artists. it was here that painters such as James Cowie, Joan Eardley, Ian Fleming, Robert Colquhoun and Robert McBryde spent time working. Latterly, many art students from the four main Scottish Art Schools have benefited from use of the building.  

The legacy of the Allan-Fraser’s will live on as Hospitalfield upgrades its facilities to support the artists of the 21st century. It will continue to be a place for artists to develop and make new work but also to increasingly welcome visitors to enjoy the unique site and the programmes. The house and gardens will be open to the public on  6 & 7 September for Open Doors Day.

The Building Repair Grants Scheme exists to give financial aid to owners of buildings of special architectural or historical interest, in order to meet the cost of high-quality repairs, using traditional materials and specialist craftsmen, to conserve original features.

The recipients of grant funding in this round are:

  • Campbeltown Town Hall, Argyll and Bute £264,480  – 18th Century distinctive example of civic pride expressed through its architecture

  • Hospitalfield House, Angus £500,000 – With its origins as a medieval hospital, Hospitalfield became the 19th Century Scottish Baronial vision of artist Patrick Allan-Fraser and his wife Elizabeth

  • Aberdeen Music Hall,   £222,062 built in the early 19th Century, it is a prime example of Aberdeen’s monumental granite classicism. Still plays host over 5,000 events every year.

  • Castle of Mey, Caithness £193,440  – A listed, 16th Century building best known for its association with the Royal Family

  • The Haining House, Selkirkshire £371,260– comprises of a group of nationally important A-listed buildings, built in 1795 in the classical style

  • Craig Castle, Aberdeenshire, £13,598 – Castellated courtyard mansion, associated with the great Gordon family of Aberdeenshire

  • Hans Hamilton Tomb, East Ayrshire £7,490– rare example of 17th Century funerary architecture

Notes for editors:

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.

  • Scotland welcomes the world in the Year of Homecoming 2014 providing a year-long programme of events alongside the Ryder Cup and Commonwealth Games. The Year of Homecoming Scotland will run until 31 December 2014 throughout the length and breadth of the country. Visitors from around the world are invited to join in a celebration of the nation’s food and drink, active pursuits, cultural heritage, nature and ancestral heritage. Homecoming Scotland 2014 is a Scottish Government initiative being led by EventScotland and VisitScotland, supported by numerous partners. To find out more visit For more on Historic Scotland’s Homecoming activities visit or tweet us using #hshomecoming.

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For further information

John MacNeil, Media Relations Manager
Historic Scotland Media Office
0131 668 8714 or 07854 366 827