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Simpson and Brown appointed to co-write castle restoration guide

3 August 2009

Simpson and Brown, one of Scotland’s leading firms in conservation architecture, has been appointed to work in collaboration with Historic Scotland to prepare a guide on how to restore castles and tower-houses as part of the Agency’s Scottish Castles Initiative.

The contract to co-produce the text was awarded by Historic Scotland following a tender process which attracted entries from architectural firms throughout the UK and beyond.

Historic Scotland and Simpson and Brown will now prepare the guide which will outline the best conservation practices and act as a resource pack for prospective owners and developers. The guide will also contain the best examples of historic building restoration in Scotland.

Malcolm Cooper, Chief Inspector of Historic Scotland who is leading the Scottish Castles Initiative, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Simpson and Brown to the project team. Having one of the country’s most experienced architects to support the Initiative will assist us in delivering a guide which provides expert advice to anyone who wishes to restore a ruined castle or derelict tower-house.”

“We need to provide people including architects, developers, and potential buyers with information on how to effectively manage a successful restoration project. With Simpson and Brown on board – combined with our external reference group which brings together the country’s leading experts in construction, architecture and design – I am confident that together we will deliver an Initiative which welcomes investment in the historic environment and ensures that those projects are successfully completed.”

Tom Addyman, Partner at Simpson and Brown, said: “‘It is a great privilege to be involved in the production of this important publication.  We hope that it will define the standard by which conservation and restoration projects for castles and tower-houses can be undertaken, where best conservation practice is based upon firm understanding of traditional materials and construction, of the history of a given site, and of how such buildings can be creatively brought back to renewed life. I am sure this will become an invaluable resource for the prospective restorer.’

Culture Minister Michael Russell announced the Initiative in May this year and Historic Scotland has being carrying out an audit of prospective buildings suitable for restoration. The first round of buildings is expected to be released in August.

Supporting the announcement and the progress of the project, Marc Ellington, Historic Scotland’s Non-Executive director and Chair of the external reference group of the Scottish Castles Initiative, said: “Having been personally involved in a major castle restoration and being aware of the range of challenges faced in carrying out such a project, I am confident that the information, advice and guidance provided by this document will be of immense benefit to those contemplating or embarking upon the conservation and restoration of a Scottish Castle or Tower House.”

It is intended that the Guide will be available in early 2010.

Notes for editors

  • Image shows: Culture Minister Michael Russell and castle owner John Brennan at Barholm Castle in Dumfries and Galloway for the launch of the Scottish Castles Initiative on May 01, 2009.

  • Scottish Castles Initiative’s external reference group includes: Marc Ellington (Chair and NED); Mia Scott (Association of Preservation Trusts); Carol Swanson (Association of Local Government Archaeology Officers); John  Hunter (Scottish Castles Association); Geoff Stell (Castle Studies Group); Ben Tindall; Lachie Stewart; and Andrew Wright

  • 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. For more information visit

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873