Funding boost for oldest Scottish theatre

18 February 2013
imports_CESC_0-j7gys7hp-100000_90263.jpg Funding boost for oldest Scottish theatre
Scotland's oldest theatre, the Theatre Royal in Dumfries, whose early supporters included Robert Burns, is to receive funding worth more than £24,000. ...

Scotland's oldest theatre, the Theatre Royal in Dumfries (pictured), whose early supporters included Robert Burns, is to receive funding worth more than £24,000. Historic Scotland's latest round of Building Repair Grants, totalling almost £600,000, will benefit historic buildings around the country, including two mills and a suspension bridge.

The Building Repair Grants scheme makes financial help available to property owners to meet the cost of high-quality repairs using traditional materials and specialist craftsman to conserve original features in buildings of special architectural or historic interest. In return, owners must maintain the building and allow some access to visitors.

The grants have been allocated as follows:

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  • John O'Groats Mill, Caithness - £221,316 - John O’Groat’s Mill is believed to be the last mill in Caithness to retain working machinery. Originally built as a threshing mill in 1750, it was rebuilt in 1901 as a corn mill. Between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries, Caithness was known for its corn production and exported meal to ports across Scotland and the rest of Europe.
  • Crichton Memorial Church, Dumfries - £175,528 - A late nineteenth-century cathedral style church, designed as part of the Crichton Lunatic Asylum.
  • Theatre Royal, Dumfries - £24,624 - The oldest theatre in use in Scotland and an extremely rare survival of an eighteenth-century theatre, with connections to Robert Burns. Designed by local architect Thomas Boyd in 1790-1792, and apparently modelled after the Theatre Royal in Bristol, the original building was a simple rectangular structure with a gabled front and a classical portico. 
  • St Fillan's Mill, Stirling - £38,703 - A nineteenth-century mill built in a romantic decorative style. Sited at the water’s edge next to the Bridge of Dochart, just off the main street, it is built on the site of a succession of grain mills which date back to ancient times.
  • Alexandra Suspension Bridge, Tain - £50,000 - An important decorative, wire-rope suspension bridge, the work of Rose Street Foundry Inverness 1902, the most important Highlands engineering foundry.
  • Roseburn House, Edinburgh - £76,878 - A tower house dating back to 1582. It is believed that there may have been an earlier house on the site as many interesting carved stones are incorporated into the walls. It is an important example of a multi-period mansion house with significant early fabric in its sixteenth-century tower.


Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: 'It is essential that we maintain our historic Scottish buildings which form such a key part of our streetscape and also attract tourists from around the world.

'We have such a variety of fascinating buildings which all contribute to our heritage and we need to ensure that we preserve them for future generations to enjoy and also learn about their past.'

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