Dean Castle Restoration Site Tours
Last week CBC STONE led the first site tour around the restoration works which are currently underway at Dean Castle, with further tours scheduled to take place on a 4 weekly basis.
East Ayrshire Leisure staff went on a trial run of the tour, which will take members of the public to areas of the Castle which are not normally accessible to the public, including the battlements. Stonemasons are currently at work in this area removing cement mortar from the pointing - this will be replaced in time by lime mortar which is more suitable for historic buildings. Since no power tools are allowed to be used, this difficult and time consuming task must be carried out entirely by hand! Although it was exciting to be up on the roof of the castle, Friday’s cold and blustery and conditions were far from ideal for this type of work. The project also involves installing new plumbing, heating and electrics within the Palace and Keep and some of the challenges of carrying this out while preserving the historic panelling and ornate plaster within the building were explained.
Participants will meet at the Visitor Centre in the Country Park to hear about the history of the Castle and its inhabitants before joining CBC Stone’s Project Manager for a tour of the restorations.
Since the Castle is a live building site, there are some stipulations and health and safety rules which must be followed and these are explained at the start of every tour. The tour also involves climbing around 80 steps in quite confined spaces and therefore if you are claustrophobic or have health concerns this may not be the ideal tour for you. But if you are fit and over 18 years of age it is well worth coming along. If you would be interested in taking the tour, which is free, the next one will take place on 19th April and then 4 weekly thereafter. Tours are from 11.30am-1pm, please show tickets at the visitor centre.
Please wear sturdy shoes. Hard hats etc will be supplied. 10 people maximum.
To book call 01563 554300 and ask for Castle Tour booking or book online here
This project is funded by East Ayrshire Council, East Ayrshire Leisure, Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic Environment Scotland.