Thursday, April 30, 2009

" Mud" house in Scotland wins top heritage award

Traditional materials and skills were used to restore the house

A rare mud house which was falling apart and due to be demolished has won a top international heritage award after being saved and restored.

The 19th century building in Logie, near Montrose, was used as a school and a church but fell into disrepair.

The National Trust for Scotland stepped in and turned it into a home for rent.

It has now been given a Europa Nostra Award, regarded as one of the highest accolades in building conservation in Europe.

Judges were impressed by the way the trust minimised changes to the building wherever possible and used traditional materials and skills to carry out vital repairs during the £390,000 restoration project.

Although it is called a mud house, it is actually made from straw and clay.

It is one of the most complete surviving examples of a mudwall building in Scotland.

National Trust for Scotland (NTS) Chief Executive Kate Mavor said: "Logie Schoolhouse is a first class demonstration of what the National Trust for Scotland contributes to Scotland.

The schoolhouse was ear-marked for demolition

"Our skill and expertise have conserved one of Scotland's most interesting and unusual buildings for the future.

"Thanks to our intervention, the building is now safe and secure and making an important contribution to the housing market in a rural area, providing accommodation for local tenants.

"It is wonderful that an esteemed body such as Europa Nostra has recognised the significance of this little building and our role in its preservation."

Throughout the restoration project, conservation experts organised workshops for people such as building experts and schoolchildren to spread knowledge of earth buildings and earth building techniques.

Sian Loftus, Little Houses Improvement Scheme manager at NTS, said: "The building is so rare and so interesting that it simply had to be saved for future generations.

"The trust is pleased to have played such an important part in securing its future and ensuring that the history and traditions of mud building continue into the 21st century and even beyond."

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