I thought it was time to go for the castle's Great Hall right in the core of the building. To my mind, the castle is not truly alive until its heart has been re-animated. I have appended the content of my GoFundMe page for posterity below, but you can follow the link directly to the actual page here.
I am raising money to restore Balintore Castle's Great Hall. I bought this A-listed property in Angus, Scotland 13 years ago from the local Council, on condition that I save the building. This has now been achieved: the roof has been fixed, new floors and new windows have been installed.
However, at the very heart of the building lies the cavernous, magnificent and sadly ruinous Great Hall, which is too costly for me to restore as an individual.
I would love to be able to restore this room in my lifetime and friends have repeatedly pestered me to obtain external funding. Now that I have consolidated the exterior of the castle, at great personal cost, the time is indeed right.
The Great Hall is a triple height space which could be used as a music venue, a theatre, a cinema, or as an events space, hosting exhibitions, and workshops. In short, not only does it represent internationally important architectural heritage, but it could be a great community resource.
A externally contracted restoration of the Great Hall could easily cost £1m. However, I reckon I can bring it in at £100k, using the money-saving principles I have learned from restoring the other areas of this castle i.e. employing good local craftsmen directly, using reclaimed materials and auctions to obtain fixtures and fittings. I appreciate £100k is a big ask but for an individual to take on such a large project was also a big ask. :-)
A particular challenge will be the plasterwork ceiling, of which around 50% survives. The plan is to use the opportunity to train apprentices and local tradesmen in the traditional skills, to ensure their continuation.
I hope you will donate to this great endeavour. Anyone who donates will be very welcome to visit: to see how far we have come; the work in progress; and how far we have to go.
|The Great Hall in 2007. This was open to the elements - note snow on the ground!|
The Great Hall in 2020 - taken from ground level
The Great Hall in 2020 - looking down from principal bedroom floor.
Windows blocked up and roof propped
The story so far can be read here .
Dr. David John Johnston 13th July 2020