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Stranraer's Castle Upgrade

NEARLY £450,000 is to be spent renovating and upgrading Stranraer's Castle of St John.

Lion's share of the cash, £288,500 is coming from the Heritage Lottery Fund with Dumfries and Galloway Council, the Landfill Tax and, it is hoped, Historic Scotland contributing the rest.

By far the biggest share of the money, around two-thirds, will be spent on the fabric of the building.

When major renovation work was last done on the castle in the late 1980s, some of the plasterwork, which made the interior look better, trapped moisture so that dampness is now a major problem. John Pickin, curator at Stranraer Museum, explained:

"It was great work but it also created a lot of problems mainly to do with dampness".

Plasterwork will be removed to allow the walls to breathe. The hope is that after four of five years, a decision can then be taken about replastering or leaving the walls bare.

In addition the roof parapet is to be removed together with the bell tower to allow a proper damp course to be installed. So that everything can be put back in proper order, individual stones will have to be numbered and a record taken of where they go.

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