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« Back to 2001 News Archive

Castle of St. John Restoration

STRANRAER’S Castle of St John could be the subject of a half-million pound makeover, if ambitious proposals get the go-ahead.

Plans have been announced to restore the Castle and turn it into a leading tourist attraction.

Already, architects have made investigations into the Castle and its potential as an attraction for visitors to the area. Initial exploratory work on the fabric of the building itself should begin in a couple of months.

Architects called in to look at ways of developing the structure have called it a "unique building" with respect to its changing nature, position within the town and the unique open exercise yard on the roof of the building.

Originally a tower house for important landowning families, it later became a prison and is currently a museum.

Problems are now being faced with dampness due to the modern concrete pointing. Replacement limework will be part of the upgrading process — if a successful bid for funding can be made.

Speaking to the "Free Press," Architect Gordon Fleming of Ayr-based ARP Lorimer and Associates said

"We are going to make an application for half a million pounds.
"That will be going to a number of bodies such as the lottery and heritage funding groups.
"An initial application will be made in about two months time which, if successful, will allow us to proceed with the project"
.

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