Caroline Graham-Watson proved her skills with a sledgehammer today as she made the first swing at the new Angus Folk Museum build site in Montrose.
Thanks to an ambitious National Trust for Scotland (NTS) project, the Angus Folk Collection is getting a new home at the House of Dun.
And Caroline, whose grandmother Lady Maitland of Burnside amassed the original collection for the museum, got to break ground on the project at the historic house this morning.
Underused space in the house’s courtyard is being converted to create the museum. Inside, the collection will tell the stories of the Dun Estate. It will also celebrate the county’s impact on Scotland’s history, and the lives of rural communities.
But the museum rehousing is just one aspect of the NTS’ largest project of 2021. The Trust’s aim is to convert the 793-acre House of Dun estate into a heritage park.
Vision for ‘Culzean of the East’
The work was initially delayed due to Covid-19 but the site is expected to open to the public in mid-June.
NTS says once the £714,000 refresh is complete, the House of Dun will feature multi-sensory exhibits. Subjects will range “from toys of the past and the Declaration of Arbroath, to hidden Jacobite secrets and agriculture heritage”.
It will also boast attractions such as costumed story-telling, new cafes and shops.
Shining a light on a hidden gem
NTS chief executive Phil Long says: “House of Dun presents wealth and extravagance alongside agricultural toil, with both important to the story of Scotland.
“This place is as much about the manicured, ornamental gardens that surround the Georgian house as it is Montrose Basin Nature Reserve and its abundance of wildlife. We love this place and we hope to shine a new light on a hidden gem.”