Penicuik pupils help with restoration work

Wednesday June 14th 2023

Penicuik pupils Penicuik Heritage Regeneration project

Penicuik pupils working on project last year.

Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson

Pupils from Beeslack and Penicuik High Schools have been given an opportunity to experience some hands on training repairing and restoring some areas of the stone boundary walls in St Mungo’s Churchyard in Penicuik. This is part of the final phase of the Penicuik Heritage Regeneration Project (PHRP) traditional construction skills training plan.

Craig Frew Conservation Ltd has been appointed to assist with the delivery of the plan which involves working with teachers and pupils who are being given expert instruction by experienced stone masons on how to rake out and repoint the stone walls using a traditional lime mortar mix. They are also shown how to replace weathered or damaged stone with new stone to match the original.

Pupils from Beeslack are working on the repairs the week beginning 12 June and students from Penicuik High School the week beginning 19 June for a week.

At the same time work is underway to repair the old Hearse House in the churchyard. This is a listed building that was built to house the old horse drawn Hearse carriage in 1800. It has over the years become derelict and in urgent need of restoration. The pupils will be able to see at close quarters the work and discuss the repair methods, techniques and materials used with the contractor. This work has been undertaken with a grant from the Governments Place Base Investment Fund .

Midlothian Provost Cllr Debbi McCall, who chairs the Heritage Regeneration Project team said:

“Many traditional skills are being lost as a result of experienced craftsmen retiring. Training in traditional construction skills is vital if we wish to protect and enhance our built heritage environment. It is very important that young people are given opportunities to gain an understanding of how to repair and restore historic buildings so that the skills are not lost and the buildings can be safeguarded for the future. This is an excellent project for our young people to be involved in, and I would like to thank all those who have helped make it possible.”

This project is part of the PHRP’s training plan and is a partnership between Midlothian Council, Historic Environment Scotland, The National Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by the Penicuik Community Development Trust, Penicuik and District Community Council and The Penicuik Historical Society.

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