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Leighton Library, Dunblane

Scotland's oldest purpose-built library founded in 1687

Leighton Library Restoration

If you'd like to donate to the Leighton Library Restoration Appeal please click on this link to the Leighton Library Restoration Appeal JustGiving page


A message from Richard Deacon CBE, Turner Prize Winning Sculptor

"The Leighton Library is a little jewel, vitally important in the history of Scottish learning and, as the first purpose-built library in Scotland, a marker for the public spread of knowledge. Humble on the outside, it is rather like Dr Who's Tardis with riches within, enabling travel in time and space. It would be a tragedy for it not to be maintained"


Spring 2024 - Preparing for reopening in May 

From the start in January 2023, it was anticipated restoration work would take around six months. However, once the 1990s cement-based harling was removed, it became evident that the building was in much worse condition than we hoped, as the harling had trapped moisture within the walls. This more than doubled the time required and resulted in a significant rise in costs.

The work involved removing the existing modern cement based harling from all four walls, rebuilding the north chimney and repairing the bulging wall underneath it, repairing the south chimney, repairing the slate roof with matching old Scots tiles sourced locally, restoring the missing crowsteps on the south gable and generally repairing stone work, doors and windows. 

As of March 2024, the exterior restoration has been completed, with just the cartouche and lime harling remaining to be done. The building is now watertight, but needs to dry out before any lime harling can be applied. This may take up to two more years.

The marble cartouche has been carefully restored and will be reinstated in place later in 2024. The book collection has now been returned to the building and each volume is being cleaned and assessed before going back in its home. We plan to reopen to visitors on 25 May 2024.

What do we need the money for?

The building is as important as the books -it was built to house them in 1687 and it urgently needed repair to the fabric:

  • Replace the cement based harling and replace with breathable lime harl
  • Take down and repair the marble cartouche
  • Repair the roof, leadwork and rainwater system
  • Repair the stonework, windows and doors
  • Restore the Undercroft to become a visitor/exhibition/performance space
  • The building fabric repair costs will be around £500,000
        Dalymple Donaldson Fund


Donations gratefully received to date:   Total £472,078





Historic Environment Scotland£188,000
Miss Geraldine Goddard bequest £100,000
J Malcolm Allan
Western Ferries (Clyde) Ltd
Clackmannanshire & Stirling Environmental Trust£22,500
HR Creswick's Charitable Trust
Mrs Geraldine Kirkpatrick's Charitable Trust
Miss Williamina Walpole Bequest
Stafford Trust
Dunblane Windfarm
Pilgrim Trust
Local Fundraising
PayPal donations
The Dalrymple Donaldson Fund
Just Giving£2,260
The Tay Charitable Trust£2,000
The Swire Charitable Trust£20,000
The Barrack Charitable Trust£1,250
Other donations£10,500
Binks Trust£2,000
The Dunclay Charitable Trust £1,000
The Aurelius Charitable Trust£2,000
The Turtleton Charitable Trust£30,000
The Idlewild Trust£4,685

Public Appeals

Leighton Library has a 1628 edition of "De miraculis occultis naturae libri IIII" by Levinus Lemnius

Added by Leighton Library at 06:16 on 20 May 2024

Leighton Library has a 1628 edition of "De miraculis occultis naturae libri IIII" (The secret miracles of nature) by Dutch physician and author Levinus Lemnius who was born #OnThisDay 20 May 1505. Thi...
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