Preparations for restoration of Dunblane's historic Leighton Library get underway
Added at 11:01 on 18 October 2022
Preparations for restoration of Dunblane's historic Leighton Library get underway on 24 October 2024
Under starter’s orders!
The pedestrian gateway, which has been closed for years, has now been opened and a lock and door handle fitted. The water supply has also been secured with the installation of an outside tap on the wall of the old stable. Most significantly, the tree surgeons came to remove the trees at the north and east side.
Just before the tree surgeon arrived……
After the surgery...
We were very pleased at such a tidy job by K.B Trees and Hedges. It is interesting to see the windows clearly and to note the ‘blast wall’ under the windows. There has been speculation this was built as protection during WW2, when the Undercroft was designated as the Minister’s air raid shelter, but recent opinion is that it is older, probably Victorian (and helps hold up the Library!).
It is well known that it is extremely difficult to obtain genuine old Scots slate, as quarrying ended in 1955. We have been fortunate to obtain a good quantity of old Aberfoyle slates. Aberfoyle was the third most important slate quarry and the location of some of the highest quality Scottish slate. As the quarry was remote, the workers lived near it. What was once a whole village, ‘The Aberfoyle Cottaries’ is now gone and only one cottage remains.
Making a record of the restoration
It is unfortunate that from when the Library was last restored, almost no records exist of the condition before and the work carried out, beyond some photos of the north wall. This time, we are carefully recording the building condition before work commences and making a step by step record of the work as we go along. This is regarded as important , both as a historical record but also to show what was done for future guardians of our precious building. We also think it is important that we keep our friends, supporters and the local community informed of progress.
On 24 October, the book collection and the ‘twelve chairs of turkie leather’, plus the framed American Atlas maps will be professionally packed and taken to secure storage. A team of volunteers will help get the library room ready the day before the packers arrive.