Cas­tle re­opens af­ter ma­jor re­pair and ren­o­va­tion project

The Oban Times - - News -

DUNOLLIE Cas­tle has re- opened af­ter ren­o­va­tions cost­ing £260,000.

Col­laps­ing ma­sonry had ne­ces­si­tated ur­gent re­pairs to the 13th- cen­tury MacDougall clan seat. The so­cial en­ter­prise Dunollie Projects, to whom the cas­tle was gifted by the MacDougall of Dunollie Preser­va­tion Trust in 2013, had to raise the cash to make the an­cient van­tage point of the Kings of Dal­ri­ada safe for vis­i­tors.

The team be­hind Dunollie Mu­seum, Cas­tle and Grounds closed the build­ing while they found fund­ing from the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund, His­toric En­vi­ron­ment Scot­land, visi­tor do­na­tions and the Clan MacDougall So­ci­ety of North Amer­ica.

The work to re­move ivy, sta­bilise walls and build three new in­ter­pre­tive cairns was com­pleted last week.

Staff and donors cel­e­brated as Oban High School vol­un­teers at Dunollie cut the rib­bon into the cas­tle vault on Fri­day, to the tune of Ros­alie MacDougall’s Wel­come to Bris­bane, played by clan piper’s son Don­ald MacDougall.

‘Look at it: it’s fab­u­lous,’ said Jane Isaac­son, Dunollie’s sus­tain­abil­ity de­vel­op­ment man­ager. ‘It’s the heart of Dunollie. It’s been dif­fi­cult while it was closed. It’s been a huge job to get the fund­ing.’

Robin MacDougall Mor­ley, son of the cur­rent chief, Morag MacDougall of MacDougall, added: ‘We’re im­pressed. This is the big­gest change I’ve known.’

Oban High vol­un­teers Harry John­ston, Toby MacFar­lane-Bar­row, Lorn MacFar­lane, Ka­t­rina Pick, Alan Kerr, Ni­cola MacCal­lum and Caitlin Cook and, above, Me­lanie Davies, community en­gage­ment of­fi­cer, gets a bird’s eye view of the work.

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