Craigforth statue gets new home
Decorative stonework associated with Stirling’s historic Craigforth House has a new home.
It has emerged that the unicorn statue, which had stood within the grounds of the B-listed building for many decades. was transferred to Bannockburn House last August.
A city resident, who regularly walks through the grounds of Craigforth House, this week contacted the Observer to point out that the unicorn was no longer there.
It followed concerns expressed earlier this year over vandalism at the former M&G (Prudential) Craigforth campus, of which Craigforth House was part.
Security had been stepped up after walkers in the vicinity contacted the newspaper about smashed windows and graffiti at the former office complex.
Concern had also been expressed that the 17th century Craigforth House could be prone to vandalism.
This week Stirling resident Gillian Christie said: “I first came across [the unicorn] in March 2021 when walking through Craigforth with a friend.
“The statue had stood on a raised area in front of a lead tank. I recently met someone over in Cambusbarron, now in their early sixties, who remembers the unicorn when he was growing up in Stirling.
“Judging from local stories I would say that the unicorn had been there for some decades, perhaps a century.”
A spokesperson for Wolfcraig Distillery, a £15million development planned within the Craigforth site, told the Observer this week it was now at Bannockburn House.
M&G (Prudential) last year moved to new offices at Kildean Business Park on the other side of the motorway and there are proposals to redevelop the Craigforth site.
A ‘demolition only’ building warrant for ‘a number of buildings’ at the Craigforth site was submitted by Ambassador Holdings LLP in November 2022. It is currently pending consideration.
A planning application submitted by
Ambassador LB Holdings Ltd for offices at the Craigforth site, submitted to Stirling Council in July 2020, including new access, car parking, landscaping and associated infrastructure had been approved in December 2020.
A further planning in principle application by the same applicant for the redevelopment of the Craigforth Campus comprising retail, leisure, public houses, restaurants, residential, hotel, care home, nursery, car parking, landscaping and associated infrastructure – also submitted in July 2020 – is awaiting a decision.
Plans for the Wolfcraig Distillery at the Craigforth site were refused planning permission in March last year.
But a Local Review Body appeal hearing in February was continued until May 25 ‘for new evidence and further representation from parties.
According to documents lodged, the Craigforth site is ‘owned by Wolfcraig Distillery applicant’ who is named on the application as ‘Jamie Lunn, Wolfcraig Distillery Limited plus Ambassador’.
A design statement submitted with Wolfcraig’s plans, which were submitted in June 2021, points out: “Wolfcraig Distillery Ltd were approached by Ambassador LB Holdings LLP in December 2020 who advised they had land within their Craigforth campus redevelopment proposal which was at planning permission in principle stage.
“It was concluded, following a period of design review, that the distillery complex developed for the [previous] Touch site could be adapted and mirrored to suit the proposed Craigforth location with benefit of direct access to service infrastructure (not available previously) and better connection to road network. Given a serviced site was being offered with direct roads access to point of entry, the distillery can be fully accommodated within a smaller site area with no adverse operational effect.
“The decision was therefore, taken to relocate the project to Craigforth and Ambassador LB Holdings LLP’S planning consultants, have held initial discussions with Stirling Council planning.”