Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Railings return to Perth through restoration project

Perth, Scotland UK

A project to restore cast iron railings to many of Perth's historic and architecturally significant locations got underway in August. Starting with the AK Bell Library an important A-listed building.

It is hoped that the second phase of the project will focus on Atholl Street, close to the North Inch. The buildings here were constructed between 1807 and 1825 and are generally little altered in appearance from that time. The two principal terraces on Atholl Street are fronted by low stone walls, which, aside from some short stretches of railings at basement level, currently have only ironwork stumps visible. Replacing the railings here would put back an important missing part of the overall architectural design and enhance the route beside the North Inch.

At the turn of the last century, Scotland had been a world leader in the production and export of cast iron and its ready availability had resulted in the widespread use of boundary ironwork, with most principal routes in Scottish towns being lined with railings. In 1941, Perth lost most of its railings to the war effort. More than 60 years on, Perth & Kinross Council and Perth & Kinross Heritage Trust have been working on a scheme to replace the railings and enhance the appearance and character of the City.

Perth & Kinross Council's Enterprise & Infrastructure Convener, Councillor John Kellas said: "Perth has a strong architectural heritage and restoring the railings will contribute to that heritage being maintained for the long-term future."

The Heritage Trust plans to set up a targeted fund to address other areas requiring railing restoration in Perth, in conjunction with property owners and occupiers. "£45,000 has already been pledged subject to matching funding being generated, and other contributions are now being welcomed," said John Kellas.

Perthshire Advertiser

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