Good end to society’s summer programme

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Forfar and District Historical Society ended its summer programme with a visit to Hospitalfield House, Arbroath.

Around 30 members were given a guided tour of the house and its contents are said to be very much as they were left on the death of Patrick Allan-Fraser in 1890. Although it is a treasure house of wonderful paintings, carvings and other artefacts, there is no feeling of being in a museum, as the house has retained the ambience of a family residence.

The origins of the house go back to the 13th century, when it was the site of a hospital – ‘Hospitalfield of St John the Baptist’ – receiving pilgrims to Arbroath Abbey who were suffering from illnesses including leprosy. Patrick Allan-Fraser was himself an artist and architect of note, and a patron of the arts, and it is fitting that his beloved Hospitalfield House has been preserved after his death to serve as a residential arts centre in accordance with his wishes.

After the tour, the society members enjoyed supper in the ‘Jazz Room’ – formed from what had been part of the original barn, and it was agreed that a visit to Hospitalfield was to be heartily recommended to anyone with an interest in the arts.

The society will open a new session of talks on October 4 at 7.30pm, in the East and Old Church Hall in Chapel Street. New members and visitors will be welcome.