Building repairs force closure of museum

The Angus Folk Museum will remain closed as the tourist season begins.
The Angus Folk Museum will remain closed as the tourist season begins.

The Angus Folk Museum in Glamis is set to stay closed for the foreseeable future while problems with the condition of its buildings are dealt with.

A routine survey during the winter revealed problems with the fabric of the six 18th century cottages which form the museum buildings, prompting the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) to close the premises.

It is the latest problem to hit the museum which remained closed throughout the 2013 tourist season for safety reasons due to loose roof tiles, although repairs were carried out in time for it to reopen last spring. The problems this time do not appear to be a threat to public safety.

An NTS spokeswoman said: “None pose a serious hazard to the public but the ingress of excessive moisture in particular, if left unchecked, would cause deterioration of artefacts and displays depicting over 200 years of rural life in Angus.”

The museum’s collections will now be moved to the House of Dun near Montrose, also a national trust property, for safekeeping.

Local historian David Orr criticised the move, fearing that the items may not be returned to Glamis.

He continued: “What a loss to our heritage that would be and it would be a pity if the cottages gifted by the Earl of Strathmore and were endowed to the National Trust in 1957, are to be abandoned for lack of a few slates.

“The purpose was to gather folk-material relating to the heart of Angus life as it was, and I wonder if it is the building or the NTS that has a ‘few slates loose’.”

John McKenna, the museum’s property manager, said that the situation will be assessed to establish what repairs can be carried out, but he emphasised that the trust is committed to a long-term solution.

He added: “We have a number of definite options to consider and I am positive that we can soon find a way to ensure that this important collection is accessible to the public once again.”