Folk museum to remain closed

Part of the Angus Folk Museum, which will remain closed until problems in its 18th century cottages can be tackled.
Part of the Angus Folk Museum, which will remain closed until problems in its 18th century cottages can be tackled.

A popular Angus tourist attraction will be closed for the foreseeable future due to problems with the condition of its buildings.

The Angus Folk Museum’s doors will remain firmly shut during the forthcoming visitor season and its exhibits moved to another property to protect them from possible damage.

The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) has taken the step after a routine survey during the winter revealed problems with the fabric of the six 18th century cottages which form the museum buildings.

It is the latest problem to hit the museum which remained closed throughout the 2013 tourist season due to loose roof tiles. On that occasion the prolonged closure was partly because planning permission had to be sought for work on the listed structure to be carried out.

New safety measures were introduced on site, including the installation of new slate catchers which allowed the trust to re-open the property last April.

An NTS spokeswoman said: “Unfortunately, these further investigations have revealed additional problems with the fabric of the building.

“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.

John McKenna, property manager for the museum, the House of Dun and JM Barrie’s Birthplace, said there is no alternative to ensure the artefacts remain in good condition.

He continued: “We will need time to assess what is and is not possible in order to deal with the issues.

“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.

“I can understand that our decision will disappoint many people but we are committed to finding a long-term solution.

“We have been keeping our local stakeholders and supporters up to date on developments and will continue to do so.

“I also want to reassure the people of Angus that the Trust remains absolutely committed to the heritage of the area. We have just completed major conservation works at JM Barrie’s Birthplace in Kirriemuir and have commenced with major investment in the House of Dun near Montrose.”