The first phase of restoration works on Moat Brae House, Dumfries – the Birthplace of Peter Pan – are complete, it was announced today by the Trust leading the development. The ‘Phase A’ works, which began in January 2013, have put a new roof on the house, repaired external walls and replaced damaged and defective walls, floors and ceilings. The work has taken Moat Brae back to the original 1823 design layout, resulting in a wind and watertight structure ready for the next phase of its development as a national Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling.
Thanks to a Windows Appeal, launched in September last year by Patron Joanna Lumley, the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust has also been able to replace all the windows and skylights in the house, including the magical ‘Starlight Dome’ above the central gallery. As part of the consultation process, the Trust will be opening the house in March and April to allow local people to come and see the work that has been done and to contribute their ideas to the Trust’s plans for the future.
Announcing the news this week, the Trust’s Chairman, Dame Barbara Kelly, said:
“It is very exciting to have reached this stage in our journey and to see how far we have come in rescuing and restoring Moat Brae. Thanks to some very generous donors and the public’s response to our fundraising campaign, it is also gratifying to have been able to undertake so much more of the restoration work than we anticipated this time last year. We are now looking ahead to the final development of the house and its ‘enchanted’
garden. We will be using our new asset to ‘show off’ to people what we have accomplished to date and to consult on our plans for the new Centre for Children’s Literature. We hope they will be as pleased and excited about the future as we are.”
Commenting on the Trust’s plans for consultation, Project Director, Cathy Agnew said: “We will shortly be announcing details of our plans to open the house and garden during March and April. There is a huge affection for Moat Brae amongst local people who have provided so much support for the work that has been achieved so far. The open house is intended as a ‘thank you’ and a chance to see the big leap forward this project has taken. We will be offering mini-tours to highlight the architectural significance of the property itself and its connection to the world-famous Peter Pan story. It will also be a great opportunity to see the work that has been completed to date. Most of all, however, we are excited about the possibilities this project could open up for Dumfries & Galloway. We want more local people to get really involved, to show their support and to give their views on our proposals for the future development of Moat Brae. The pirate games played here in the 1870’s, in the heart of Dumfries, were the inspiration for one of the world’s most famous children’s stories. We want to bring that sense of inspiration, magic and possibility to as many people as possible by creating a world-class visitor attraction and Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling that the region can truly be proud of.”