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Initial Enquiry into the Heritage Lottery Fund for Dunans Bridge Today!

… and they’ll be getting back to us in 10 days. As soon as they feedback we’ll report here. In the meantime here’s the detail of what we said:

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The project will focus on the restoration and celebration of the A-listed, Thomas Telford-designed, Dunans Bridge, which reaches its bicentenary in 2015. This is a nationally important, rubble-built, triple gothic-arched bridge which is in need of urgent restoration. As the only publically accessible A-listed structure in South-west Cowal it is an essential heritage structure to maintain – not least because it also provides access to the B-listed Dunans Castle. These two buildings provide the core of a designed landscape which has been open to the public since 2006, and at which guided tours have been conducted since 2010. These tours, in which the bridge plays a central role, are focussed upon the heritage of the site, its relationship with Clans Fletcher, MacGregor, Campbell and Lamont, the Jacobite rebellion, the vision of Clan Fletcher when designing the site, and the commissioning of Thomas Telford to build the bridge. In its present unrestored state the bridge, the castle and grounds attract 5,000 people a year, with tours happening between April-October inclusive Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The project will ensure continued access to the site for these visitors, events and celebrations around the bridge’s restoration as well as its bicentenary.

This project will:

restore Dunans Bridge, ensuring its future. The programme will replace the carriageway of the bridge, repoint the three gothic arches, strip vegetation from the structure and restore the undermined stanchions.This work will maintain a nationally important A-listed structure and maintain access to the B-listed Dunans Castle.

engage a varied local, national and international audience. The restoration works will provide an opportunity to extend and improve the skillsets of individuals and groups who are already involved in restoration of historic structures professionally or as volunteers – we will include this element of the project in our tendering process for contractors. During the restoration we will ensure the local community, local schools, youth organisations and history societies are able to access the structure as it is repaired, and at different stages, both by visiting directly and monitoring progress online via webcam, social media and our website. The virtual element of this access is particularly important because of a large international community of interest associated with the site. It is also our intention to integrate with the curriculum for excellence, and in particular build upon the work of the All Our Stories Project at Kilmodan Primary School “Glen of the Red River”. This will add an important thread to the history of the area.

celebrate the centenary of the bridge. On restoration we will be celebrating both the completion of the work and the bridge’s 200th anniversary in several ways. We will create a longterm legacy with the publication of a Bridge Restoration Book, rather like the recently published ‘Conservation Plan for Dunans’. We will hold a Bridge celebration day, which will include a performance of a specially commissioned site specific play about the bridge, the interment of a time capsule created from contributions from the children who have been involved in the restoration, and of course a Grand Opening Ceremony. Thereafter the play will be performed during festivals including Cowalfest, the Cowal Way Day and any appropriate events which are planned at the castle. Further events will also be planned during the project and held as appropriate.
We expect to begin in early 2015 with restoration works complete by August 2015, and consequent celebrations to occur in the remaining period until October 2015.

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