The innovative Whithorn Roundhouse won the Best Recording, Rescue or Interpretation of an historic place for 2017 at the Historic Scotland Angel Awards at a glittering ceremony in Edinburgh on Monday night.
The iron -age recreation, named after the late Peter Hill, the leader of the original archeological excavation on the site, was accepted by trustee Gill Bailey, architect Hazel Smith and Trust staff supervisor Lesley Matier.
Trust spokesperson Julia Muir Watt said: “We were amazed to receive the award - up against the best conservation and interpretation work in the country. However, it is a fitting tribute to all the work which went into construction - whether by volunteers, contractors, craftsmen or the very generous landowners who gave contributions of trees, clay, stone, and hazel rods to our project; it is a prize for them all. We are still benefiting from volunteer input into the roundhouse and the Trust through guided tours given by volunteers, and those who give on a daily basis - anything from grasscutting to flower arranging. We hope the local community has seen the benefits through school visits, seasonal events and open days, and this is something we continue to work on, so that the roundhouse is a legacy for local people as well as boosting the economy with the new influx of visitors. It’s very exciting that we now have to attend the UK final in London and representatives will be heading there in November; if we don’t win, we will still be putting Whithorn on the map, and it’s our chance to reach a national audience, including government, heritage professionals and experts. Many at the Edinburgh event said they’d come to Whithorn to visit - that can’t be bad for publicity!“
Mid Galloway and Wigtown West Councillor David Inglis said: “This is a fantastic news for all the people involved with the Whithorn Roundhouse Restoration Project. Winning such a prestigious award gives national recognition to the team involved and will also help promote Wigtownshire generally and Whithorn in particular as a major tourist attraction which in turn will help the local economy.”
Mid Galloway and Wigtown West Councillor Jim McColm added: “The Roundhouse has rightly earned international recognition for Whithorn and all involved in the project are due enormous credit for the part they have played in bringing this interpretative structure to fruition.”
Mid Galloway and Wigtown West Councillor Graham Nicol commented: “This a fantastic reward for the people who are worked on the roundhouse. It just shows you what you can do in a remote area if you have enthusiastic and motivated people to drive projects like this forward.
“I hope other remote areas can get inspiration from this and see that, with some enthusiastic people, great things cam be done to benefit communities.”
The Whithorn Trust is now through to the UK finals in London.
This is the second success for the town of Whithorn at the SHAA after the Whithorn Trust young people’s film group won the Youth Category for 2016.