First phase of Moat Brae complete

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The first phase of restoration works on Moat Brae House in Dumfries – the birthplace of Peter Pan – are complete.

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 its development as a national Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling.

Thanks to a Windows Appeal, launched in September last year by 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.

The Trust will open the house in March and April to allow people to see the work that has been done and to contribute their ideas to the Trust’s plans for the future.

Trust chairwoman Dame Barbara Kelly said: “It is very exciting to have reached this stage and to see how far we have come in restoring Moat Brae. Thanks to some very generous donors and the public’s response to our fundraising, 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 and to consult on our plans for the new Centre for Children’s Literature.”

Project director Cathy Agnew added: “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 among local people who have provided so much support.

“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 and its connection to the Peter Pan story.

“It will also be a great opportunity to see the work that has been completed to date. Most of all, we are excited about the possibilities this project could open up for Dumfries and Galloway. We want more local people to get involved, to show support and to give views on our proposals for the development of Moat Brae.

“The pirate games played here in the 1870s, 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.”