Our project is a conservation project. We seek to sympathetically restore Boleskine House to its eighteenth–century design, and our professional team of architects and engineers are working closely with the Highland Council conservation team to ensure that this is done.
Boleskine House is a Grade B Listed Building that has suffered two devastating fires in 2015 and again in 2019. The building has been placed on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland by Historic Environment of Scotland. Thanks to our team at The Boleskine House Foundation and our wonderful supporters and donors, the Dangerous Building Notice served on the building in 2015 was removed by the Highland Council Building Control in November 2020, making the building stable enough to work.
Repairing elements in situ is always the first principle of our conservation philosophy. Where such elements are too badly damaged, we have sought help from conservation-minded contractors to implement the same traditional heritage skills that would have built Boleskine House in its early history. As of February 2021, Boleskine House has been cleared for planning permission to repair its entire external envelope, and our team of masons are working thorugh the winter off-site to cut, dress, and carve the the replacement decorative stone that will feature in the restoration.
We believe that Boleskine House is an important piece of Scottish heritage, and that it has the potential to benefit the local culture and economy. We also hope for the site to provide outlets for educational resources on Scottish history and heritage. It is our goal for Boleskine House to be transformed from an abandoned and unmaintained plot of land into a place that can serve both local, national and international communities who share an interest in the house.
Prior to the July 2019 fire, a budget works survey using the BCIS re-building rates was carried out in April preceding. At this time a complete restoration of Boleskine House was estimated to cost in the region of £730,000. Following the 2019 fire, this estimate has increased to £1.2 million.
This means the restoration of Boleskine House will be a conservation deficit, meaning that it is a loss-making endeavour. It is for this reason that we will seek whatever assistance we can through publicly accessible grants and crowdfunding campaigns.
It is currently difficult to say how long this project will take, and it will vary depending on the amount of financial assistance we can secure. It is anticipated masonry work will complete by summer with an aim to give Boleskine House a new roof by the end of 2021.
As of February 2021, our architects have begin work on RIBA stage 4 for the internal designs. Tendering work for this is set to commence early in 2022, and work on completing the internal fit-out will carry on as funding becomes available.