Abandoned mausoleum near Ancrum attracts support

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Local enthusiasts have decided to take action over a semi-derelict mausoleum near Ancrum.

Teacher Nicola Toneri has set up a group of volunteers and Friends of the Monteath Mausoleum with the aim of cleaning up the derelict site and finding funding for the long-term upkeep of the Victorian building.

She said: “This is such a magnificent building in a wonderful place and it really needs some care and attention to prevent it from becoming completely derelict.

“I have walked up to the mausoleum on many occasions with family and friends and everyone has been appalled at its neglect.”

Nicola, who lives within sight of the mausoleum, says it was built in 1864 by Sir Thomas Monteath Douglas as his last resting place. The mausoleum fell into disrepair, however, when the Monteath Douglas family line died out.

The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland describe the mausoleum, sited on Lilliards Edge, a little to the west of Jedburgh Turnpike, as “a chamber, 16ft square, excavated out of the rock, lined with ashlars and reached through an arched doorway from which massive abutments reach out”.

The council commissioned a report from a conservation architect in 2011, but no further progress was made, said Nicola. But, she continued: “Tweed Forum have endorsed the Friends and are working with us to explore funding for long-term conservation.”

For more information and for volunteering dates, visit http://friendsofthemonteathmausoleum.org.uk.