Ancrum mausoleum in line for £130,000 makeover

Nicky Toneri and David Freeman of the Friends of Monteath Mausoleum group, centre, with Gareth Baird, chairman of the Fallago environment fund, right, and Wren's Andrew Millar.
Nicky Toneri and David Freeman of the Friends of Monteath Mausoleum group, centre, with Gareth Baird, chairman of the Fallago environment fund, right, and Wren's Andrew Millar.

A £130,000 restoration of a Borders landmark is now under way.

The Monteath Douglas Mausoleum, near Ancrum, is being given a makeover, thanks to the efforts of a group of volunteers.

The mausoleum.

The mausoleum.

Grants from the Fallago wind farm environment fund of £59,444, Wren and FCC Environment of £59,450 and BCCF Environmental of £10,000 are allowing the Friends of Monteath Mausoleum to embark on work to restore the 19th century building to its former glory and improve public access to the site.

That work is due for completion late next year.

The building is the tomb of Bengal Army officer Thomas Monteath Douglas, alive from 1788 to 1868. His daughter was married to William Monteath Scott, of Ancrum, and he picked the top of Gersit Law on his son-in-law’s land as his final resting place.

Designed by Edinburgh architecture firm Peddie and Kinnear and built in 1864, the mausoleum was abandoned in 1964 after the death of the last family member and its ownership status is now unclear.

Friends group member David Freeman said: “This fine monument was deteriorating through neglect. It is in the same area as Peniel Heugh, Fatlips Castle and the St Cuthbert’s Way long-distance path, but poor access and the general state of the building mean that hundreds of people pass by on the A68 every day without knowing of its existence.”

“Generous funding from Fallago, Wren and BCCF Environmental will ensure that visitors to this wonderful place can appreciate its history, fine design and stunning views long into this century and beyond.”

The grade-B listed mausoleum is currently on Scotland’s register of buildings at risk.

Fallago fund chairman Gareth Baird added; “The Monteath Douglas Mausoleum is a beautiful piece of historic architecture, and we’re delighted that the Fallago environment fund is able to help to restore and preserve such a fascinating Borders landmark for local people and visitors to enjoy.”