Shambellie Saved

4 Jul 2021 - 14:55

The Scottish Government handed over the keys to Shambellie House to Shambellie House Trust on 1st July 2021 to enable it to begin a new life as a centre showcasing the rural creative arts community.  They are also providing funds from both the Culture and Regeneration budgets to carry out repairs to the house and lodge.  

Jenny Gilruth MSP, Minister for Culture, Europe and International Development commented

“I am delighted that ownership of Shambellie House in Dumfries has been transferred from the Scottish Government to the Shambellie House Trust, and I would like to thank the Trust for all their hard work in making this happen.

“The plans provided by the Trust are exciting: there is the potential for tremendous benefit to the local and regional communities economically, culturally and educationally. I wish them every success.”

The Trust had an initial scheme which would have created accommodation on site and a small extension to the House.  Following a review of the impact of Covid on the potential funding the Trustees decided to limit the first phase of works to some alterations to provide toilets on the main floor and repairs to both the House and Lodge to enable them to be secured for the local community.   

It is planned to start to deliver a range of courses in January delivered by local artists, makers, photographers and practitioners many using the environment, culture, and history of this region as their inspiration.

Shambellie house was owned by the Stewart family until 1970 when Charles Stewart handed it over to Scottish Ministers on condition that it was used to display some of his extensive collection of costumes.  When it was closed by the National Museum of Scotland in 2013 the Scottish Government agreed to pass the property back to a local community-based charity provided they had a sustainable plan and the necessary funding.

Lou Greenshields niece of Charles Stewart added

“The Estate has been closely following the Trust and its exciting plans for the House.  I am sure that Uncle Bill (as Charles Stewart was known to the family) would have been delighted to see the House come back to life providing scope for local artists to be involved.  He was a very accomplished artist himself.”