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7 Jun 2018

Boxing the Hill House

Neil Oliver at the Hill House
Number 4 in our 100 Ways list is our brave plan to Box the Hill House and save it for future generations.

We work every day to protect Scotland’s national and natural treasures. From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, we protect all of this For the Love of Scotland.

In Our Strategy for Protecting Scotland’s Heritage 2018–2023, we set out how we’re planning to work towards our vision that Scotland’s heritage is valued by everyone and protected now, and for future generations.

To show the scale of the work we’re doing, we’ve identified 100 Ways we’re protecting our heritage. 

One of our biggest projects is our ambitious plan to Box the Hill House.
One of our biggest projects is our ambitious plan to Box the Hill House.

During the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh’s birth this year, we’re planning to build a ‘box’ around the Hill House, where the sandstone structure is dissolving under its cement render.

The box will shield this iconic property in Helensburgh from the rain. Made from fine stainless-steel mesh, it will envelop the whole of the house and part of its gardens, allowing the walls to dry out and solutions to be researched and implemented.

This bold solution will tackle the 100+ year old problem of damp that has beset the innovative design since it was built for the Blackie family in the early 20th century.  

 Simon Skinner, Chief Executive for the Trust said:

‘As our President Neil Oliver put it, the Hill House is in danger of “dissolving like an aspirin in a glass of water”. We are building what amounts to a shield around and above the Hill House to keep wind and rain out, and give the building a chance to dry.’

This pioneering approach to protect the Hill House fits well with Mackintosh’s own style, which was at the cutting edge of design and technology at the time. 

Our Box the Hill House appeal is raising vital funds to support this amazing project, which is the first of its type in Scotland and shows the Trust taking a truly creative approach to protecting Scotland’s heritage.