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4 Jul 2018

Donations reach £1 million for Hill House appeal

An artist’s impression of the Hill House Box​
The Trust plans to protect the Hill House with a pioneering mesh box.
£500,000 is still needed to hit the Hill House appeal target.

More than £1 million has been raised so far for the Trust’s urgent multi-million pound campaign to save Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s architectural masterpiece, the Hill House. More than £500,000 is still needed to reach our ambitious target.

After launching the appeal at the beginning of February, the conservation charity has surpassed the milestone with the help of Robert Barr’s Charitable Trust. The endowment has made a contribution to the campaign, which is taking place during the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh’s birth.

It has also been confirmed that the Hill House will officially close to the public on Wednesday 4 July as preparations begin for the construction of the Box that will shield the property from inclement weather for approximately the next decade.

The mesh box will act as a suit of armour, stopping 87% of the rainfall that falls on the property over an average of 193 days each year. Its design and positioning will allow the house to be naturally dried out by the wind.

Key items of Mackintosh-designed furniture and fittings, such as the iconic ladder back chair and dining room light fitting, will be removed from the Hill House when the building closes, to go on display in an exhibition in central Glasgow this summer.

A view of the main white bedroom in the Hill House, with the bed centred. Purple silk hangings are displayed either side of the headboard. A small cabinet stands in the window alcove. A lamp is lit beside the bed.
The white bedroom at the Hill House

The box will open to the public later in the year, celebrating the conservation of Mackintosh’s masterpiece in full view. Raised walkways will enable visitors to see every level of the house in the way that only its original builders would have.

Richard Williams, General Manager for Glasgow and West at the National Trust for Scotland, said: ‘The support we’ve had for the campaign has been incredible – people from across Scotland, the UK and the world have donated what they can to save the Hill House. It is testament to the property’s importance and Mackintosh’s global appeal. We’re very grateful to Robert Barr’s Charitable Trust for its contribution to the campaign, which has taken us past this significant milestone.

‘We still have £500,000 to raise if we want to protect this iconic piece of Scottish architecture. It remains imperative that we secure that amount as soon as possible, to allow the scale of work that needs to take place and we have very limited time to get the box in place around the Hill House and start the process of drying the building out.’

A view of the exterior of the Hill House, looking up from the garden on a sunny day.
The Hill House, Helensburgh