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Conservation work

Conservation happens at Falkland on a daily basis, and is one of the main reasons the property can be seen by visitors today.

Falkland Palace was purchased in 1887 by John Patrick Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, who also owned Mount Stuart (on the Isle of Bute), Cardiff Castle and Dumfries House. He bought Falkland, in part, to have a base in Fife, as he had been appointed Rector for the University of St Andrews. The 3rd Marquess had already carried out a radical expansion and transformation of Cardiff Castle and the mansion house of Mount Stuart, and Falkland Palace became his next restoration project.

He hired the leading Arts and Crafts architect John Kinross (1855–1931), with the aim of pursuing scholarly restoration: conserving what they could and rebuilding using archaeological evidence. Bute and Kinross worked together to ensure there was always a visible distinction between the original fabric and new restoration.

Bute was keen on using the best craftsmen, and established workshops in Cardiff in order to ensure all the metalwork and furniture seen at his properties looked ‘of the period’. At Falkland Palace you will see the decorative metalwork and furniture produced in the Bute Workshops in the 1890s.

The National Trust for Scotland became Deputy Keeper in 1952, working alongside the 3rd Marquess’ grandson, Major Michael Crichton-Stuart and his wife Barbara. Re-roofing of the South Range, the renovation of the painted ceilings of the Chapel Royal, and stone masonry repairs were some of the conservation works undertaken in the mid-20th century for public benefit.

Read about some of our recent conservation projects

Stitching the past: the tale of the Falkland tapestries

Conserving 500-year-old statues at Falkland Palace