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Abbey highlighted as a national treasure

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
Abbey highlighted as a national treasure

A HISTORIC site in the north west of Dumfries has been named one of Scotland's six 'hidden gems'.

And a buzz of activity is now set to surround Lincluden Abbey, after being chosen in a public vote organised as part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology.

Hailing the result, Lincluden resident Carole McCann said: “We are beside ourselves with joy.

“It has truly been a hidden gem, and we don’t want it to be hidden anymore because it’s such a fabulous place.”

Carole is a community connector with Creative Futures Lincluden and Lochside, and notes the history of an abbey which dates back to 1160 and which was where Robert Burns penned some of his works.

Suggesting it could now become a tourist destination, Carole said: “We love the place and we want everybody to know about it.”

Lincluden Abbey features alongside the likes of Ardrossan Castle and Campbeltown Picture House in the Dig It! 2017 vote.

And securing the nomination along with 27 other locations was thanks to the Sleeping Giants project Hidden Histories of Dumfries and Galloway.

Ruaridh Thin-Smith from Sleeping Giants said: “It’s kind of flown under the radar, the site itself, for such a long time.

“Even some of the obvious history associated with it, there’s actually even more deeper layers of history and meaning to the local community that we will be exploring.”

Success in the vote means a digital reconstruction of the abbey will be created and that an archaeological survey will now take place — which Ruaridh says could tie in with a planned focus on the site in September as part of the Scottish Month of Archaeology.

Ruaridh also reveals that Hidden Histories of Dumfries and Galloway, which has till now been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has now just secured Holywood Trust funding to extend the project over three years.

Alive Radio helped push the call for public votes, and celebrating this week’s success Graham Anderson said: “It’s huge for the area, in my opinion.”

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