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Anger at historic sites closure

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By Christie Breen
Dumfries and West

RESIDENTS and tourists have expressed frustration with the continued closure of Historic Scotland sites across Dumfries and Galloway.

As the summer season gets into full swing, 13 historical sites in the region still have restricted access or will remain closed to visitors.

The sites have been marked for “high level maintenance by Historic Scotland due to structural deterioration.

The list include Threave Castle, Dundrennan Abbey and MacLellan’s Castle, whilst the grounds and shop at Caerlaverock Castle remain open.

The closures have led some to consider cancelling their Historic Scotland membership, one disheartened member said via social media:

“I’m seriously thinking about cancelling my Historic Scotland family membership. I think it’s about £11 per month I pay and I’ve used it once in the past two years to get into the grounds of Tantallon Castle on the east coast, couldn’t get into the castle itself due to ‘dangerous masonry and repair work’. Of course, all the big city tourist attractions i.e. Edinburgh and Stirling Castle are still open, but some of us want to visit the smaller, quieter sites but can’t.”

In reply, a spokesperson from Historic Scotland said: “We are currently embarking on a prioritised programme of inspections, which includes sites across Dumfries and Galloway such as MacLellan’s Castle and Caerlaverock Castle, and the results of these surveys will inform our next steps.

“At present, 23 of our free to access and ticketed sites are open to visitors across the Dumfries and Galloway region, and we have recently opened up visitor access to the cloister of Sweetheart Abbey. We are also hosting Spectacular Jousting in the grounds of Caerlaverock Castle next month as part of our summer events programme.”

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