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Castle survey to finally take place

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By Fiona Reid
Castle survey to finally take place

AN inspection is imminent at Caerlaverock Castle to check safety at the ancient site.

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) say the survey will start in the next couple of weeks.

It is part of a wider programme of works at several of their sites across the region at which unstable masonry has been identified.

A spokesperson for HES said: “A number of our sites in Dumfries and Galloway have access restrictions in place as a precaution after we identified a potential safety risk to visitors and staff from unstable masonry at a high level at some of our sites.

“We’re currently undertaking a prioritised programme of inspections at the affected sites. We have now completed the first phase of these, which has included Carsluith Castle and Sweetheart Abbey and we are now progressing to inspect the next group of prioritised sites, including the survey at Caerlaverock Castle which is due to start in the next few weeks.

“Work at sites can take over a month, due to the scope of the task and the different characteristics of the buildings, many of which date back several hundred years, and were constructed according to the conventions and materials of the time.

“Pre-inspection work, including ground archaeology work and ecology reports, must also be conducted prior to inspections being carried out. This pre-inspection stage is vital to ensure the safety of the inspection staff and contractors and allows us to carefully consider the safest method to inspect sites and plan accordingly.”

It is estimated that the tactile inspection at Caerlaverock Castle will take 20 working days due to the size of the site and the hands-on nature of the work and the spokesperson added: “We are undertaking the inspection work as quickly as possible, with inspections scheduled throughout the winter period.

“At this stage, we’re unable to give a date as to when we will be able to restore full access to sites until we have completed the survey, analysed the results and undertaken any repairs.”

Visitor access to the castle grounds and the abbey cloister have been maintained.


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