Cousland Smiddy to receive Historic Scotland grant

Cousland Smiddy, November 2012
Cousland Smiddy, November 2012

Cousland Smiddy, one of the few remaining and best examples of a traditional surviving working smiddy in Scotland, is to receive a £35,000 grant from Historic Scotland.

The smiddy, including its associated cottage and tool shed, is recognised as outstanding due to its historic interest and rarity.

The Historic Building Repair Grant for Coulsland Smiddy was announced last week by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs as part of a £2.6 million package of funding.

She said: “Historic buildings, such as the Cousland Smiddy offer great opportunities for education as well as providing important landmarks in our towns and cities which are key to our identity, community and memories. This is an exciting and worthwhile project and I am delighted that it has been supported through the Building Repair Grants.

“It is important to ensure that historically significant buildings such as Scotland’s oldest working smiddy, a building type which would once have existed in huge numbers, are maintained so future generations can learn about our fascinating history and heritage.“

Sheena Irving, Chair of the Cousland Smiddy Trust said: “We are delighted to be supported once again by Historic Scotland, this time in the final stage of our project to preserve Cousland Smiddy.

“Recognition has been given to the historical worth of the smiddy complex, which now, at over 300 years old, still operates as a blacksmithing business.

“The grant will allow us to press forward with our aim of restoring all the remaining buildings and enable us to interpret the work of the rural blacksmiths, and their important position in the life of a village community, to the wider public.”

The Building Repair Grant scheme makes financial help available to property owners to meet the cost of high-quality repairs using traditional materials and specialist craftsman to conserve original features in buildings of special architectural or historic interest. In return, owners must maintain the building and allow some access to visitors.