Monteath Mausoleum

Project Name
Restoration of Monteath Mausoleum
Project Type
FCC Scottish Action Fund - Heritage
Our Funding
Total Project Cost

FCC Communities Foundation has been delighted to support a remarkable five-year project by the Friends of the Monteath Mausoleum to restore the magnificent Victorian monument at Lilliards Edge in the Scottish Borders.

This fascinating landmark was built in 1864 by Sir Thomas Monteath Douglas, a Victorian soldier, overlooking the site of the Battle of Ancrum Moor at Lilliards Edge. After the last family member died in the 1960's the building suffered from neglect until a group of local volunteers took over in 2014, raising £128,894 for its restoration.

The restoration of this unique building has involved a variety of specialist tasks. Sandy McLean & Co. of Duns undertook the major building restoration works, with six stories of scaffolding required to reach the top of the dome. Craftsmen stonemasons repointed the beautiful curved stone dome, filling cracks often no larger than the thickness of a sheet of paper! The forty eight glazed stars of different sizes were surveyed, precision-cut and replaced, and a new lightning conductor was installed to protect the building from future lightening strikes.

At ground level part of the curved flank wall was rebuilt because of damage by intrusive ivy roots. New doors were crafted from green oak, and the existing iron bosses sandblasted and reused. The boundary wall surrounding the building was repaired, with seventeen new iron railings replacing missing or damaged originals. Finally, a new level pathway was made from the car park to facilitate disabled access to the enclosure.

Volunteers from the Friends then undertook the onerous task of repainting the six hundred and seventy two railings which surrounded the monument. Each one had to be wire-brushed and double-painted, taking around twenty minutes per railing. Meanwhile, interpretation boards were researched, designed and installed by the Friends, and the old quarry adjacent to the mausoleum was fenced off to improve safety for visitors.

Walkers, cyclists and horse riders will have access throughout the year. Vehicle access will be enabled during the six Open Weekends each year, with a guide available to assist less-abled visitors and families enjoy the surroundings. While the views from the mausoleum are a reward in itself, visitors wishing to see the angel sculptures and star chamber inside the crypt can obtain a key from the Lothian Estates office in Bonjedward for a small fee.