Special places will share their stories

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THE FIRST Angus Heritage Week next month will include almost 30 opportunities to take a fresh look at some of the most fascinating buildings in Angus.

The event, which runs from September 7 to 14, incorporates the popular Doors Open Days event on the weekend of September 8 and 9, when places across the county which are rarely open to the public – such as the recently-renovated Merchants House in Brechin and Balmashanner Hill’s war memorial - will be welcoming visitors.

It will also be possible to go behind the scenes of local public buildings including the Sheriff Court in Arbroath and the fire stations in Arbroath and Forfar, while tours will be available around Cortachy Castle near Kirriemuir and Kinnaird Castle near Brechin (booking required).

Guided walks around Arbroath, Brechin, Glamis and Montrose will reveal a few of the fascinating secrets of each town’s historical buildings, with Kirriemuir Library hosting a taster session providing information about how to find out more about the Little Red Town’s listed buildings and their inhabitants.

On Saturday and Sunday, September 8 and 9, there will be a chance to view the recently re-installed stained glass windows at Carmyllie’s 17th century church and on September 9 there will be a driving tour of the four churches in Glenesk, including the highly-atmospheric ruined kirk on the banks of Loch Lee.

Arbroath’s Hospitalfield House and the Mortuary Chapel at the Western Cemetery, both built by Patrick Allan-Fraser, also feature in the Doors Open Days programme, while Arbroath Abbey Timethemes’ tour of Hospitalfield House on Wednesday, September 12, promises an insight into the past, present and future of this Victorian masterpiece.

Another highlight of Angus Heritage Week will be the talk by Monifieth Model Club on Thursday, September 13, at Monifieth Library about their miniature recreation of the town from 1930 to 1960, which will be on display.

Councillor Mairi Evans, Angus Council tourism spokesperson, commented: “Over the centuries, the people of Angus have left behind a unique and ever-present legacy to our county – a wonderful selection of buildings, historical and modern.

“Whether private homes, public buildings, places of worship, purely functional or highly decorative, these places have played their part in the story of Angus.”

She concluded: “Angus Heritage Week will encourage people from near and far to celebrate the distinctive built heritage of Angus, from grand houses to farm cottages, from medieval abbeys and churches to the very latest architectural designs.”

To find out more about the special events taking place during Angus Heritage Week, pick up a copy of the festival programme from leisure centres, ACCESS offices, libraries and tourist attractions across Angus, Dundee, Perthshire, Aberdeenshire and Fife or download from www.angusheritage.com. 

Angus Heritage is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund under the Lowlands and Uplands Scotland Programme 2007-2013 as part of the Rural Tourism Business Support project - a partnership of organisations operating within the East of Scotland seeking to improve the region’s tourism product through a focus on key sectors.