Appeal launched to save Mackintosh-designed Hill House

Debbie Crosbie of The Clydesdale Bank with Richard Williams of The National Trust for Scotland. Image credit: Martin Shields

THE National Trust for Scotland has launched an appeal to save the Charles Rennie Mackintosh-designed the Hill House in Helensburgh.

During the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh’s birth this year, the National Trust for Scotland is planning to build a “box” around the property, whose sandstone structure is dissolving under its cement render. The box will shield the Hill House from rain, allowing the building to dry out and paving the way for vital conservation work.

CYBG, owner of Clydesdale Bank, has donated the original printing plate used to produce its £100 note, which features Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The plate was used to print 200,000 notes, which entered circulation in 2009. The plate and a £100 specimen bank note have been mounted in a presentation frame and will be auctioned off later this year with proceeds going towards the campaign.

Every National Trust for Scotland member will receive a letter asking them to support the appeal, the first time the conservation charity has rallied its entire membership for a single project.

Ahead of the launch of the appeal, the Trust has already secured £3 million towards the construction of the box, however, another £1.5 million is still required by the end of spring 2018. Assembly is expected to begin in June, protecting the property from another winter of snow, rain, wind, and bitterly cold temperatures.

Richard Williams, general manager for Glasgow and West at the National Trust for Scotland said, “This is one of the most urgent and important appeals in our history. We have very limited time to get the box in place around the Hill House and start the process of drying the building out.

“It’s imperative that we secure the funds as soon as possible, to begin construction and protect the building from further degradation. The box shelter will also allow visitors to see the building from a completely new perspective, with walkways and an opportunity to get to rooftop level.

“We’re very grateful to CYBG for its generous support of the campaign with this unique and fitting donation, and hope that everyone with a love of Mackintosh’s work and Scotland’s architectural heritage will join the bank in making a contribution.”

Debbie Crosbie, group chief operating officer and executive director at CYBG added, “We are proud to have Charles Rennie Mackintosh on our £100 Clydesdale bank note and when we learned about the National Trust for Scotland’s appeal we knew we wanted to help. Every year, the Hill House welcomes visitors from all over the world to view and learn more about his work – it would be incredibly sad to lose this property as his legacy should continue to be celebrated for years to come.

“The Box honours Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s work with its innovative and unique design, and will ensure that the Hill House remains an important part of our cultural landscape. We’re delighted to support this incredible initiative to preserve one of Scotland’s most well-known and celebrated architectural gems.”

Donations to the appeal can be made online at: