Current Project Status
With the restoration now fully complete, we've turned our attention to community projects. The reason we restored this site, and built the visitor centre, was in order to make it valuable and accessible to the community. Argyll Mausoleum and Kilmun Church stand on a site, which has been an important spiritual and community locus since time immemorial. The heritage here is far more than just bricks and mortar (or stone and cast-iron, in our case!) and this year we aim to honour that heritage with three community projects.
COWAL CONNECTIONS - Apr - Jun
It’s time to create a new layer of history for the site, so our first project will be to gather stories from people who have grown up and lived in the area.
For 12 weeks from April 13th, we’ll be gathering people together in our tea rooms, every Friday afternoon, to enjoy some home baked cakes and a blether. If you have a memory or a good story involving life in and around Kilmun, the church, the mausoleum, or the surrounding areas, then please join us. If you can’t make the Friday afternoon sessions, please get in touch anyway!
We’ll be recording these personal histories and sharing them with future visitors. We’re also looking for younger volunteers to get involved in the conversation, help record the stories, and keep the refreshments flowing.
CREATIVE MINDS - Jun - Aug
Historic Kilmun isn’t just about stones and monuments; there’s a legacy of hearts and minds here too. We’ll be building on that from June – August, with an Environmental Art Therapy programme aimed at helping people take charge of their mental well-being, and build resilience, whilst discovering their creativity.
We’re looking for people to attend a series of workshops, offering the opportunity to learn different artistic skills as part of a creative and therapeutic journey, led by a qualified Art Therapist. It’s been shown that being creative and being out in nature are both restorative experiences, and we think that combining the two will be hugely beneficial. Anyone over 16 is welcome to join, although places are limited, so do get in touch soon!
TRANSITIONS - July - Oct
Finally, from the end of July, we’re looking at the practical side of our work with a series of half-day training courses designed to help people gain skills and confidence in the tourism sector.
We’re offering courses on Tour Guiding, Basic Bookkeeping, Customer Service, Storytelling, Mental Health Awareness, and Food Hygiene, along with a chance to practice putting those skills to use in our Visitor Centre. So, if you’d like to gain new skills, develop your CV, or if you’re a school leaver, then we’d love to hear from you! We’re also looking for people to help out with refreshments and transport for these training days.
The conservation of the mausoleum and construction of the visitor centre is nearly finished. Our oak shingle clad visitor shelter is completed as is the installation of a series of interpretation panels. The path to the mausoleum has been finished, it incorporates a selection of phrases.
We eagerly await the return of the renovated effigies to the mausoleum which can then be opened to the public.
By Spring 2015 the whole project should be finished and ready to receive visitors.
The first phase of the project is now nearing completion, which includes landscape and access works comprising the upgrading of existing pedestrian routes; the formation of a new Scottish Oak shingle clad visitor shelter and the installation of a series of interpretation panels. Also encompassed in this first phase are upgrading works within the church, including the formation of a small interpretation and exhibition space, as well as the installation of new accessible sanitary facilities. These various works are all scheduled for completion by the end of 2013.
The conservation work to the Mausoleum will continue into next year when seasonally dependent lime-work will take place. Thereafter, the protective temporary roof and its supporting scaffolding - which has remained in place during the course of the project to facilitate the work and allow the structure to dry out - will be removed. The remaining elements of landscaping, currently covered by the scaffold and temporary roof, will then be carried out, with final completion of the project scheduled for August 2014.