Campaigner's Call to Reveal Underlying Sandstone Beauty of Ayr's Historic Rozelle House

Curated by Claudia Shannon / Research Scientist / ishonest

A community councillor and building industry veteran wants historic pile returned it to its original stonework exterior.

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A campaigner says that an opportunity to restore Rozelle House to its original historic appearance is being wasted.

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Almost £400,000 is being spent renovating the historic Ayr home – largely from Ayr Common Good Fund coffers – with the building housing historic and art exhibits.

But Fort, Seafield and Wallacetown community counciilor David Petrie, who has decades of experience in the building industry, has called for the work to rerender the building to be dropped and the underlying sandstone to then be brought back up to standard.

Mr Petrie has argued that the decision to roughcast exteriors as a matter of course has led to many of Ayr's historical assets being 'covered up'.

He said: "It is a travesty that the original stonework which has now been exposed will now be covered back up and never seen for another hundred years.

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"I don't think it was the intention of the original builders if this stonework was to be covered up."

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However, South Ayrshire Council has insisted that, while they have no evidence of the original finish, they believe the building was designed to be rendered – adding that it was also important to improve insulation and keep it wind and watertight.

But Mr Petrie has sourced images from as recent as the 1970s to show parts of the building without roughcast.

He also pointed out that even a small crack in rendering can allow water into the stone fabric. Without a covering, this water is able to escape from the sandstone.

However, water entering through a hole in render has a chance of then being trapped in the stone as it cannot escape because of the covering.

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