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Raising the roof at Great Glen Hall in Inverness

By Andrew Dixon

This will be lifted onto the top of one of the building's towers.
This will be lifted onto the top of one of the building's towers.

The skyline to the west of Inverness will have a temporary feature for a single day next Wednesday as a familiar landmark is painstakingly restored.

Robertson Homes is specially bringing in a 150-ton crane to lift the prefabricated top back onto one of the historic towers of Great Glen Hall. The tower was one of the features damaged by fire in 2007 but has recently been lovingly rebuilt to its 19th century glory.

One of two being restored, the western tower will be the first to receive its new 20-ton roof, with its core shape painstakingly recreated in steel by Metalwork UK in Tain.

Kieran Graham, development manager at Robertson Homes, said: “The whole Great Glen Hall project has been hugely exciting and in construction terms, this is genuinely unique.

“Using local companies and local materials, we have designed the new 20-ton tower roof in prefabricated steel and it will be lifted in to place fully clad. The tower is around 20m high so this was the safest way to achieve the outcome and restore the landmark to the way it was.”

The lift is scheduled to take place around noon on Wednesday.

Tim Metcalfe, regional director for Robertson Homes (North), added: “We have employed contemporary technology to restore this landmark building to its full glory, including employing a specialist stone cleaning system which 'washed' the walls at around 150 degrees. This restored the beautiful colour of the stone without damaging it.

“The roof of the building was also remarkably intact, which is testament to the skills of the 19th century craftsmen who worked here. We have taken great care to use local companies; local stone and reclaimed slate, to ensure Great Glen Hall is as magnificent as it was originally – but now providing a wonderful setting for contemporary apartments and townhouses.”

Modern day craftsmen and women were amazed by how well the stone work and roofing had withstood nearly 150 years of Highland weather. Restoration work has been carried out by Robertson Homes where needed, with original stonework cleaned and repointed.

As part of the full restoration of the former hospital buildings, traditional materials and mature landscaping have been married with 21st century interiors and amenities to create 60 beautiful new homes.

In total, the refurbishment is estimated to cost £13 million and the project spent more than 10 years in the design process.

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