It has been a long, cold winter for all, so our spirits were lifted last week when the first signs of spring were spotted in the garden. Our hens are most relieved!
However, it is still very tricky to plan for the immediate future. But as the national news becomes more positive, we have begun to make tentative steps towards readying ourselves for the coming season.
As Kemnay House has now been awarded Heritage Status, we hope to open to the public for 28 days this year offering: guided tours of the house, a well stocked gallery and shop, light refreshments in the parlour, and a chance to explore the surrounding garden. Our aim is to start opening at the end of spring, but this is subject to change due to continuing restrictions. Please keep an eye on the 'Opening Times' page of our website for the most up-to-date information.
With this in mind, the house is starting to wake up for hibernation as rooms are beginning to be cleaned, garden beds prepared, as well as renovation plans discussed for the year ahead.
Our main project for 2021, overseen by the architect David Chouman (accredited in building conservation) involves stabilising and lime washing the exterior of the west facing front of the house, as well as restoring the porch.
The porch was commissioned by John Burnett (the 5th Laird of Kemnay) and designed by John Smith, the then Aberdeen City Architect. This new, grander, entrance was added to the Georgian wing in 1833 as part of an extensive modernisation program, that also included the building of the Water Tower on the north elevation, which enabled the first flushing lavatories at Kemnay.
Our 2021 renovations will make a huge difference to the look of the main entrance, as well as help preserve the core structure of the building from further water damage. Hopefully visitors will be able to view the project first hand, as well as learn about the restoration techniques used as part of their visit. We also promise to keep you updated on progress through this blog.