Earlier this year, I wrote a post about Mavisbank, above, a tragically neglected country house in Midlothia, Scotland. Designed in 1772 by Robert Adam, Mavisbank was not only considered one of the most beautiful houses in Scotland, the first to employ Palladian proportions, but also served as a center of culture and learning in the Georgian Age of Enlightenment.
Successive centuries and owners were not kind, however, and the once-grand house deteriorated through use as a hospital and asylum as well as general neglect. A 1974 fire devastated the house further, leaving the remaining structure open to the elements. Though the ravaged shell of the house retained a melancholy beauty, its future seemed sadly doomed.
But this week, Historic Scotland and Midlothian Council signed an agreement to purchase Mavisbank, and a grant of £500,000 from the Scottish Government was also announced. The Mavisbank Trust will oversee additional fundraising, plus plans to restore the exterior of the building and convert the interior to a multi-purpose facility for community use. The surrounding lands will also be transformed into a park, again to benefit those who live in the area. It all seems like the happiest of solutions for the grand old house. See here for more details.
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.