The Future Plan for Hospitalfield is an ambitious and exciting five year plan that will make the astonishing historic house in Arbroath a destination for visitors and a world class facility for the arts.
The Trust’s plans are absolutely right for today and the next 100 years yet they remain committed to the principles of the 19th century bequest left by the visionary artist Patrick Allan Fraser. The plans bring excellent design thinking and a vision that will support a dynamic future whilst also maintaining the superb history and heritage of the site.
With the fantastic news that The National Lottery has awarded the Hospitalfield Trust a grant of £626,300 so that their capital project can now move forward. The HLF award matches grants from Creative Scotland, Historic and Environment Scotland the Garfield Weston Foundation and many other supporters to make it possible to move forward with the first phase of the project; the Garden and Garden Buildings at Hospitalfield.
“Surrounded by walls which were built 800 years ago, the gardens and fernery at Hospitalfield contain decades of horticultural history. We are delighted that, thanks to the National Lottery, they will be restored and rejuvenated to provide a peaceful natural environment for learning and enjoyment.” Lucy Casot, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in Scotland
The lead architects for the project, Caruso St John, celebrated in 2016 through their win if the RIAS’s Stirling Award for the best building in the UK, have much experience of working on arts and heritage projects and bring their sparing aesthetic and sensitivity to the plans for Hospitalfield. We are delighted that this will be their first project in Scotland.
Nigel Dunnett’s designs will bring the walled gardens alive. First set out in the 13th century, by the Benedictine monks who established the hospital and ran Arbroath Abbey, these origins offer the opportunity to describe a fascinating history. Nigel Dunnett’s brief is to create a garden that will tell 800 years of garden history, from the medicinal to the flower garden and the exotic imports of the 19th century. The gardens will be a wonderful place to visit, with a wealth of interest.
‘’Restoration of the Victorian Fernery, construction of an elegant new cafe designed by Sterling prize winning architects Caruso St John, and Nigel Dunnett’s recreation and replanting of the historic gardens will enable this magical and secret home of the visual arts to be far more widely appreciated and enjoyed’’. Sir Mark Jones Chair of the Hospitalfield Trust
‘’ After so much planning and focus on fundraising we are now ready to hit the ground running with this first stage of the capital project in early 2018 – this is very exciting for us all including the very loyal volunteers The Hospitalfield Garden Club. I very much look forward to working with the designers over the coming months and we aim to be on site by the end of the summer’’. Lucy Byatt Director Hospitalfield
‘’We are delighted to be doing our first project in Scotland. The rich red sandstone of Hospitalfield, and the deep green of its gardens, are a picture that I hope many more people will see and enjoy when these works are finished. Having visited many times, I realise that our work is about bringing back to life many beautiful things that already exist at Hospitalfield and recovering them for the present and the future’’. Peter St John of Caruso St John Architects
‘’My aim for the design at Hospitalfield is to create a framework for exploration and discovery of the diverse histories and productive and symbolic uses of plants over the 800 years of the gardens’ existence, from their Medieval monastic origins through to the heights of Victorian exotica. It’s been a thoroughly absorbing and exciting experience to be able to work so closely with Hospitalfield staff and volunteers to unlock their incredible potential of this historic site’’. Nigel Dunnett Garden Designer & Professor of Planting Design and Urban Horticulture, University of Sheffield