Preston Tower Gardens have successfully reopened following extensive works to the accessibility of the grounds.
As part of Doors Open Day, the visitors from all over East Lothian and beyond came to see the work done so far at Preston Tower and Gardens in Prestonpans and to discover more about the rich history and heritage of Prestonpans. Alongside the repaired doocot, new information boards have been provided with artistic impressions of how the tower looked at different times in history. Activity sheets and other activities were also available for all ages to engage with he history and heritage of the site.
Visitors to the gardens can now also enjoy new seating area around a carved stone contemplation circle and the new paths that improve access for all within the gardens.
Plans for the new stair access to the tower were on display and those who came along got the opportunity to learn more about both the project and the history of the tower, doocot and gardens.
Jordan Irvine, Chair of Salt of the Earth Heritage Network was delighted with the success of the day: “We are pleased to have taken part in Doors Open Day this year celebrating the reopening of Preston Tower Gardens. The weather was glorious and provided an ideal opportunity to engage with East Lothian residents. Those who attended were fascinated by the work that has already been completed in the gardens and were keen to know what was in store next for the Tower. We would like to thank our partners who supported the event National Trust for Scotland, Artibrand, Ltclark, Historic Environment Scotland, East Lothian Council , East Lothian Play Association, Prestonpans Community Council, GRAS, Tim Porteus and local musicians for the entertainment and making the event such a success.”
Preston Tower is a Historic Scheduled Monument, parts of which date back to the 15th Century. During the current restoration project, great care has been taken at every stage to ensure that the works are sympathetic and sensitive to the structure. Traditional construction techniques and materials are required and the council has been working closely with specialist contractors and architects with all works overseen by the National Trust for Scotland. The project has been running in phases with the Doocot to be completed in Autumn and works to consolidate the Tower due to complete early next year.
The final phase, to install an external staircase, is due to be completed in Spring 2023.