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Scottland folks Do you know if the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Hill House will really open by mid-May?

I'm planning a late May/June trip to Scotland and will be driving from Glasgow to Oban. I ran across a reference to the Mackintosh Hill House, looked it up, and it not only looks like a fantastic place to visit, but the website describes it being restored and protected by a giant transparent box of steel and mesh. The website says it plans to reopen mid-May 2019. Does anyone know if this is still on schedule? I've love to see it.

https://www.nts.org.uk/visit/places/the-hill-house

Posted by
27342 posts

You know, I think the last time I looked at that website, they were anticipating an April re-opening. However, I could be wrong. I'll be there in July and really hope to see the Hill House. I think we're just going to have to wait and check again right before we head to Scotland.

Posted by
1188 posts

I can't find anything locally to say whether it will be delayed beyond what they say on their website (which you've already seen). But I'd suggest checking again nearer the time.

Posted by
1376 posts

Hi, Scott,

As Hill House is an NTS property, you could try ringing the NTS directly before you leave on your holiday. The telephone numbers (from the U.S.) are 011 44 131 458-0303 or 011 44 131 458-0200. They should be able to provide you with up to date information.

There also seems to be a direct telephone number in Helensburgh for Hill House. From the U.S., it's 011 44 1436 673900. I don't know how often someone is manning (personning?) that number.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Slainte!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
9766 posts

I saw an aerial photo somewhere today on Twitter where it looked like the frame enclosing the house was partially dismantled. I hope that’s a good sign!

Posted by
1188 posts

That would be a very bad sign! The frame will be covered in permeable mesh and will be permanent.

Posted by
33123 posts

I tried calling the main number provided by auchterless yesterday but despite ringing for 5 minutes there was no answer.

Posted by
1188 posts

The NTS website page for Hill House is now showing the following

Opening Times
Current period
5 Jul–18 Apr 2019, closed
20 May–22 Dec, daily 10.00–17.00
23 Dec–2 Jan 2020, closed
3 Jan–20 Dec, daily 10.00–17.00
Last entry to the house is at 16.00

Posted by
9766 posts

I thought the frame had been up for a while now — it was up when I was in Glasgow in August (?).

Anyway indeed the frame and its covering material looked half and half — could have been in the process of being put up or taken down — or even changing the “skin” on the frame from whatever they have worked with the past few months to what will be there permanently. I hadn’t realized they were going to leave it under a protective structure permanently. But then again, I suppose there’s no other way to protect it. Going to look up a few articles on my lunch hour!!

Posted by
27342 posts

Except that the venue website says something about re-opening in mid-May, so that April 18 date may be stale information. On the other hand, at least it's not giving us a date after mid-May.

Posted by
9766 posts

I certainly misremembered the length that the box would be installed! Thank you SkyeGirl for the correction.

As one sees plainly in this BBC article from Dec 2017 when discussing the plans for the repairs and restoration:

the enclosure, which could be in place for a number of years, will do more than act as a refuge from the weather.

While conservation teams restore the building, visitors will be able to climb stairs and gangways for a bird's eye view of Mackintosh's masterpiece and to get "up close and personal to the genius of his design".

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-glasgow-west-42240994

And maybe I only remembered that Hill House was closed when I was in Glasgow in August, and knew that the steel-and-mesh structure was planned, and conflated those two in my head with a memory that the box was already in place then! Sheesh!!

My apologies!!

Anyway from the information available now, it looks like you can be hopeful for a mid-May opening but there's no guarantee. At least (as someone mentioned earlier) the Hill House website timeframe (Mid-May) is more updated from the Visit Scotland website, which still says April 2019. So maybe the mid-May is indeed realistic. I hope so for you!

Posted by
1188 posts

Per my post above - it looks as though 20th May is the reopening date. Not sure what they are up to between 18th April and 20th May. Suspect that someone forgot to amend the 'closed' dates!

Posted by
98 posts

Thanks for the feedback, everyone. I hope to confirm it's really open when I'm driving that direction!