PRESTON Tower and Gardens in Prestonpans is gearing up to host special events to showcase the restoration work carried out at the historic county landmark.

The tower is currently undergoing a £1.1 million project to repair and refurbish the stonework and surrounding gardens and will partially reopen on Saturday as part of Doors Open Days festival.

The aim of Doors Open Days is to ensure that Scotland’s spaces and stories are made accessible to people living and visiting the country, while also celebrating the built heritage of the nation.

As part of the festival, the public is invited to see the work done so far and discover more about the 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.

Plans for the new stair access to the tower will also be on display and there will be an opportunity to learn more about both the project and the history of the tower, doocot and gardens.

Work has also taken place on the gardens and visitors can enjoy the new seating area around a carved stone contemplation circle and the new paths that allow access for all within the gardens.

The gardens, along with the path linking West Loan to East Loan, temporarily reopen from today (Friday).

READ MORECompletion date for Preston Tower works pushed back to next year

Councillor Colin McGinn, cabinet member for community wellbeing, said: “This is a great opportunity for members of the public to return to Preston Tower and see the progress that has been made, and to enjoy the gardens.

“Working on a scheduled ancient monument is a complex undertaking and I am grateful to all those who are involved for their efforts.

“As well as celebrating the past, the event will also look to the tower’s future with discussions around the creation of a trust or community organisation, and information for people who might be interested in becoming involved in managing the gardens and buildings, organising future events or guiding visitors around the area when work is completed.

“I hope the community will enjoy this chance to learn more about the heritage on their doorsteps as part of Doors Open Day and Salt of the Earth Heritage Connections.”

Preston Tower is a historic scheduled monument, parts of which date back to the 15th century. During the current restoration, traditional construction techniques and materials have been required and the council has been working 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 finish early next year.

The final phase, to install an external staircase, is due to be completed in the spring.

'Delighted to see the progress'

Salt of the Earth Heritage Connections has been a key partner in the development work at Preston Tower.

Jordan Irvine, chair of the group, shared his delight in partnering with heritage groups and was happy to see progress being made.

He said: “Salt of the Earth is delighted to partner with a range of heritage groups in Preston Seton Gosford and we look forward to working with the community to continue to explore and celebrate our rich heritage.

“The heritage weekend allows time to highlight some of the great work over the last three years.

“Preston Tower has been a key project since the group’s inception and we are delighted to see the progress.”

The group is running other heritage events at Cockenzie House, Pennypit Centre, Port Seton Centre and Longniddry Community Centre.

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