Urgent action required to save Kinnoull Hill Tower

Kinnoul Hill Tower is a Victorian folly
Kinnoul Hill Tower is a Victorian folly
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A landmark Scottish tower is decaying because council officials have failed to carry out vital repairs.

A council survey of Kinnoull Hill Tower, Perth, recommended repairs back in 2012. They weren’t done, and another survey is not due until 2018.

Picture: Wikimedia

Picture: Wikimedia

Now concerned locals say the B-listed castellated folly, built in 1829, and overlooking the Tay from a dramatic rocky outcrop, has “serious cracks” and has much mortar missing. Drone pictures taken close up have shown the extent of the damage.

Murdo Fraser MSP said it would be foolish to delay action.

“The tower on top of Kinnoull Hill is one of Perth’s most recognisable landmarks forming a central part of our architectural heritage and should be higher up on the council’s list of priorities,” he said.

Much-loved and photographed by locals and tourists, the tower was built in 1829 by the Earl of Kinnoull. Urgent action must be taken to secure the future of one of Perth’s most historic buildings, according to a former councillor.

In his role as chairman of Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park Group, Norman Renfrew attacked the council’s lack of commitment to maintaining the B-listed tower that overlooks the Tay from a dramatic rocky outcrop.

He said the council had been quick to condemn the owners of other listed buildings for their neglect – notably in the case of St Paul’s Church in the city – but claimed they were not speaking from a position of strength.

Mr Renfrew, 79, of Riverview Park, Perth, said the tower is second in its iconic status only to St John’s Kirk in the city centre. He said: “The council’s record of maintaining its own list B building is not good.

“In 2012 the council did a survey of the tower and the report recommended repairs costing £6,000. They were never done.” Concerned about the issue, Mr Renfrew obtained the council’s position via a Freedom of Information request, which revealed that the 2015 survey did not take place due to a “reprioritisation of work to suit available resources”.

The FOI response revealed that the tower is due to be surveyed in 2018.

Mr Renfrew said: “That is hardly the view of an enthusiastic guardian of a list B icon. Perth and Kinross is a council with good resources of funds but obviously chooses not to put enough into heritage buildings maintenance.”