Sculptor Tim Stead's quirky Borders home saved for nation

A new education centre is to be set up in honour of Borders woodworker and environmentalist Tim Stead after an 11th-hour fundraising campaign raised £450,000 to save his unusual home and life's work.

Tim Stead's unusual home in the Scottish Borders stands as a tribute to the acclaimed woodworker's unique talent

Tim Stead, who died in 2000 at the age of 48, was an acclaimed sculptor, furniture maker and poet.

His well-known works include Café Gandolfi in Glasgow, the Millennium Clock at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the oil industry memorial chapel in the Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen.

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He was also a keen environmentalist, raising funds to create the UK’s first community woodland in the Scottish Borders and helping form the Carrifran rewilding project at the turn of the century.

But his unique family home in Blainslie, near Lauder, is widely regarded as his single most important achievement.

It stands as a tribute to his love of wood and his astounding craftsmanship, with the interior featuring entirely original sculpted fixtures and fittings.

The Tim Stead Trust was established in 2015 with the aim of saving the house and its contents as a part of Scotland’s national heritage, to benefit the country and the local community.

There were fears that the target of £450,000 to buy the house from the sculptor’s widow Maggy would be difficult to reach, while a private buyer was waiting in the wings if the group failed to come up with the money.

The oil industry memorial chapel in Aberdeen's Kirk of St Nicholas is among the sculptor's best-known works

The National Heritage Memorial Fund had previously refused to award a purchase grant, leaving plans hanging in the balance.

However, within days a major benefactor stepped forward and pledged matched funding up to £250,000.

This was swiftly followed by offers of support from a number of private donors and trusts, and within a few weeks the majority of necessary funds had been secured.

The target was finally hit with the help of a Crowdfunder campaign, launched a week ago, which has raised more than £23,000 through donations from more than 240 individuals.

The Steading features hand-crafted fixtures and fittings throughout, including this wooden basin in the bathroom

The cash will allow the trust to purchase The Steading for the nation and begin an ambitious programme of restoration, renovation and development that will see it transformed into a place where people can see and touch his wonderful craftsmanship.

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