Dumfries convent: Scale of damage after fire begins to emerge
The scale of the damage to an historic building in Dumfries is becoming clear after a fire ripped through St Benedict’s Convent.
Fire crews attended the scene following reports of a blaze shortly after 2am on Tuesday, with 65 firefighters attending the scene, which witnesses described as an "inferno".
Crews have since left, but will return for a final inspection, while police continue to investigate the cause of the fire.
Shortly after the blaze was brought under control, police incident officer Sgt Adam Potts told the BBC there had been “extensive damage” to the historic building.
The building has been abandoned for some time and has been a target for vandals.
The area remains cordoned off while investigations into the cause continue.
The Benedictine convent, which was built in the 1880s, served as a girls-only school until the early 1980s.
Attempts were made to sell the building in 2008, and 2020, with the property listed as a development opportunity with potential to be transformed into homes, a hotel or wedding venue. However, no-one stepped forward to buy the property.
The convent has also been used as a temporary sheriff court and a museum.
The 44,832sqft, category B-listed building, which dates back to 1884, was the setting for Peter Mullan's 2002 film The Magdalene Sisters, which won the Golden Lion honour at the Venice Film Festival in 2002.