Moat Brae House, Dumfries
A beautiful Georgian townhouse that inspired J.M. Barrie to write Peter Pan.
Moat Brae was built in 1823 and designed by the architect Walter Newall. It is an important yet derelict townhouse with elegant Greek Revival detailing and a unique cultural heritage. When J.M. Barrie was a child in the 1870s he was friends with the children of the owner and enjoyed the house and gardens. Later he said it was Moat Brae that acted as inspiration for his most famous character, Peter Pan.
Moat Brae is located in the heart of Dumfries, the largest town in south-west Scotland and one suffering from economic deprivation. The house, which was last used as a nursing home, was saved from imminent demolition by the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust, a building preservation trust formed specifically to save Moat Brae.
We are advising the Trust on developing its £3.5m project. The Trust’s vision is to develop Moat Brae into a centre of excellence for the celebration, development and sharing of children's literature. This is a fitting new use given the building's history, and one that will be hugely beneficial to the local community.
The Trust began the phase A works, to make the building wind and watertight, in January 2013 and completed them in February 2014. This was a major step forward in securing the building's future. The work has replaced the roof, repaired external walls and replaced damaged and defective walls, floors and ceilings. The Trust is holding a public consultation during March and April 2014, opening up the house so local people can see how the work has progressed and see the plans for its future. We are assisting the Trust with an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund for further funding.