£180,000 target for St Andrews landmark

Martyrs Monument "Photograph courtesy of Peter Adamson"
Martyrs Monument "Photograph courtesy of Peter Adamson"

work to restore an iconic St Andrews landmark could cost up to £180,000.

While the work will be put out to competitive tender, initial estimates show that the full cost of repairing and restoring the Martyrs’ Monument on the Scores is likely to fall within the range of £150,000-£180,000 - which presents an ambitious fundraising target for the community.

A specialist conservation architect, Stephen Newsom, has just completed a detailed survey of the monument, which has provided a thorough description of the conservation required and options for restoration, along with cost estimates.

The Monument Steering Group - which involves representatives from the community council, Preservation Trust, St Andrews Partnership and Fife Council - has now agreed unanimously that the best way ahead is to carry out a programme of work which will restore the decorative stone carvings as well as carrying out much-needed repairs to the 170-year-old obelisk.

Speaking yesterday (Thursday), the steering group’s chairman, Ray Pead, said: “The generous donations we have received to date from over 60 individuals and organisations have allowed us to carry out this essential first phase of the work, and we now know the full scale of the funding challenge which lies ahead.

“Local people have told us overwhelmingly that they would like to see Martyrs’ Monument not simply protected from future deterioration, but also restored as much as possible towards its former glory.

‘‘Unfortunately, high-quality stone restoration work doesn’t come cheap but we are confident that, by working together, we can reach this ambitious target.

‘‘The monument is an important reminder of our historic legacy and, following the huge success of the recent St Andrews Royal Wedding Breakfast, we see this as the next big community project for the town.”

The conservation architect’s report will form the basis of major grant applications to funding bodies and prospective donors, which will be lodged shortly.

Martyr’s Monument was built in 1842-3 to commemorate four leading Protestant figures who were martyred in St Andrews between 1520 and 1560, and highlights the important role that the town played in the Reformation.

More information about the project and the progress of the appeal - which has raised over £7000 to date - is available at http://martyrsmonument.standrews.co.uk.