Memorial Hall makes the grade

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Inglis Memorial Hall has received a grade A listing status from Historic Scotland earlier this month after being contacted by a resident from the area asking for the grade to be reassessed.

Previously classed as a grade B building the Inglis Memorial Hall has been upgraded and is now classed in the top category of building.

When carrying out the review of the building Historic Scotland used information from local residents and members of the Library and Information History Group.

To merit designation the property had to satisfy a set criteria which rarely sees one factor alone qualifying a building for designation but rather a combination of many factors.

Buildings are assigned to one of three categories according to their relative importance.

All listed buildings receive equal legal protection, and protection applies equally to the interior and exterior of all listed buildings regardless of category.

A category A building is one of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type. Approximately 8% of the total number of buildings which are graded fit into category A.

Historic Scotland explains: “This is an excellent example of a distinctive community hall which contains a rare example of a little altered 19th century public library.

“The substantial hall building with its tall, clock tower is a prominent building in the streetscape of Edzell and adds significantly to the character of the village.

“Externally, the building is well-detailed with typical Scots Baronial features, including crow-steps and bartizans and the stained glass adds much to the interest of the building.

“Internally, the building is finely decorated throughout with original features and the library in particular is an excellent example of an increasingly rare type of library. “Although many public libraries were opened over the latter part of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century most have now undergone alteration, even if they survive as libraries.

“The one at Edzell is an unusual survivor which retains its original fittings and fixtures, including a rare example of a working Cotgreave Indicator.

“These indicators were introduced because initially the public were not allowed open access to the books.

“People chose a book from a catalogue, and the Indicator showed whether the book was in stock, or had been taken out.

“They were phased out gradually as the public were allowed direct access to the books.

“The community hall was gifted to Edzell by the local philanthropist Lt. Col. Robert William Inglis in memory of his parents.

“The book donation of around 6000 books which he gave to the library is still intact and retained within the library.”

As well as being awarded a high grade status the Inglis Memorial Hall has also recently seen new lighting being installed outside, to the cost of £3,500.

This is only the third time the lights have been upgraded since 1898 when the hall was opened.

A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “We are presently completing working to complete lighting outside Inglis Memorial Hall, Edzell, putting new heads into the original lighting columns and installing a further, extra light outside the hall. The work, funded by Angus Council, is costing £3,500.”