Modern Apprentice Challenge 2014

Step in Time

Project Overview

The main objective of this project was to restore a historical landmark.

We decided to restore Bruce’s Well in Prestwick.

We wanted to involve the community wherever possible. We wanted this to be the beginning a journey and not just a ‘one off’ project that faded with the passage of time.

Our strategy included visiting care homes, day centres etc to speak to the elderly residents and hear any interesting stories they had for us. We also created a website that can easily be accessed by the general public which will contain a number of personal stories, pictures of the restoration and local history information.

The Ayrshire Post highlighted a major initiative by The Association of South Ayrshire Community Councils (ASACC) Chaired by Peter Mason to create ‘The Bruce Trail’.

Peter was contacted and welcomed our plans. He became a major source of sage advice, was invaluable in assisting with funding and integral in removing obstacles that threatened to block our path.

We found ourselves working in partnership with the governing body that represents all the community councils in Ayrshire.

A budget of £6,000 was realised through our partnership with ASACC.

A complete revamp of the site was planned, designs created and estimates sought and given.

We contacted the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland to ascertain any planning requirements and when they discovered it was a ‘B’ listed site (they deal with ‘A’ listed sites) and they referred us to The West of Scotland Archaeology Service (WOSAS). WOSAS confirmed that the site was B listed and would require planning permission which would take several months for the work requiring approval.

WOSAS advised that an Archaeological contractor may have to be present during excavation work.

Work put on hold included replacing the railings and well gate, pointing the wall of St Ninian’s Chapel, installing a blue LED light connected by an underground cable in the well that would light up when the lamppost came on at night.

Work cancelled indefinitely involved planting trees. We were advised by WOSAS that significant historical remains have never been investigated and the tree roots could damage an ancient hospital and the burial site of numerous leper victims.

Permission was given to replace three old redundant rose borders with a new heather border, extend an existing heather border and replace the tarmac walkway around St Ninian’s Chapel.

Finally, Peter Mason, Chairman of the Association of South Ayrshire Community Councils, the Provost of South Ayrshire Council, Councillor Margaret Toner, the Modern Apprentices and Vocational Assessors launched the practical part of the challenge at a photo shoot on Friday 24th January at Bruce’s Well.

This will be the first chapter in the restoration of Bruce’s Well. The funds are in place and materials sourced to complete a full revamp of this very historical site.

We are also waiting to hear back from the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland who confirmed that they were interested in surveying the unexplored remains and would advise if they had resources available to complete this work.

Bruce's Well