Tuesday, May 05, 2015


Readers will know that Edinburgh Business School at Heriot-Watt University was acquired by the Businesss School with a view to a complete restoration of Adam Smith last surviving home in which he lived with his mother, Margaret Douglas Smith, and his aunt, from 1778-1790.

The latest of the regular reports on the detailed progress of Panmure's restoration is attached.  It is most encouraging. Pogress is slow for two reasons. A great deal of structural work is required by the various historical departments of the City of Edinburgh Council and each step of restoration reduces the funds that have been collected so far from private and institutional donors in Scotland, England, the USA, Hong Kong,  and elsewhere.

The next phase is a major amount of work to turn Panmure House into a working environment for world-class education and research location focussed on modern economics (broadly conceived) including the use of teaching and research technology and the associated fields of behavioural studies, with, of course, historical work related to Adam Smith.

Briefly, we need more funding to complete the project.  The attached paper shows the quality of the restoration work undertaken so far. Please read and pass around to your contacts. Copies of the original are available from: Betsy Dorfman Edinburgh Business School: www.ebsglobal.net 

May 2015
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Work on the external conservation of Adam Smith’s Edinburgh home, which started in late July 2014, is now complete. During that time, the contractors, Ashwood Scotland Ltd, were busy organising the work packages and the specialist sub-contractors required to complete this
phase of the project. The works undertaken included the strengthening and re-slating of the existing roof, replacing or indenting the large areas of defective stonework, including rebuilding the two main chimney stacks and replacing the rotten 1950’s timber sash and case windows.
The roof strengthening work has been achieved by inserting new rafters alongside the original 1690’s pine rafters. This approach has enabled us to keep the original historically significant timbers in place. Whilst doing this work we have taken the opportunity to raise the 1950’s ceiling ties to their
original level. This will enable us to recreate the original ceiling profile.
The strengthening work was completed in November. Work has since progressed on installing new lead watergates and flashings, new cast-iron rainwater goods and re-slating the entire roof. The re-slating work has been undertaken using the best of the original scotch slates made up with matching secondhand slates.
Prior to work starting on site, Ed Kelly, the project architect, undertook a visual inspection of the stonework to identify the likely
level of

Once the
had been
and the
removed a more detailed examination of the stone-work was undertaken with the specialist stone contractor, Nicolas Boyes Stone Conservation Ltd. As anticipated this revealed several areas of stonework to be in very poor condition.

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A few of the stones on the South facing crowstepped gable had been bored into by “mortar” bees. The bees had created a series of small burrows in the stone, some of which still contained honey.
Other areas of walling had been built using a very soft mudstone. This had become badly eroded, the erosion having been accelerated by the use of rich cement based mortars in the 1950s restoration work.
the paneled interiors, they will significantly reduce the energy requirements of the completed building.
Because of the historic significance of Edinburgh’s Old Town and of Panmure House itself, we have been required to undertake a detailed archaeological investigation of the building. This work has been carried out by Addyman
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The original chimney stacks had been reduced in height during
Archaeology who have now completed their recording and assessment of the development of Panmure House. The report can be viewed on line at www.panmurehouse.org.
Although not part of the Panmure House project, we are very keen to continue working with colleagues in the City of Edinburgh Council, our neighbours, Edinburgh World Heritage and local stakeholders to build support and funding for the Lochend Close landscaping proposals that were illustrated in a previous newsletter.
Funds raised for the
conservation works
included a grant of
£154,000 from
Edinburgh World
Heritage and
generous donations
from the Global
Philanthropic Trust
and several
individual supporters from the US and Hong Kong. We are now seeking funds to enable us to complete the third and final phase of the Panmure House project. This will involve the creation of the new reception area and the fitting out and furnishing of the original building ready for the formal opening planned for May 2017.

We are very grateful to the Garfield Weston Foundation who recently awarded the project a grant of £150,000 towards this final phase.
the major conservation significantly
the appearance of the building. The main chimneys have now been completely rebuilt

designed to seventeenth
profiles and proportions and fitted with heritage sealed double glazed units and integral draft proofing. Coupled with the new insulation that will be installed behind

1950s scheme, changing
match century
and restored to their original height and profile.
A large number of cracked and deeply eroded stones around the existing window openings have also been replaced using new dressed sandstone.
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Sturrocks Joinery of Forfar made and installed the new sash and case windows. The windows have been
If you would like to contribute to the final phase of the Panmure House project, or would like more information, please contact panmureenquiries@ebs.hw.ac.uk.


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