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Restoring the hans hamilton tomb

Timeline

In 2013 Wyllie Shanks Architects were appointed by East Ayrshire Council to act as Contract Administrator and provide Conservation Accredited Architectural Services, for the reinstatement of interior marbles and the external memorial stone, and repairs to the fabric of the Category ‘A’ Listed Hans Hamilton tomb. 

The project was partially funded by Historic Environment Scotland (HES) . They provide advice and stringent codes of practice for historic restorations, so the first task was to prepare a Scope of Works and methodology for approval by HES.  Once agreed the project was then put out to tender.

Graciela Ainsworth Sculpture Conservation secured the contract to carry out the restoration works. Graciela herself had been involved with the project since 1991, having initially removed the marble statues which were protected and stored locally offsite to prevent them being further damaged by water ingress. For the duration of the project – which was on site for approximately 12 months with completion in the spring of 2018 – Wylie Shanks Architects administered the contract and carried out regular site visits to monitor the quality of the works and ensure their compliance with HES requirements.

Viscount Clandeboye also built and invested a school, now known as Clandeboye Hall and used by the church for events. Carved above the door was the date 1641 with the statement This school is erected and endowed by Iames Clandeboyes, in love to this parish in which his father Hans Hamilton was pastor 45 years in King Iames the sixt his raigne.The carving was removed when the school was sold as a private dwelling. In 1839 a new school was opened. The school had been condemned by 1876 and was in use as a shoemaker's shop and a dwelling.

John or Hans Hamilton (1535/6–1608), son of Archibald Hamilton of Raploch,was the first Protestant vicar and exhorter of Dunlop Church. His eldest son, James Hamilton, was created Viscount Clandeboye for his many services to James VI in establishing and maintaining Protestantism in Ireland; his son James was in turn created Earl of Clanbrassil by Charles I. His five brothers also established estates in Ireland. A handsome mausoleum (NS 40486 49398) was constructed over their graves by James in 1641, when he was in his eighties, and this was so ornately painted and gilded in the Roman Catholic manner that it attracted the sobriquet of 'The Picture House'.The flat tombstone of Hans Hamilton was originally on the floor, but was later removed and placed on the south wall. It was neglected and vandalised even in 1699, and in 1734 was given much needed repairs. Around 1849 Colonel Mure of Caldwell had further repairs carried out.

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