The Rose Window, created in 1867 for the Methodist Church in Inverness, has begun its restoration process in the hands of experts from Iona Art Glass, specialists in conserving and restoring stained glass. The window will become a focal feature within the interior design for the new Inverness Castle Experience, visitor attraction, opening in 2025.
The painstaking process first sees the glass being removed from the stone frame at its location where it has been stored, by The Highland Council, since it was removed from its original site, in a former church, on Inglis Street at the time of the Eastgate Centre construction.
Cllr Ian Brown, Leader of Inverness City and Area and Co-chair of the Inverness Castle Project Delivery Group, said:
“It is exciting to see this beautiful window starting its restoration journey after being stored for so long. It is fascinating and a little bit nerve wracking to watch the level of detail and care involved in removing the glass panels piece by piece from the stonework. I can’t wait to see it, in pride of place, inside the Castle.
“This historical window is not only a physical reminder of Inverness’ identity but one which will now go on to tell unique stories about places and people living in the Highlands through the Inverness Castle Experience.”
The Rotary Club are providing financial sponsorship to support the restoration process. The Inverness Club have confirmed their contribution but have put a call out to other clubs to see if they want to do likewise.
Colin Munro, President of the Rotary Club of Inverness, said:
“Inverness Rotarians were inspired to promote and support the transformation of the Rose Window by the strong visual similarities between its design and the ‘wheel and spoke’ symbol of the international Rotary movement.
“The restored window in all its splendour will stand as a symbolic recognition of over a 100 years of Rotary community service in Inverness and throughout the Highlands and Islands.”
The Inverness Castle Experience project, opening in 2025, will benefit from £30m investment to support its re-development from the Scottish and UK Governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and a range of other partners.
The Inverness Castle Experience project is part of the Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal, which is a joint initiative supported by up to £315m investment from the UK and Scottish governments, The Highland Council, Highlands and Islands Enterprise and University of the Highlands and Islands, aimed at stimulating sustainable regional economic growth.’
There was also an investment of £30K by the Inverness Common Good Fund four years ago to ensure the preservation and safe keeping of the Rose Window until a safe home was found.