When we bought the building and started to strip out the inside it became apparent that there was a considerable amount of re-building to do before we could even think about dividing it into the three cottages we had planned.
With the planning permission gained we set about designing and building the cottages you see today but it was not without hiccups along the way and a considerable amount of negotiation between Building Control and Historic Scotland. Nevertheless, all was well in the end and what you now see are newly built houses inside a listed ‘shell’. We are very proud to have restored this building, preserving it for future generations of both residents of Gatehouse and visitors alike.
We started the renovation in 2012 and essentially stripped out the whole of the inside to make one large empty space. Once the old lath and plaster came off we discovered a number of interesting things, most intriguing of all were 3 individual children’s shoes hidden in the walls in different places. We didn’t know what to think as you can imagine but a friend did some research and found a website run by the Northampton Museum and an article on ‘Concealed Shoes’. “People often hid old boots and shoes in chimneys and walls to bring good luck to their houses and ward off evil spirits” The shoes are always worn out, Very often there is only one shoe, Many are children’s shoes, A single worn shoe was hidden so a malevolent spirit could not steal it and remove the protection the shoe gave, There is a Concealed Shoe Index of which our shoes are now a part. We have put back a shoe into each house and hope they continue to bring luck.