One of Glasgow’s oldest buildings set to re-open after six years of extensive restoration works
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Since it’s closure in 2017, Glasgow’s Provan Hall in Easterhouse has been sorely missed by Glaswegians across the city and beyond - history buff’s will be happy to hear however that visitors will be admitted to the site as early as this month.
Over the past six years, the building has undergone a heritage restoration to create a visitors centre and news of its imminent reopening saw ghost-hunters clamouring to be first through the metal-studded doors.
The historic Grade 1 listed building sits at the heart of the city’s stunning Seven Lochs Wetland Park and has undergone a multi-million pound transformation into a state-of-the-art visitors’ centre with interactive exhibits, educational activities, workshops and community events.
The new facility will officially open to the public on August 12, but anyone keen for a sneak peek can go along to family fun preview days on Saturday, July 15, Sunday July 16, Saturday July 22 and Sunday, July 23 between 11am and 3pm. At the events, there will be bouncy castles, story-telling, arts and crafts and building tours.
Admission is free and the stunning building will also be available to hire as a meeting, office and events space as well as a filming location. There will be lots of volunteering opportunities at the venue too, according to Glasgow City Council.
Seven Lochs Wetland Park is Scotland’s largest urban park with over 16 square kilometres of land straddling the Glasgow City and North Lanarkshire boundary between Easterhouse, Coatbridge and Stepps.
The vast park is a wildlife haven providing natural habitat for animals including rare water voles, deer, foxes and birds including Kingfishers, Cormorants and Crested Grebes. The park also boasts a network of more than 10km of walking and cycling routes as well as offering volunteering opportunities and activities to tackle social isolation and loneliness.
Provan Hall House is one of the oldest buildings in Glasgow and was built in the 15th century as a hunting lodge for Glasgow Bishops. It is owned by the National Trust for Scotland and leased to Glasgow City Council. The newly created visitors centre will now be run by a Community Management Trust which is a charity made up of local organisations.
Local councillor, Ruairi Kelly, Glasgow’s Convener for Neighbourhood Services and Assets, is on the charity’s committee.
He said: “Everyone in Easterhouse is buzzing about Provan Hall reopening as a visitors centre in the Seven Lochs Wetland Park. It really is an amazing place with a nationally significant history.
“Local residents are excited to see the exhibits and enjoy the activities and I’m sure it will attract visitors from far and wide too. If the amount of interest from paranormal circles is anything to go by, demand for the ghost tours is set to be out of this world!”
Local history fans aren’t the only ones clamouring to get back into the ancient walls of Provan Hall, paranormal investigators are also queuing up to enter the newly restored Provan Hall House in Easterhouse which is said to be one of the city’s most haunted locations.
It’s the building’s ethereal occupants and grisly past which are pulling in the ghost-hunters. Sightings at the spooky site include up to five different ghostly figures, a mysterious man’s face peering from a window, unexplained shouts and voices and visitors feeling touched by a ghostly presence.
Legend has it that Provan Hall was the scene of a double murder when a soldier returned from war after two years to find his wife had had a child. Enraged, he killed them both and their ghosts are said to haunt the building to this day.
History and Horrors Tours will host a storytelling fright night for up to 20 intrepid ghost-hunters aged 12 plus from 8pm-10pm on Thursday, July 27. Electromagnetic field meters will be used to detect any unexplained electrical activity and balls which light up when moved will help detect any other-worldly attendees.
Lynne Knight will lead the tour with husband Garry. She said: “This is the first ghost walk we’ve done at Provan Hall and we’re really excited about it. We know a lot of people involved in ghost-hunting and they all say it is a really active site. There are stories about a lot of unexplained phenomena taking place there.
“Anyone aged 12 plus who is interested in the history of the building or the paranormal should come along. It’ll be a fun evening - even if you’re sceptical about ghosts. We love it when sceptics come along. They usually end up a lot less sceptical by the end of the ghost walk!”
Lanarkshire Paranormal have also signed up to lead an adults only night tour of the building between 9pm on Saturday, August 12 into the early hours of the next day.
Christine Pont, Provan Hall Operations Officer, had her own unexplained encounter while working on site.
She said: “Once when I started using the vacuum cleaner, a man’s voice shouted out ‘No’, then the hoover went off and I couldn’t start it again. There were no men here at the time, so it was quite unsettling!”
Find out more about activities at Provan Hall at www.provanhall.org