From here: “In December 1924, JM Barrie, the author of Peter Pan, was awarded the Freedom of the Burgh of Dumfries in south-west Scotland. Reflecting on one of the happiest times in his life, as a pupil at Dumfries Academy nearly 50 years earlier, he said:
“… when the shades of night began to fall, certain young mathematicians shed their triangles, crept up walls and down trees, and became pirates in a sort of Odyssey that was long afterwards to become the play of Peter Pan. For our escapades in a certain Dumfries Garden, which is enchanted land to me, was certainly the genesis of that nefarious work”.
Barrie’s boyhood adventures would touch millions when re-imagined in the character of Peter Pan. But this fine Georgian town house and the gardens in which Barrie played were until recently in the shadow of the wreckers’ ball.
An extraordinary effort by local people and generous partner organisations has saved Moat Brae from destruction. Now the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust is restoring the derelict shell and plans to develop it as a centre for children’s literature, re-inventing the garden for play and active learning. The house will be returned to its rightful place as a landmark and attraction in Dumfries – and a new generation of children will be free to explore a magical landscape in the footsteps of Peter Pan.”
A fundraising campaign, launched by the Trust’s patron, Joanna Lumley, in August 2011, allowed for the purchase of the freehold of Moat Brae and enabled emergency works, including the erection of a temporary roof, which will safeguard the building against collapse.
Phase A of the capital works, planned to start in January 2013, will see urgent restoration and repair work to both the house and garden. With estimated costs of £730,000, this phase represents approximately 16% of the total project costs of £4.5m.
Phase B, planned to start in 2014, will see the completion of the repair and restoration work. This will include the fitting out and the design and build of the modern extension, immediately to the west of the house, which will accommodate 21st Century support services such as a book shop and a cafe. A funding package of £3.5m is now being developed for this phase of the project.