It is no secret that Prince Charles stepped in to save the historic Dumfries House over ten years ago. Yet now, he has spoken about when it all started.
Speaking to BBC Countryfile’s Adam Henson, Prince Charles speaks out on rescuing the house, and bringing back the community that was destined for doom after the mining industry ended.
“I’d heard about the house and I’d heard about its uniqueness, because of the collection of the best of Chippendale furniture and two of the great Scottish 18th-century furniture makers, so I knew it was unique and wasn’t mucked about with in the Victorian period or anything like that,” the heir to the throne said on the programme.
“So there are very few houses like that left.
“So then when I discovered that it was about to be lost and the whole lot sold off and go all around the world I thought, ‘We’ve got to do something about this’.
“Because I also knew that this area was in such a deprived part of the world and that most families are three generations unemployed and they’ve had a terrible time with the disappearance of the mining industry, so I felt we could perhaps use the house, bring it back to life and use it to raise aspirations, skills and all these things.”
Dumfries House is set on a picturesque 2,000-acre site in Ayrshire, Scotland. It is known to be one of the few houses that still has its 18th-century furniture. Prince Charles put a £20 million loan from the Princes Trust to complete the £45 million purchase in 2007. After extensive renovations, the house was re-opened to the public in 2008 for guided tours. In 2009, Morrisons restored the meat and dairy farm for a research and educational tool into sustainable farming.