Douse the house at Mackintosh masterpiece

The National Trust for Scotland is inviting people to fire water at the Hill House next weekend.

In June this year, the National Trust for Scotland installed the world biggest chainmail structure around The Hill House – Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s domestic masterpiece – to stop it dissolving ‘like a sugar cube’. But is it working?

To find out, the conservation charity is hosting what is believed to be the first event of its type – a mass ‘wet weather test’ with the public invited to bring along water pistols to test out whether the 32.4 million chainmail rings are doing what they’re supposed to.

The experiment takes place at 2.30pm on Saturday September 28 and anyone with a water pistol is welcome to join in the exercise. Entry to The Hill House grounds is free so no booking is required but as a thank-you for joining in the test, all attendees will be entitled to a voucher for free family access to The Hill House and box any time throughout September and October.

Emma Sweeney, visitor services supervisor at The Hill House said: ‘We’ve had some pretty wet days since the box went up but we really need to test out the chainmail from all angles to see how it’s working. We came up with the idea of the water pistol wet weather test as it’s something that everyone can get involved in and it should show how well the chainmail is doing its job.

‘Anyone with a water pistol – the bigger the better – is invited to come down and douse the house and we’ll have National Trust for Scotland experts on hand to monitor the experiment and explain why the box is needed.’

The Hill House box is part of the National Trust for Scotland’s multi-million pound project to conserve this internationally-renowned building and interiors for generations to come. The roof and chainmail mesh are designed to shield the building from the elements, allowing the building to dry out and for crucial conservation work to take place.