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The Cally Temple Project

The Cally Temple, Conservation and Historic Environment Awareness Raising Project

The Cally Temple Project is a new project led by the Gatehouse Development Initiative in partnership with the landowner Forestry Commission Scotland, to conserve the Temple, a two storey stone tower of 1779.  The Temple once looked out across the elegantly laid out parkland of Cally House.  It was built as a feature in the landscape, visible from the house, and to impress visitors.  Today, deep within the woods that have long since grown around it, the Temple has a hidden, mysterious quality.  However the condition of the building has begun to deteriorate.  

As part of the Designed Landscape of Cally, the building is nationally recognised in the Historic Scotland Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes.

James Murray and his son laid out the designed landscape in the eighteenth century and included a number of prominent buildings, boundary walls, an artificial lake and wooded areas.

The B listed Temple, which was built in 1779 is an impressive neo-gothic structure, once visible from Cally House. Although roofless today, research by local volunteers shows that in the 1780s it housed the family of the man who looked after Murray’s drove cattle. The Murrays had estates in Ireland and sent their drove cattle to the growing markets in England. Related documents and the discovery of an Irish coin at the site suggest that the building may have been built with Irish labour.

Work on the consolidation of the building will begin in late summer 2014 and last several weeks. Smiths Gore have been appointed to oversee the conservation work.

The Temple project will leave the building in a better physical condition, and better interpreted and explained. The structure of the building will be fully consolidated, preventing further deterioration. Information boards will tell the story of the Temple and its place in the Designed Landscape of Cally.

There will be an exhibition probably during 2015 in the Mill on the Fleet Exhibition Centre in Gatehouser, and new media will be used to complement traditional methods and draw the project to a wider audience.

A literary project is being run as part of the project with a writer/poet Liz Niven, called Cally Voices, and local groups will become an important part of interpreting the building and the surrounding landscape.  Workshops started in August 2014 and will continue throughout the project until mid 2015.  As with other Initiative projects we will look forward to involving as many locals and visitors as possible in the various activities and build on our 'pool' of  ambassadors for our local heritage.



The Cally Temple, Conservation and Historic Environment Awareness Raising Project has been made possible by the generous support of the following funders

Heritage Lottery Fund
SWEAT landfill communities fund
Solway Heritage landfill communities fund
Forestry Commission Scotland
The Galloway Association of Glasgow
Dumfries and Galloway Council
Live Literature Funding, Scottish Book Trust
Murray Usher Foundation
Galloway Preservation Society

Contact the Temple Project

If you would like to contact the project team or to submit creative work, historic images, recollections or other ideas relevant to the project, please contact us by email at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.