Exquisite castle ceiling looking for a roof to put over its head

An exquisite painted ceiling that provides a rare reminder of the vast wealth once held by the jute barons of Dundee is threatened with destruction unless a new home can be found within the next six weeks.

The ceiling, which measures about 30ft by 16ft (9m by 5m), has been held in storage for nearly 20 years, since it was found in the ruins of a castle, most of which had been demolished decades earlier.

A public campaign and support from the National Heritage Memorial Fund raised more than £12,000 in 1984 to save the dining room ceiling of Carbet Castle, which was once home to the Grimond family, of which the former Liberal Party leader Joe Grimond was a member.

It was painted in 1871 by the Parisian artist Charles Frechou, who is also understood to have worked on the Paris Opera House. But its size and the need for restoration has meant it has languished in crates ever since - with its future now imperilled by the imminent demolition of its current storage space at Dundee University.

Jack Searle, of the Dundee Civic Trust, which led the original rescue campaign, said: "It's the last-chance saloon. We're not a big organisation, so this is quite tricky. But he said he hoped someone would come forward with the space to store - and ideally display - the slice of local history.

Much of the fortune of Dundee was built on its jute mills and textile industries. Its jute barons once vied with each other to build elaborate houses, and Carbet Castle was one of the grandest, although few remain.

Ralph Henderson, a retired art lecturer, said it was a disappointment that a proper home for the ceiling had never been found, despite many efforts. "It would be an even greater shame if the ceiling were now lost because of a lack of storage space for the heavy crates," he said. It's absolutely incredibly beautiful, really gorgeous. Everyone in the town was so enthusiastic about it when it was found. Local firms were giving between £1 and £200 to save it and, when that happens in Dundee, you know it's something."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Operations Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently recruiting for an Operati...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

£100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

Senior Digital Marketing Executive

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Junior Developer- CSS, HMTL, Bootstrap

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading company within the healthcare ...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz