Glasgow & West Scotland

Mackintosh property chainmail passes water pistol test

More than 200 people armed with water pistols have turned out to drench a Charles Rennie Mackintosh property to see if a protective covering is doing its job. And it passed the test.

Hill House Box Image copyright Martin Shields

The world's biggest chainmail mesh has been put around the Hill House to stop it dissolving.

The property in Helensburgh, Argyll, is considered to be the architect's finest domestic project.

But due to its design and materials it has soaked up water "like a sponge".

Hill House Box Image copyright Martin Shields

The so-called Hill House Box was erected as part of the National Trust for Scotland's multi-million pound project to conserve the internationally-renowned building and its interiors.

The roof and its 32.4 million chainmail rings are designed to shield the building from the elements, allowing it to dry out so that crucial conservation work can take place.

Hill House Box Image copyright Martin Shields
Hill House Box Image copyright National Trust for Scotland
Image caption The world's biggest chainmail mesh has been put around the Hill House

Caroline Smith, operations manager at The Hill House, said the water pistol test went off without a hitch.

She said: "The mesh worked perfectly and despite the efforts of the finest collection of water pistol sharp shooters I've ever seen, not one drop got to the house.

"The rain gauges we placed inside the mesh next to the building were bone dry, which is more than can be said for some of the people doing the shooting."

Hill House Box Image copyright Martin Shields

She added: "It was great to be able to show that the box is really doing what it was designed to do and thank you to everyone who came along to take part in our experiment."

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