Water pistol owners assemble!

Last updated at 13:30
children-outside-the-hill-houseThe National Trust for Scotland
Owners of water guns are being invited to 'douse the house' to see how well its new mesh covering actually works

Lots of us enjoy a water pistol fight during the hot summer months, but people who have one are now being invited to use them for a very different reason.

The Hill House in Helensburgh, which is near Glasgow, was created by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1904.

However, the nature of its design and the materials used to build the property have resulted in it soaking up a lot of water.

This has led to water damage and conservationists worry the building, which was recently given given museum status, may not be around for much longer.

It's now been covered with a giant chainmail mesh, installed by the National Trust for Scotland back in June, to stop it dissolving "like a sugar cube".

The transparent mesh, which is made from a staggering 32.4 million chainmail rings, is the biggest in the world.

It's designed to shield the building from the elements, allowing the building to dry out so crucial conservation work can take place.

the-hill-houseThe National Trust for Scotland
Charles Rennie Mackintosh completed the architectural masterpiece in 1904

Now the trust is inviting water gun owners to drench the house to see whether the new protective covering is doing a good job. This is thought to be the first experiment of its kind.

"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," said Emma Sweeney who is the visitor services supervisor at the house.

"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-with-mesh-coveringThe National Trust for Scotland
The mesh is thought to be the biggest of its kind

The covering is made up of an 165-tonne steel frame and the chainmail rings weigh 8.3 tonnes in total.

The 'Douse the House' experiment, which is a free event, will take place at 2.30pm on Saturday 28 September.

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