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The John Rae Society has managed to acquire the Hall of Clestrain and now wants to apply for grants for making the building 'wind and water tight' to prevent further damage and then to develop the building into a major events and exhibition area for the residents of Orkney and the many tourists to the island.

See the state of the Hall:
Drone Video :

The Hall of Clestrain, which apart from being a unique Grade A listed Orcadian Georgian Building, is the Birthplace of Dr John Rae the Arctic explorer.

We at the John Rae Society are, because of a significant donation from a Scottish lady who now lives in Canada and wishes to be anonymous, very close to finish paying for the purchase of the Hall of Clestrain. Once we fully own the Hall we can apply for grants to restore it.

Our aim is to fully restore this magnificent building and its grounds, as well as creating an exciting and impressive events centre for the community of Orkney.

The final building will include exhibition and study areas. The creation of a traditional Kitchen and living areas of John Rae's time, these areas will be accessible to visitors to experience what it might have been like in the 18th century.

There will be a cafe as well as areas for events like wedding receptions, storytelling and music events.

This is an exciting project that we realise will take many years and considerable money. This first stage is to raise the final amount to finish acquiring the Hall and to apply for grant funding.

To help in this process of applying for grants we need to show that we have the support of you and others, please take a little time in completing this form.

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John Rae