St. Margaret’s is a beautiful former church and the only Category A listed building in Braemar and is considered to be one of Scotland’s finest churches in the Scots Gothic Revival style. The church closed in 1997 and was later placed on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland. In 2001 the Scottish Episcopal Church determined that St Margaret’s was no longer required by the diocese as a place of worship due to the dwindling congregation.
Known as the gang of four, a retired headmaster, architect, accountant and local minister local to Braemar took on the challenge of finding a sustainable new use for this old neglected church in 2011. A decade later and despite the ongoing challenges, not least in securing the required funding, a great deal of progress has been made in the ongoing transformation of this beautiful church designed in the late 19th century by renowned Scottish architect Sir John Ninian Comper. The original gang of four has grown to an army of 8 Trustees forming St. Margaret’s Trust and 20 plus volunteers who work in partnership with Historic Churches Scotland, the current owners of the building. Together this extensive team deliver a very ambitious annual programme of events, live music concerts, exhibitions, talks, tours and workshops.
Brian Wood chair of St. Margaret’s Trust says
“Taking on an old church is not for the faint hearted; we recently had a very brave worker fixing the roof on a cherry picker in a driving snowstorm. We are determined to keep this building open and in use as a resource for the community and an economic asset to the area by adding a cultural component to what is already on offer to overseas visitors in this stunning part of the world. We receive many comments from our audience amazed that such a small village like Braemar can put on such amazing concerts in this grand venue.”
Working together, the St. Margaret’s Trust and Historic Churches Scotland aim to realise their shared vision for the future of St. Margaret’s.