You’re invited to shoot water guns at an architectural masterpiece



The Hill House is protected by chainmail.

National Trust for Scotland

It’s not every day you get an invitation to shoot water at a national treasure. 

The National Trust for Scotland is feeling pretty confident about the extreme measures it’s taken to protect an architectural masterwork designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. The preservation group is inviting the public over to Helensburgh next week to aim water guns (“the bigger, the better!”) at the Hill House.

The Hill House was completed in 1904, but time and the Scottish weather haven’t been easy on the materials used in its construction. It’s been soaking up water and slowly dissolving, a process that threatens the house’s interior. 

The National Trust constructed an elaborate covering known as “the Box” to allow the house to dry out and to protect it from further damage. 

The Hill House Box is now complete. It’s made of a steel frame structure with a roof and chainmail mesh walls. “The public are invited to bring along water pistols to test whether the 32.4 million chainmail rings are doing what they’re supposed to,” the trust said in an invitation issued on Thursday. 

The Douse the House event takes place Sept. 28. If the Box can withstand a super-soaker assault, it should be able to handle the rigors of the rain.

Originally published Sept. 19, 1:38 p.m. PT. 


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