Going going gone – Has Time has Run Out for Rare Dunbar Tin Tabernacle?

I found this expired advert on Gumtree, looks like it is too late now to save it.

Tin and Timber Tabernacle Building. Free to a good home, needs to go ASAP


Rare Tabernacle Building, free if you want to come and dismantle it. Needs to go asap.

Call Duncan 07980922684, Located in Dunbar EH42. Needs new windows and some tlc but is watertight.

Approx 10 m x 5 m main building and 6 m x 3m side building.

Tin outer sheeting and timber frame

HES Doesn’t Object to Demolition of Tin Tabernacle

Thank you to the local gentleman who passed on this lyrical non-objection from Historic Environment Scotland to the planning application seeking permission to demolish yet another piece of Dunbar’s heritage.

Reading between the lines HES are saying very politely to the local planning authority that this is a building worth saving in its current context While not a material consideration, the building could theoretically be moved to another location without entailing excessive costs (and has done so at least once before!). One wonders what the local planning authority will have to say about that should a proposal to move it emerge.

Our ref: HGG/B/LB/7 Our Case ID: 201507312 Your ref: 16/00040/CAC

03 March 2016

Dear Sirs

Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) (Scotland) Act 1997 St Annes Church Hall, Westgate, Dunbar East Lothian

Thank you for your consultation which we received on 19 February.

Historic Environment Scotland have reviewed your consultation, and we consider the proposals do not raise issues of national significance, so we can confirm that we do not object. Continue reading “HES Doesn’t Object to Demolition of Tin Tabernacle”

Death of a Tabernacle

There is seemingly little interest in much of the ephemeral built heritage of Dunbar, so I was naturally intrigued when someone alerted me to a conversation taking place around the Dunbar Tin Tabernacle, the only relatively intact example to survive in East Lothian, to perhaps make use of it as an informal arts facility. I was not privy to the detailed conversation at the recent Dunbar Community Council and was completely unaware of any of those that preceded it, but it elicited the following most interesting reply: Continue reading “Death of a Tabernacle”

Last East Lothian Tin Tabernacle to be demolished

Sadly, East Lothian’s last Tin Tabernacle is very likely to be demolished. Despite being classed by the Buildings at Risk Register as one of several local buildings at ‘high risk’ (of decay or development), a developer now has the permissions they need to build on this sensitive site on the edge of the Dunbar Conservation area.

Yet the building is afforded no protection by law. The law seemingly states that any legal protection route could not be invoked whilst there was an active planning case under consideration, which to my simple mind seems at odds with the general policy to protect our built and historic heritage (OK this is a known known, but it applies equally to unknown unknowns). Here is my appeal to HES to my proposal form: Tin Tabernacle – St Anne’s Dunbar – Designations-proposal form. (I think it was rejected without even being read, as the dismissal felt like a ‘Dear John’ letter.)

The risk category will no doubt move from ‘high’ to ‘critical’, but this is largely pointless as there is probably sod all that anyone can do, except perhaps to offer to take it away a re-erect it somewhere else. If I had the means and a site I would certainly think about it.

Continue reading “Last East Lothian Tin Tabernacle to be demolished”

Building at risk : The Tin Tabernacle Dunbar

The Tin Tabernacle is a fascinating vernacular building, formerly a hall to St Anne’s Episcopal Church, which was also made of tin. There is a note in the parish history that the tabernacle was dismantled and transported to Dunbar all the way from Falkirk, where it was no longer required.

St Anne’s “iron church”, on the other hand, was originally supplied by a Liverpool company in 1876, before the construction of the current church sometime after. The iron church was subsequently transported to Edinburgh in the late 1800s for use by another congregation.

Continue reading “Building at risk : The Tin Tabernacle Dunbar”