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Mackintosh property passes water pistol test

Members of the public were invited to squirt the Hill House in Helensburgh to test a protective covering installed in the summer.

The Douse the House experiment took place on Saturday (Martin Shields/PA)
The Douse the House experiment took place on Saturday (Martin Shields/PA)

By Lucy Christie, PA Scotland

Around 200 people armed with water pistols turned out to test a protective covering installed around a popular Charles Rennie Mackintosh attraction.

This summer the National Trust for Scotland erected a chainmail mesh around the Hill House in Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute, to stop it dissolving “like a sugar cube”.

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The property in Helensburgh is considered Mackintosh’s domestic masterpiece (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The property is considered the architect’s domestic masterpiece, but due to its experimental design and materials it has been soaking up water “like a sponge” for more than 115 years.

On Saturday, members of the public were invited to bring water pistols and “Douse the House” to test whether the 32.4 million chainmail rings were doing their job.

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More than 200 people turned out for the wet weather test (Martin Shields/PA)

Caroline Smith, operations manager at the Hill House, said: “The mesh worked perfectly and despite the efforts of the finest collection of water pistol sharp shooters I’ve ever seen, not one drop got to the house.

“The rain gauges we placed inside the mesh next to the building were bone dry, which is more than can be said for some of the people doing the shooting.

“It was great to be able to show that the box is really doing what it was designed to do and thank you to everyone who came along to take part in our experiment.”

PA

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