‘Ephemeral Places’ Talk at Dumfries House

Ephemeral Places  - The Country House in Ruin.JPG

In the past ten years Dumfries House has become one of Scotland’s premier tourist destinations and pinnacles of preservation. Warding off the threat of dispersal, its contents are now saved to be admired by the many visitors who discover its restored rooms, heralding a new era and identity for this treasured building and collection.

But what of those grand houses less fortunate; the contemporaries and successors of Dumfries House whose gradual decline through the twentieth century ended in ruination rather than regeneration?

After eight years documenting Scotland’s abandoned mansions, artist Duncan Tattersall offers a visual exploration of these abandoned places, drawing on his own original imagery and photographic archive to discuss their unique appeal and significance in Scotland’s built heritage.

Join me for this illustrated talk on Thursday 31st August 2017.



Upcoming Talk at Mellerstain

In conjunction with my current exhibition, In Stately Silence, I will be delivering an illustrated talk in the gallery at Mellerstain House on Saturday 10th September at 2pm.

This presentation will chart the development of my 8-year project recording derelict mansions across Scotland, featuring a number of the ruins I have explored and offering an insight into the artworks they have inspired, with a chance to view the show afterwards.

Admission free – reserve your place to avoid disappointment as spaces are filling up fast. Email: enquiries@mellerstain.com Tel: 01573 410 225

Talk Invitation

The Dream

Last night I dreamt of a ruin.

Not only does my fascination with ruins pervade the waking hours of my life, so too it occasionally seeps into those intoxicating night time wanderings of my subconscious. During my latest slumberous hours I slipped into that realm of intrigue, and found ruination pervading my nightly thoughts.

The peeling white harling of a familiar decrepit highland hunting lodge beckoning from the distance, part hidden by a small cluster of evergreens as I stepped across stones in a dancing stream. My mind had conjured the most glorious summer’s day, with gentle sunlight beaming down and warming my skin, dancing across the surface of the bubbling water in shimmering figurations as I took my own steps across its course. I felt a great sense of contentment, and resolution to reach the building I remembered fondly. Yet before I could cover any further distance towards the ruin beyond, the fleeting moment vanished. Continue reading

Bringing Back Balintore

In rural Angus the hands of time are being turned back.

Decay is frozen, ruination stopped in its tracks,as the murmurings of restoration revive Balintore Castle from its fifty year slumber.


For those unaware, Balintore Castle is a Grade A listed mansion designed by eminent Victorian architect William Burn. Built in 1860 and abandoned 100 years later, silence prevailed over its empty halls for half a century. Now signs of life are once again present, heralding a most welcome renaissance for this spectacular showpiece.

The current works come at the hands of David Johnston, the castle’s latest owner and champion of its revival. His ongoing restoration adventures are charted in his own entertaining blog – Balintore Castle Restoration Project – which is well worth a read. To my delight, a long-held dream of mine was realised when David kindly accepted my self-invitation to lend a hand in proceedings at the castle last year. Continue reading

A Prospective Perspective

While flicking through the most recent addition to my bookshelf, volume 10 from the 1896 editions of Academy Architecture, I was thrilled to behold this previously unseen prospective view of Milkbank House among its pages.

Continue reading