Council officials are to step up patrols around a city center listed building following reports of vandalism.
Langgarth House had been used as council offices along with the now demolished New Viewforth and Old Viewforth, which is the current headquarters of Stirling Council.
The B-listed property, built in 1897, is included in the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland, which highlights properties of architectural or historic merit throughout the country that are considered to be at risk or under threat. The register was established in 1990 and is maintained by Historic Environment Scotland.
Langgarth was vacated in 2009 and has been marketed for sale and lease by Stirling Council on various occasions since.
It was labeled ‘at risk’ in 2012, but while monitored by the council since, the uncertainty of future use of the wider Viewforth site is said to have hindered progress in successfully securing any potential new owners of leaseholders.
In August 2018, the register noted: “The house remains disused and is mostly boarded up, security fencing surrounds the front/side of the house and a high boundary wall to the garden.
“Vandalism and forced entry remains an issue – a window had been broken prior to our visit. The main house overall remains in good condition. Some damp staining to upper floors is evident but roof defects have been identified and repaired. The service wing is in poorer condition with a broken rooflight and some dampness to the wall at the garden elevation.
“The risk level has been raised to moderate due to the ongoing vacancy and threat from vandalism.”
A further update in December 2021 added: “Recent marketing has taken place for both the lodge and house, but neither appear to be under active marketing at this time.”
In recent weeks, locals have reported an increase in unwanted activity around the building.
One nearby resident who had highlighted concerns said: “I have been watching the decline of Langgarth with sadness for some years since it has been left empty but in recent weeks with evidence of repeated break-ins and intruders in the building I’m feeling it is critically at risk.
“Langgarth is one of Stirling’s architectural gems being, designed by the renowned arts and craft architect William Leiper, who was of the same era as Charles Rennie Mackintosh and a collaborator of the famous artist Cottier. Leiper is known for his designs of the Templeton factory and Glasgow City Chambers banquet hall.
“Langgarth is a beautifully designed 1897 building with outstanding carved wood murals and leaded glass which was decommissioned by Stirling council 10 years ago and is being left to become derelict.
“I have seen lights on in the building and I can only suppose there have been further intruders and vandalism.
“It is a tragedy and a travesty that such an outstanding piece of Stirling and Scottish cultural heritage is being so woefully neglected.”
A Stirling Council spokesperson said: “We have been made aware of incidents of vandalism at Langgarth during the past week.
“We have undertaken checks to ensure that the building remains secure and will undertake extra security patrols around both Langgarth and Old Viewforth to identify possible issues.”