A Fort William Hotel and Art Gallery with an award winning Restaurant
The Lime Tree An Ealdhain
The Lime Tree History:
The Lime Tree is one of Fort William’s oldest buildings and was built in 1850 for the Free Church of Scotland as a Church Manse. The Manse was the home of the Church Minister and his family, was used as a meeting place and often gave shelter to the needy. Manses were important buildings in the community – so the Lime Tree is a well known and much loved building in this town. The Church for this former Manse is found just below the Highland Hotel and is now derelict.
The last minister living here was the Reverend Ramsay who when leaving in 1994 said:
‘There has been so many good times in this building. I think the walls will be full of prayers.’
The Lime Tree Renovation:
By 1996 the Manse had fallen into considerable dis-repair and was even being considered fit for demolition. That year David Wilson & Charlotte Wright took ownership of the now former Manse and began the long process of bringing the building back to life by embarking on a ambitious program of renovation & repairs.
The Lime Tree Plan:
The plan was to gradually repair the existing building – new windows, plumping, heating and electrical systems were installed. The building extensively decorated and repaired. Once the old building was finished, the design of the new building began which in 2005 saw the construction of the new Lime Tree and building facilities we have today.
David Wilson was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1959.
'Growing up in the east end, amongst the redevelopments of the 70s is so far removed from where and how I live my life now'.
Educated at the Universities of Manchester and Durham, David taught for a year in 1983 then began his career in the visual arts working on a community arts project in East Durham.
'The first real understanding of painting came whilst I was copying old masters for a living. Painting to order, looking at how different styles came about and how paint worked was tremendously valuable to me'
In 1986 David finished his mountaineering qualifications and started taking part in mountaineering expeditions that took him to remote mountainous parts of the world.
'It was because of these expeditions that my love of the mountain environment developed. I discovered that in the mountains, light and form can stimulate the most magical feelings in us all. I found I had to seek out a way to represent these feelings visually'.
In 1995 David moved his Studio to the 'Outdoor Capital of the UK' in Fort William, Building his own gallery/studio The Lime Tree An Ealdhain Gallery. As well as showing his own work the Gallery hosts shows from National touring collections.
'I now live at the foot of Ben Nevis. I see the mountains change every day. I work as a visual artist in the place I was meant to be'.