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Thu June 24 2021

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Famous engineer's home under threat again

12 Jun 13 Engineering historians are battling to preserve the home of one of Scotland’s famous engineers.

Viewhill House, before the 2007 fire
Viewhill House, before the 2007 fire

Joseph Mitchell (1803-1883) was a key figure in the construction of Scotland’s Victorian infrastructure. His home in Inverness, Viewhill House, was badly damaged by fire in 2007 after lying empty for several years.

Viewhill House was rescued from demolition at that time but there are fears that it is again under threat following the owner’s decision to sell the property.

The Highland Buildings Preservation Trust (HBPT) wants to buy and restore the property but is seeking £10,000 match funding for an options appraisal.

Joseph Mitchell designed and built ‘Viewhill’ for himself and his wife and it has the potential to be a lasting legacy to this most distinguished of engineers, engineering historians says.

“Joseph Mitchell was Telford’s right-hand man in the Highlands after the death of his father. His work thereafter on Highway roads and the Highland Railway was truly fundamental and outstanding to civilization in Scotland. His ‘Reminiscences’ of his life in the Highlands is still a delight to read,” Professor Roland Paxton of the Panel for Historical Engineering Works (PHEW).

As Inspector of Highland Roads and Bridges, Joseph Mitchell carried out surveys for the railways and was involved in the construction of much of the rail network in the Highlands, including the Perth to Inverness line.

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