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Support for crumbling wall

A charity which has helped save countless crumbling buildings in Venice is to lend its support to one of the University of St Andrews’ most historic and threatened features.

The Veneziana Fund, the charitable arm of PizzaExpress, has awarded £5,000 towards the restoration of the medieval Long Walk Wall in St Mary’s Quadrangle.

The grant, to be spent on repairing the most degraded parts of the wall, currently held up by scaffolding and partly cordoned off with security fencing, is a welcome contribution towards the £90,000 total cost of saving the wall, part of the St Mary’s Heritage Restoration Project. The University has committed over 30% of the total project costs.

With a Grade “A”‘ listing from Historic Scotland, the Long Walk Wall is considered a structure of national/international importance but time, weather and encroaching plants such as ivy have undermined its fabric.

First documented in the 1620s at the time of the remodelling of St Mary’s College by its Principal, Robert Howie, the line of the wall marks the original dividing boundary of two medieval plots laid out in the 12th Century. The wall later became a key feature, delineating the Principal’s garden, a 17th century garden specialising in medicinal plants and later, in the 19th century, the town’s first botanical garden.

As well as being an historic feature, the wall remains an important civic amenity for St Andrews, providing the public with a walkway from St Mary’s College Quadrangle, alongside the wall to the quiet residential street of Queen’s Terrace. The St Mary’s Heritage Restoration Project forms a key element of the University’s estates strategy over the next five years, aimed at safeguarding the historic fabric of our inheritance while simultaneously developing the very latest in teaching and research facilities.

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NOTE TO EDITORS

The Veneziana Fund receives funds from the sale of the Pizza Veneziana at restaurants belonging to PizzaExpress PLC and the Peter Boizot Group. The Pizza Veneziana was the idea of Peter Boizot M.B.E. the founder of PizzaExpress. This was his response to the disastrous flooding in Venice on the night of 4/5 November 1966. Customers were told that a small supplement on the price of each Pizza Veneziana sold would be sent to the Venice in Peril Fund, the British Charity set up to help in the restoration of Venice after the flood. This has resulted in £840,258.68 being raised for the Venice in Peril Fund up to the 30 November 2000. Now the supplement is distributed to the Veneziana Fund which gives 50% of its net receipts to The Venice in Peril Fund. The other 50% is available for grants for the preservation, restoration, repair and maintenance of buildings originally constructed before 1750; the fixtures and fittings of such buildings; and/or works of art made before 1750 (including the purchase of such items).

Other trusts and foundations which have contributed to the Long Walk Wall include The P F Charitable Trust, The Scotbelge Charitable Trust, the Alan Evans Memorial Trust, the Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust, A M Pilkington’s Charitable Trust and the A Sinclair Henderson Charitable Trust. The University has also received gifts from individual donors.

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Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: veneziana/standrews/chg/1may2002

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