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 Friday, 17 January, 2003, 15:22 GMT
Peter Pan house vandalised
Moat Brae House, Dumfries
The house was first targeted by vandals last November
Vandals have caused 200,000 worth of damage to a house in Dumfries which inspired the adventures of Peter Pan.

Author JM Barrie used to play "pirates" in the garden of Moat Brae House as a child.

Furniture inside the building was set on fire, a number of windows and fittings smashed and plasterboard ripped from walls.

Police and councillors said they were shocked by the extent of vandalism at the house in the centre of Dumfries.

J M Barrie
Barrie used to play in the Moat Brae House garden
Moat Brae, where two of Barrie's friends lived, has lain empty since a Glasgow-based businessman bought it at auction two years ago.

Constable Iain Aird, of Dumfries and Galloway Constabulary, said: "The extent of the damage is pretty bad. It is a sorry sight.

"It seems that youngsters have been breaking in and hanging about in the property and over a few weeks the building has sustained a substantial amount of damage."

The damage to the Grade B listed house first began last November and a wire fence was erected to try and prevent further intrusion.

Barrie, who was born in Kirriemuir in Angus, moved to Dumfries in 1873 at the age of 13.

'Enchanted land'

He drew his inspiration for Peter Pan, which was originally a play, from Moat Brae House.

In his memoirs published in 1904 Barrie wrote of Peter Pan: "Our escapades in a certain Dumfries garden which was an enchanted land to me was certainly the genesis of this work."

Local councillor Tom Holmes said: "It is just a tragedy. It is an important part of the area's history.

"I have heard that the man who owns it now is thinking of turning it into a fantasy hotel."

Mr Holmes said locals would like to see the property turned into a tourist attraction dedicated to Barrie's life and works.

See also:

02 Jan 03 | Entertainment
01 Nov 00 | Scotland
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