Hall of Clestrain – John Rae Society film

A film about the Hall of Clestrain – watch online now. Visit www.johnraesociety.com to donate to the restoration effort.

Hall of Clestrain – We will be restoring this place

Clestrain Hall is the birthplace and former home of Orcadian Arctic explorer Dr. John Rae, and is also a site of historical significance in its own right. The building has fallen into a state of sad disrepair, but the John Rae Society has an ambitious plan to restore it to its former glory.

In this short film by Martin Laird, President of the John Rae Society Andrew Appleby tells the story of the building and explains the proposed scheme for the site. The first order of business is the creation of a new road, dubbed the Road to the Arctic. A fundraiser is underway for this – visit www.johnraesociety.com to help their efforts.

Hall of Clestrain, birthplace of the Arctic explorer John Rae. Help build the road to the Arctic. John Rae Society President Andrew Appleby surveys the site of the proposed road leading down to the property.
Andrew Appleby, President of the John Rae Society looks at Clestrain Hall and the proposed Road to the Arctic. From a film by Martin Laird produced by Orkney News Ltd for the John Rae Society, sponsored by Adventure Canada.

Dr. John Rae was a highly skilled Arctic explorer who respected the Inuit people and learnt much from them about surviving in the harsh Arctic environment. He discovered the much sought-after Northwest Passage, a shipping route through the icy waters around the North American continent. Rae also the grisly fate of the Franklin Expedition which had employed very different methods and failed in its attempt to find the Passage. Unfortunately, the British establishment did not want to acknowledge Franklin’s failure, and Rae was lambasted in his own lifetime.

In recent years John Rae has achieved increasing recognition for his feats. It is intended for Clestrain Hall to become an Arctic Centre named in his honour, with a visitor centre and cafe for visitors accessible via the new road. The John Rae Society needs to raise £150,000 to build the Road to the Arctic. At the time of writing they have raised over £106,000. Visit their website to help them reach their goal.