Helping to encourage reading for pleasure at Peter Pan’s birthplace

PLB was ask to lend a hand when Moat Brae and The Centre for Children’s Literature and Storytelling wanted to celebrate the house and garden that inspired Neverland.

Situated alongside the River Nith in Dumfries, this Georgian house became the playground of the young J.M. Barrie. As this building was the generative force behind Barrie’s stories, the Peter Pan Moat Brae Trust wanted to fully conserve the house, and produce permanent and temporary exhibition spaces which invite visitors to explore, imagine and create.

We knew exactly what we had to do to spark excitement and stimulate audiences.

Bringing the story to life


We worked as part of the LDN team to deliver an interpretive scheme that would capture the imagination of children and young people of all abilities and backgrounds.

The driving motivation behind the vision was the belief that reading and storytelling improves the quality of life for children and young people. It gives them a better understanding of the world and its many cultures, developing literacy skills, helping them to communicate better, and increasing their capacity for imagination, creativity and invention.

Our work on Moat Brae included:

  • Interpretive planning, to develop all the themes, messages and stories that the centre wanted to convey to visitors
  • Graphic design, to subtly integrate information into the rooms, objects and garden
  • Specialist displays and showcase production, to present items clearly, securely and appropriately, conveying the story of J.M Barrie, Neverland and Peter Pan in meaningful ways
  • AV development, to spark the imagination of visitors and ensure the preservation of artefacts
  • Illustration and picture acquisition, to build substance, and flesh out the stories of Moat Brae
  • Research and scriptwriting, to create human connections, inspire action and build narratives around the stories and surroundings
  • Liaison with project managers and project architects, site supervision and signoff, to ensure all aspects of the project were delivered on time, to spec and in budget

A place to rediscover childhood pleasures


Moat Brae is a place to rediscover childhood and relive the sense of wonder from the first time you read your favourite story. We wanted to ensure that Scotland’s children and young people were given the time, the space and the resources to encourage reading for pleasure, and the skills to write and tell their own stories.

Our installations celebrate the architecture and history of Moat Brae and Dumfries. Visitors can sit at the dining table with J.M. Barrie and his school friends, help catch Peter Pan’s shadow, and even put on a costume and star in a play of their own.

It is a place to nurture and celebrate children’s writers of yesterday and today, as well as encourage the writers and illustrators of tomorrow.

The Trust believes that the heritage of the house and garden can be of huge social and economic benefit to the town of Dumfries, the wider region of Dumfries and Galloway, and Scotland as a country. We’re delighted to have played a part in making that happen.

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