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Outlander’s Sam Heughan helps to save Culross pub used as a location in Starz’s hit historical drama series

Sam Heughan. 25th Annual Critici's Choice Awards - Arrivals held at Barker Hangar
Sam Heughan has helped save a pub used during the filming of Outlander. Pic credit: ©ImageCollect.com/Admedia

Outlander star, Sam Heughan, has pitched in to help save a pub from the Scottish village that was used as a backdrop in Starz’s hit historical drama.

The Red Lion Inn, in the quiet village of Culross, was in danger of being sold to an outside bidder, or worse, closed down. However, Sam Heughan, who plays Jamie Fraser in the historical drama series, was having none of that.

The real-life pub is situated in the village used as a location for the Outlander series, known on the show as Cranesmuir. When members of the Culross Development Trust learned the pub might be sold to an outside party, they decided to organize a campaign to keep the iconic building in local hands after the original owners decided to retire and put the pub up for sale.

A GoFundme page was quickly set up with the mission to raise £7000 ($9,870) toward saving the pub from an external buyer. This would give locals the option of purchasing their much-loved pub.

When Heughan heard about the campaign, he quickly jumped on board in an effort to get funds raised. The 40-year-old actor says he has fond memories of visiting the put after putting in a day’s work on the set of Outlander.

Heughan’s involvement clearly did the trick, as in less than a week, the GoFundMe page had already reached its target, and it is now well over the original £7000 target.

A lot of the cash came from celebrities and fans of Outlander, who scrambled to help out from around the world. “Many well-known and loved celebrities from around the world shared and promoted the fund,” said Chair Tim Collins in response to the effort.

When did the Red Lion Inn feature in Outlander?

Cranesmuir is the fictional town featured in the storylines involving Geillis Duncan (Lotte Verbeek). When traveling back through time, she married Arthur Duncan, and the town of Culross was the backdrop for Cranesmuir.

While the Red Lion Inn did not act as an actual location site for Outlander, it was a place Heughan fondly remembered and visited after filming wrapped up. Often still in costume, he and co-star Caitriona Balfe (Claire Fraser) would go inside for a drink.

“I remember Caitriona and I visiting the Red Lion, after shooting one day, still in costume… this is the pub where Jamie and Claire shared their first drink (well…),” he explained.

An image of Heughan and Balfe in costume and enjoying that drink has been since shared via the Red Lion Inn, Culross Facebook Group.

Sam Heughan thanks his fans for their dedication and help with the cause

After Heughan found out that the bid had been successful, he immediately took to his official Twitter account in order to thank his “best fans.”

“Yazzz!! Best fans! Look forward to Cait buying me a drink there soon…,” he wrote.

Pic credit: @SamHeughan/Twitter

As yet, Balfe has not responded to his likely tongue-in-cheek comment about her buying him a drink.

Season 6 of Outlander is currently in production. However, due to the global coronavirus pandemic, filming has been delayed in order to maintain the safety of the cast and crew.

Season 6 of Outlander will air on the Starz network at a later date.

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