Scottish Castles for Sale in Scotland
Ducking our heads to avoid decapitation by the glowering stone doorway above us, my sister and I descended into the unfinished dungeons of Stirling Castle, once the headquarters of Robert the Bruce and his warriors. Though we had thoroughly explored the rest of the castle with the help of colorful signs and even more colorful volunteer tour guides, we were craving the authentic dirt and rot that could be found only in the bowels of this mostly-restored stone fortress. I don't know what we were expecting to find down there, but we found it: dark tunnels and cramped rooms nearly endlessly connected to each other like closets leading to more closets, the ceiling descending more and more in each new room until we were doubled in half and blind in the darkness when we reached the last cell. We imagined the crunching sound under one of our footsteps was a rotten bone from some ne'er do-well enemy of Scotland the Brave, though it sounded more like a Cadbury chocolate wrapper than anything else.
Sir Walter Scott described this castle when at the height of its glory:
The Castle gates were open flung,
The quivering drawbridge rocked and rung,
And echoed loud the flinty street
Beneath the coursers' clattering feet,
As slowly down the steep descent
Fair Scotland's King and nobles went,
While all along the crowded way
Was jubilee and loud huzza.
Urqhart Castle Ruins
Scottish Castles Now 30% More Affordable for International Buyers
Though Stirling Castle is not for sale and probably will never be, Sir Walter Scott's words thrill and excite all who have dreamed of living in their own castle. There are many other castles that are for sale in Scotland, many of which have become more affordable in recent years. Advisors are encouraging potential castle buyers to do their research, as many Scottish castles have become 30% cheaper for international buyers during recent months due to the weakening of the British pound. CKD agents say that most castles have been holding their value, and this certainly is a buyer's market. Leave a comment at the end of this post if you'd be interested in splitting the cost with another entrepreneur, and I'll give you a spot on this page to post your request/idea and give contact info.
Gogar Castle Photos
Gogar Castle for Sale—Photos!
1. For Sale in Scotland: Gogar Castle
A long drive lined by ancient trees leads up to the immaculately restored Gogar Castle. Built for John Cowper in 1625, the castle features an L-shaped plan, with towers and turrets, arrow slots, a turnpike staircase, battlements, and studded wood doors to satisfy the most romantic heart. But lest you think this castle for sale is too old and cold, let me remind you that the recent update included thermal-locking windows and a brand-new furnace system disguised under vintage-style radiator covers. Brilliant!
A detailed list of all features of all the rooms in this castle would be too much to include here, but satisfy yourself that Gogar Castle includes a cloakroom, a paneled entrance hall, a crypt, a study, a boiler room, a massive kitchen (with vaulted ceilings, fireplaces, updated countertops, several sinks, and a breakfast table), a spiral stairway, another paneled hall with a deep window seat, a paneled dining room (with large bay window, ornate ceiling, log-burning fireplace), a drawing room, seven bedrooms, a master bedroom (with turret bathroom and shower, large dressing room), a library with mahogany panelling, six upstairs bathrooms, a hobby room, another kitchen in the west wing... and that's all I'll list at the moment. More specific details (and more rooms!) are given at the Savills website below.
Bright and fresh, Gogar Castle also sports interior design by Villeroy & Boch, Heritage, and Clive Christian.
Take a walk on the 3.6 acres surrounding the castle, and you'll hardly resist a climb up into the towered tree-houses connected by suspended rope bridges and shaded by expansive leafy branches. Several out-buildings and garages on the property leave you with plenty of space for large toys.
Asking price of over £2.9 million, through Savills agency.
2. Woodside Castle of Scotland for Sale
Woodside Castle Interior
Woodside Castle for Sale in Scotland
This brilliant Grade-A white castle has recently been completely restored, and is now as habitable and hassle-free a historic castle as it is a beautiful, comfortable mansion. Originally built in 1551, Woodside castle used to be just a box-shaped tower, or as some described it, a stone barn. Architectural additions have so enhanced the stature and size of this castle that the square tower is now hardly recognizable, though the original structure is intact and healthy. This castle for sale in Scotland spans five floors, complete with stone and marble fireplaces, a newly refinished dining kitchen and conservatory, four reception rooms, fifteen bedrooms (including tower bedrooms and a master bedroom/bath/dressing room), elaborate plasterwork and wood paneling, and vaulted dungeons—just for the fun of it! This beautiful structure is situated on an idyllic and secluded 60 acre estate, only 20 miles from Glasgow.
Guide price at £1.95 million. Contact agents CKD Galbraith in Ayr if you're interested.
3. Midmar Castle of Scotland for Sale
Restored Midmar Castle for Sale in Scotland
Newly Reduced Price: Midmar Castle, built by William Wallace is for sale!
Located in Aberdeenshire just 16 miles west of Aberdeen, Midmar Castle is legendarily thought to have been built in the fifteenth century by WIlliam Wallace for Sir Thomas Longavale, though the Broun family owned the land of Midmar from the 1300s. The design is called a "Z" shape which is a traditional defensive design of three towers that are connected by rectangular buildings. The outer two towers are round and the middle tower is square, which was exactly how it looked for many years, plain and utilitarian, until a family of expert mason workers added on the checkered corbeling, the roll-mounted window surrounds, and the faerie-taleish circular turrets with pointed "candle snuffer" roofs that you see now. It now has much less the look of a defensive structure, and is more the stuff of a romantic legend.
In 1977, the Historic Scotland organization guided the current owner through the restoration process after he bought the castle in a considerable state of disrepair ("a pile of rubbish," as some people fondly recall), but the castle is in beautiful condition now, and even managed to avoid the supercilious "restorations" of the Victorian Era which would have robbed Midmar Castle of its historic beauty. Much of the original panelling, plaster, and stonework still remains inside as well.
Gardens surrounding the castle are sectioned with walls, and an even broader surrounding parkland and 185 acres of grazing land makes a pretty picture and profitable opportunities. Midmar Castle is hospitable indoors, as well, with ten bedrooms and six reception rooms.
Rumors have it that the castle has underwritten an expedition to recover sunken Russian gold, buried in the ocean after World War II. The expedition succeeded, resulting in a profit of £50 million!
Asking price for this castle is now £ 3.5 mill. (after recent reduction in 2 mill.). Real estate information and photos from Savills. Contact the Savills website for more info on this castle.
4. Fordyce Castle and Baron Title for Sale
Small Castle for Sale in Scotland
For those who would prefer to live in a little castle in a little village one and a half miles from the Moray Firth Coast, Fordyce Castle in the town of Fordyce, is the one for you! Except for the added wing that you can see to the left of the castle, much of the castle retains its original shape and quaintness. The walls aren't quite straight, the stone work reminisce of ancient days in this little town, and the shot windows are just as narrow and plentiful as when the original Lord Provost of Aberdeen (Thomas Menzies) had to defend his princess. What's more, this castle includes the title of Baron (worth £45,000 to £100,000), as well as potentially the current owner's holiday-letting and five star catering business. Offers above £800,000. Castle Duncan Forums has a link to a Fordyce Castle brochure and floor plan that will be helpful to potential buyers.
5. A Huge Inexpensive Fixer-Upper: Westhall Castle
Westhall Castle Sold 2012
Unlike the castles I mentioned previously, Westhall castle in Oyne, Aberdeenshire, is in need of renovation, as the previous owners used it as a hotel and then left in 1989 (or 1992-- the sources differ) and it has been vacant since then. However, for the asking price of only £850,000, this sixteenth century castle of five reception rooms and fifteen bedrooms includes 54 acres, a walled garden and unfinished courtyard, a tennis court, ice rink, swimming pool and three staff cottages with paddocks (for you Americans, that's pastureland for grazing animals).
Just how much renovation does Westhall castle require? The "Buildings at Risk" Register for Scotland lists this castle as "AT RISK." Thanks to the excellent photojournalism of MeowMixed on Flickr, we have detailed documentation of the amount of fixing up a potential buyer would have to consider. Several of the rooms have water damage on the ceiling or floor, revealing the skeleton of rotten floorboards spiking in every direction like cracked ribs. One picture portrays walls collapsing around a secondary staircase, probably from water damage or rotting wood. Opening one door will surprise the viewer with a pile of concrete rubble, perhaps from a collapsed wall, support column, or ceiling (the picture doesn't reveal enough to know where the rubble is from). Other more minor repairs include dangling light fixtures, broken windows, stained and shredded wallpaper, dirty or water-damaged floors, and general cleaning, as there are a few rooms filled with litter that was left by the last owners. Some wall paneling, molding, delicate fixtures, and wallpapers would be lovely to keep in place, if possible, as it gives the castle a classy elegance from another era. Uncertain at this point is the state of its foundation, and its water and septic system.
Update as of Apr. 2012: Westhall Castle is rumored to be purchased. It may or may not be sold at this point. Contact Savills for more information.
Scotland's Castles for Sale
Scotland has many other castles for sale that may pique your interest, whether you prefer the historically accurate, the mysteriously run-down, the suburbanic mansion, the romantically legendary, or the comfortably located. Several of Scotland's castles also include the title of Baron, so you would be buying not only a piece of property, but an immediate adoption into an ancient family of lairds and ladies, chieftains and lasses, of Scotland the Brave.
© 2010, 2012, 2013 Jane Grey
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