A MAGNIFICENT 15th century castle has gone on sale for £1.5m – boasting Scotland’s oldest yew tree walk.
Buyers of the land in Kinross will be able to take a stroll under the canopy of 400-year-old trees, the tops of which have become entwined to create a secluded path.
The trees, which were just saplings when Galileo was studying the sky and the Taj Mahal was being built, are now 20m (65ft) tall and create a stunning feature.
Pictures show the trees lining a 150-ft path leading to the impressive castle and gardens – a route well-trodden by previous owners hundreds of years ago.
The A-listed castle also boasts eight bedrooms over five floors, and a unique painted library ceiling by Scottish artist Jennifer Merredew.
Each floor is connected by a spiral staircase – another feature of the castle.
It sits on 26-acres of ground, stables, a tennis court and gardens first laid out in the 1600s.
Conveniently, it sits on the axis of Scotland’s transport network, less than an hour from Glasgow and Edinburgh.
It is built on a slightly elevated site, with outstanding views across Kinross-shire with Loch Leven visible in the East and the Ochil hills in the north.
The castle has been updated and modernized over the years, and internally now bears little resemblance to the initial building.
A 17th century refurbishment extended and heightened the tower house, and it was remodelled again in the 1970s.
Apart from featuring the country’s oldest yew walk, Cleish Castle also enjoyed 15 minutes of fame five centuries ago.
It lies on Mary Queen of Scots’ escape route as she fled Lochleven Castle in 1567 – though there is no evidence to suggest she stayed over.
Malcolm Leslie, from Strutt & Parker who are selling the property, said: “For someone interested in horticulture Cleish Castle would be a dream home.
“The garden is a substantial size has such a great history. A recent survey by Historic Scotland confirmed that these gardens were laid out in the early 1600s.
“Whilst little remains of the original formal gardens, the yew walk, which has been dated around 1620, is substantially intact. It certainly makes a conversation topic when showing guests around.”
It is believed that some species of yew tree can live up to 10,000 years old – so the enclosed canopy is expected to survive a long time.
Scotland’s oldest single-standing yew tree is in a churchyard in Fortinghall, Perthshire. Modern expert estimates have put its age between 1,500 and 3,000 years old.