Jacobite castle in Aberdeenshire “paradise” looking for tenants

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A 16th-century Jacobite castle right in the middle of Aberdeenshire’s own “paradise” is recruiting a new set of tenants.

Pitfichie Castle is a seven-bedroom historic tower house located near Inverurie in north-east Scotland – in the heart of a beauty spot known to locals as “paradise.”

The impressive storybook castle boasts its own great hall with an open fire, a Laird’s dining room and three acres of sweeping grounds.

Pitfichie castle has been lovingly restored to its original appearance
Pitfichie castle has been lovingly restored to its original appearance

 

For the right tenant, the setup is available for £2,950 a month – the cost of a one-bedroom flat in central London or a four-bed property in Edinburgh’s West End.

The unique chance to bag the castle will give a life-changing opportunity for any nine-to-fiver to escape the grind of the city to Scotland’s “paradise.”

The castle dates back to the reign of Mary Queen of Scots, features seven impressive bedrooms accessed by a rough-hewn stone spiral staircase.

It also features a cavernous living room, built around a huge open log fire.

And the property also comes with three acres of grounds, with panoramic views to the River Don, the hill of Bennachie, as well as the surrounding spot known locally as “Paradise.”

The nearby ornamental Paradise Woods forms the centre of the area – playing home to an impressive array of trees including giant coast redwoods.

It was planted by Sir Archibald Grant in the 18th century, and has since become one of the area’s best-kept secrets – although Queen Victoria notably visited the woods on two separate occassions.

The property includes an open log fire in the Great Hall
The property includes an open log fire in the Great Hall

 

The castle lay in ruin for centuries after being unroofed in 1796 until antique dealer Colin Wood bought the dilapidated structure and restored it to its former glory in 1986.

“I got it as a ruin and it was written off by everyone,” he explained.

“It took eight years to restore it from 1978 to 1986. It’s a miracle the restoration was completed and it was just because of our dedicated team.

“It immediately went on the market for rent, as it was the only way i could hold onto it as it cost so much to restore.”

Mr Wood is now seeking new tenants for the ancient home, which has Jacobite links thanks to previous resident John Forbes, who was crucial in raising funds for the Earl of Mar ahead of the 1715 Rising.

Colin Wood was responsible for bringing the building back to life
Colin Wood was responsible for bringing the building back to life

 

“Most people have stayed for an average of three years and it has been mostly people who work in the oil industry – practically all of them actually,” he said.

“They’re mostly from overseas and actually just want the adventure of it. There have maybe been more Americans than other nationalities, but we’ve also had Dutch and British tenants.

“It’s very true to the original appearance. We had the best master mason in the north of Scotland and we had historic information as to what first two floors looked like.

“We also had a plan from a Victorian architect so we could put it back exactly as it was.

“I wouldn’t call it a ‘Disney’ castle because there are sometimes buildings that are over-restored that we say are ‘Mickey Mouse’ – whereas the way we’ve done it is how the castle would’ve originally been built.”

Mr Wood says that it's a more comfortable home than people expect
Mr Wood says that it’s a more comfortable home than people expect

 

Mr Wood has never lived in the building full-time since it was restored 28 years ago, but believes it offers something different to the common perception of castles as inhospitable buildings.

“Lots of people think of castles as gaunt places and that they’d be shivering inside, but this is an exception to that,” he explained.

“When you go into Pitfichie, it puts its arms around you – everybody says the same thing.

“And I always say to people that if there are any ghosts, they’re friendly ones!”

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