Cut price castle on sale for £900,000 after sale fell through


A 40 BEDROOM Highland castle is now available for under £1m – after a controversial high-profile sale fell through at the last minute.

40,000 sq/ft Carbisdale Castle in Sutherland was one of the most impressive backpacker hostels in the UK for nearly 70 years – offering regal lodgings for shoestring travellers.

But in 2014 workers discovered that the castle would require extensive repairs and the property and its estate were shut and put up for sale for £1.2m – a price described as “cheap” at the time.

Last year it was announced that a sale was on the cards, with a developer who planned to lavish the castle with £6.5m and transform it into a luxury hotel.

But the sale recently fell through – and now the castle has been relisted for the staggeringly low price of £900,000 – less than some one-bedroom London flats.

The castle enjoys panoramic views
The castle enjoys panoramic views

The £300,000 price cut means the property is available for less than the £1m raised by selling off the collection of statues and paintings at auction last year.

The 365 window castle property comes with a grand hall, ballroom, and billiards room.

It also features a library and a minstrel’s gallery – a raised balcony where musicians would play during a feast or ball.

The new owner will also gain 16 acres of land and a loch when they take over control of the B listed castle – as well as various freestanding marble statues which were not sold off.

The castle was originally put up for sale for £1.2m in 2014.

A buyer was seemingly found in 2015 – when a company pledged a £6.5m investment to make the castle a hotel, adding a Michelin-star restaurant and revamped gardens to the property.

The deal also included plans for the developers to buy up 100 acres of Forestry Commission land around the estate – which proved controversial with local nature lovers.

But the deal fell through after Youth Hostel bosses cancelled the deal “as a result of growing concerns as to the likelihood of the sale being achieved.”

And now 25% – a jaw dropping £300,000 – has been dropped from the asking price, in a bid to shift the bargain property once and for all.

The castle used to be open to backpackers

Carbisdale Castle dates back to 1905 – when it was the last castle to be built in Scotland, erected as part of a bitter family disagreement.

The castle was built for Mary Caroline – Duchess of Sutherland – after the death of her husband George Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, the 3rd Duke of Sutherland.

His family did not approve of the marriage – and after his death they contested his will.

Eventually they agreed to give the Duchess a substantial sum of money and build her a castle – as long as it was outside their lands.

So the Duchess built her castle just outside Sutherland lands – on a hill where it is visible across a huge part of their estate – earning it the nickname “The Castle of Spite”.

The castle also features a clock tower with a clock face on missing from the side facing their estate – as the Duchess did not want to give them “the time of day”.

The castle hosted a variety of blue-blooded visitors in the years after it was built.

During WWII an agreement was made at Carbisdale between the King of Norway and Russian military chiefs that if they entered Norway they would not stay after the war.

In 1945 the castle was gifted to the Scottish Youth Hostel Association – where it became known as one of the most eccentric UK locations open to backpackers travelling on a shoestring.

A billiards room is one of the castle's many features
A billiards room is one of the castle’s many features

In 2011 the hostel was closed for repairs – but workers discovered further water damage, resulting in it being put up for sale in 2014.

Harry Maitland of Savills said: “Carbisdale is a magical property, rich in history. It will either make an incredible trophy home for a buyer from Scotland or much further afield, who is keen to restore the interior to it’s former glory.

“While significant refurbishment works have been carried out on the fabric of the property, there is also incredible potential to repurpose this fairytale castle as a hotel.”