Castle once used by farmer owner as pigsty is yours for £1.5m


A CASTLE used by a former owner as a pigsty is on the market for £1.5m.

Orchil Castle – near Gleneagles in Perthshire – looks to all of the world like an impressive baronial castle.

But the towering turrets, sprawling gardens and private loch did not seem to impress one former owner – who used the mansion to house sheep, hens and pigs.

After WWII the castle fell into the hands of a farmer who was more interested in the land than the building itself.

The farmer, whose name is lost to history, let sheep and pigs roam among the marble fireplaces and carved oak panelling on the ground floor of the castle.

His prized hens were roosted on the second floor – where some of their perches can be seen today.

It scrubs up nice for a pigsty
It scrubs up nice for a pigsty

Meanwhile he confined himself to the outhouse – which previously housed the generator and laundry cleaning equipment.

The quirky episode came to an end in 1967 – when the house fell victim to a fire for the second time in its 150 year long history.

The four-bedroom castle was originally built in 1867 – before being largely destroyed by the first fire in 1917.

After repairs were made it fell into the hands of the Dawson family – who were reportedly visited by the future King George VI and his brother, George, Duke of Kent in the 1920s.

And during the 1940s the family patriarch, Colonel Dawson, kept a lookout for German warplanes from the castle tower.

After the war it was briefly used as a foster home, before falling into the hands of the farmer – who put it to an extremely unusual use.

After it suffered its second fire it was sold off to a rehab organisation, before being sold again to the Elim Pentecostal Church of America.

The church brought students over from the US in the summer holidays for bible study tours, but they were also put to work refurbishing the house itself.

It eventually fell back into private hands in 1995 – where the full-time restoration began, making it the property it is today.

The sale – pegged at offers over £1.475m – includes four bedrooms, as well as a self-contained flat in one wing, containing three more bedrooms.

The interior is fit for a king - not a pig
The interior is fit for a king – not a pig

It also includes its own chapel and a cottage – housed in the former laundry shed.

The land – including a walled garden and 35 acres of lawns and woodland – are also part of the sale, or available in a separate lot.

The sale is being managed by property agent Savills.

Jamie Macnab – the company’s director of country houses in Scotland – said: “This magnificent house is an architectural gem that has been superbly rescued and brought firmly into the 21st century, while still preserving its remarkable heritage.

“With further scope to redevelop the tower and upper floor, this is a rare opportunity indeed for a buyer to acquire a Scots baronial masterpiece and make it their own.”