When I first encountered Balintore Castle, it was a star entry in Scotland's "Building at Risk" register: a derelict A-listed jewel-box of Baronial architecture dating from 1860. Repair was clearly uneconomic, as the massive oriel window on the east elevation had collapsed. I put the building to the back of my mind, and continued my quest to find a more sensible building to restore: one commensurate with my modest budget. Little did I think that years later, I would find myself the owner of Balintore and taking on a restoration that would baulk multi-millionaires.
How to Restore a Ruined Castle?
Given the scale of the restoration, it was obvious early-on that the building would have to "sing for its supper". The original plan was to restore the kitchen wing as a holiday let, and to consolidate the rest of building. In fact, an 8 year delay in obtaining planning permission for the kitchen wing, meant that work on the rest of the the building is father advanced that I ever expected in my lifetime: with most floors and windows now having been put back.
The kitchen wing was finally launched as a holiday let late in 2019, a full 12 years after the purchase of the building in 2007. My hope is that income from the holiday let will accelerate progress. The arrival of Covid in 2020 put paid to these plans, but it felt right to just continue with the restoration regardless. Ironically, the lock-down gave us a chance to really focus, and the development of further holiday accommodation progressed quickly. This website showcases that accommodation.
I hope, when conditions again permit, that you will book your stay at the castle and enjoy its very special atmosphere, knowing how you personally will have contributed to the restoration.
Dr. David John Johnston, 20th January, 2021