Three Scottish castles whose most impressive buildings are not as old as they look, finds Kirsty McLuckie.
Carbisdale Castle, Sutherland
This property has just come back on to the market after an ambitious plan to turn it into a luxury hotel fell through.
The magnificent property is known as the “last castle in Scotland” because of its relative youth.
Certainly compared with Aberdour Castle, or Castle Sween in Argyll, both of which are believed to date from around 1200, Carbisdale is a youngster.
Carbisdale was built between 1906 and 1917 for Mary Caroline, Duchess of Sutherland, the second wife and widow of the third duke and is also known as the “Castle of Spite” because of the circumstances which bore it.
As part of an acrimonious settlement with the duchess’s in-laws, it was agreed that the family would build her a castle.
She chose a prominent site just beyond the estate boundary and decreed that the clock tower should not have a clock face on that side, as she did not wish to give her relatives the “time of day”.
The castle was bought in 1933 by the Salvesen family and provided a safe haven for the Norwegian royal family during the Nazi occupation.
After the Second World War it was gifted to the Scottish Youth Hostel Association.
Severe winter weather in 2010 caused significant damage but since then major works have been undertaken, including a complete refurbishment of the roof.
Harry Maitland of Savills which is marketing the castle says: “Carbisdale will either make an incredible trophy home or there is incredible potential to repurpose this fairytale castle as a hotel.”
Price: On application
Flowers of May, near St Andrews in Fife
This castle looks every inch the traditional Scots tower house but it was actually built in 1990.
The property offers an abundance of character with exposed timber beams, crowstepped gables and a pantiled roof.
It has beautifully presented gardens with panoramic views over the neighbouring countryside and the North Sea as well as a separate two bedroom cottage.
Raven’s Craig at Plockton in Ross-shire
This is another unique home; a modern tower house designed by and built for the current owner, the architect Ian Begg.
Completed in 1992, Raven’s Craig has the feel of a solid edifice, centuries old, but with the efficiency and convenience of a modern home.