It has been called the perfect “lock-up-and-leave” property for a billionaire.
Craigcrook Castle might be an unlikely city pad but such is the rarity value of a historic property with land within Edinburgh that it is set to become the most expensive home ever to change hands in the capital.
The castle, which launched on the market yesterday, is likely to break previous records for a residential property in Scotland, set at just under £5 million in 2007.
Craigcrook Castle is likely to smash that record, according to Rory Ballantyne, of Ballantynes Estate Agents, which is marketing the property with Sothebys. “We would expect to pass through that £5m figure and beyond, by a significant margin.”
He said the castle had real rarity value: “It is within three miles of the city centre, but has four-and-a-half acres of landscaped grounds in a very private setting. Plus 9,000 square feet of living space inside.”
It is not known who the sellers are or if they are based in Scotland.
The castle’s historic and literary ties also push up its value. Dating from the 16th century, it has hosted such illustrious visitors as Alfred Lord Tennyson, Hans Christian Andersen, Charles Dickens, George Eliot and Sir Walter Scott. All visited when the castle was owned by Lord Jeffrey, founder of the Edinburgh Review.
Parts of the castle were also remodelled by William Playfair, the architect of Edinburgh’s New Town.
The estate agent has already had inquiries from UK and overseas buyers and Mr Ballantyne said many people are likely to be interested in such a unique proposition.
He said: “The lure is the possibility of owning a castle without having thousands of acres to upkeep. It really could be described almost as a lock-up-and-leave, and is therefore great for someone who has houses elsewhere.”
He said a castle within a city would appeal to those who like the romantic notion of a historic house, but would prefer to be close to amenities rather than out in the countryside. It could attract a high-profile buyer.
Mr Ballantyne said: “It is so enclosed and private that many don’t know that it is there and that may attract celebrities and those who value their privacy.”
Scottish castles are in demand from foreign buyers. Mr Ballantyne cites a ruined Banff castle, Inchdrewer, which he sold last year to former Russian model and fashion house founder Olga Roh. “She bought it without going to see it, such is the demand for these quirky historic properties.”
Plans already drawn up for remodelling Craigcrook show five bedroom suites, four grand public rooms, staff quarters, a games room, gym and cinema. There is also a gate lodge and stabling.
The castle may well become the most expensive home sold on the open market anywhere in Scotland. The existing record, according to Savills, is held by Seton Castle, East Lothian, which changed hands for £5m in 2007. Estates that have sold for more had far more land included .