Fairytale Scottish castle that inspired Disney's Cinderella to reopen to public

Restoration completed at pink Aberdeenshire 17th century landmark

A “fairytale” castle said to have inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle is to reopen to the public after undergoing a major 18-month renovation project which saw it swathed in pink mesh.

Craigievar Castle, in Aberdeenshire, closed in early 2023 in order to “futureproof” it against rain and climate change damage as part of its Pink Again restoration campaign.

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The bright pink castle was covered in mesh seven stories high to mimic the pink harling which was being replaced.

Craigievar Castle is said to have inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella CastleCraigievar Castle is said to have inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle
Craigievar Castle is said to have inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle

The restoration is now complete and the renovated castle will reopen on Friday.

Dating to 1626, the castle is known for its pink exterior, 17th century plaster ceilings and artwork.

Staff and volunteers are re-installing the art collections ahead of the reopening.

The National Trust for Scotland warned that extreme weather conditions over the past decade had caused the building to deteriorate, but the restoration had given it a new lease of life.

Workers made small changes to the building’s detailing and slate roofs that mean it can better cast off rain and snow.

After repairs to the walls, stonemason specialists at Harper & Allan applied more than 13,000 litres of special recipe limewash to the building, before removing the last of the scaffolding.

The Pink Again project was funded by Historic Environment Scotland.

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James Henderson, the National Trust for Scotland’s operations manager for Craigievar, said: “The fairytale castle is a global icon of Scottish heritage and a pink beacon for visitors.

“Our charity can’t wait to continue telling the story of Craigievar and we’re extremely proud that the National Trust for Scotland’s supporters and the project team have ensured that there are many more chapters to come.”

Animator Walt Disney is believed to have been inspired by Craigievar Castle’s pink exterior when he designed the company’s famous Cinderella castle, which also drew inspiration from other landmarks including Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria.

Neuschwanstein Castle is a 19th-century palace on a rugged hill of the foothills of the Alps in the south of Germany, near the border with Austria, above the narrow gorge of the Pöllat stream.



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