Ex-Rangers chairman Craig Whyte's former Scottish castle on sale

A majestic castle that was once the seat of the Clan Grant chiefs of Strathspey, in the Scottish Highlands, and previously owned by former Rangers chairman Craig Whyte is on the market.
Former Rangers chairman Craig Whyte's former mansion, Castle Grant.Former Rangers chairman Craig Whyte's former mansion, Castle Grant.
Former Rangers chairman Craig Whyte's former mansion, Castle Grant.

Castle Grant, a mile north of Grantown-on-Spey, Morayshire, has a rich history, dates back to the 16th century and is “A” listed.

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The vast 13,000sq ft, 10-bedroom home comes complete with ballroom, drawing room, billiard room, cinema room and butler’s room, set in 35 acres of parkland and mature woodland. It’s yours for £950,000.

Inside Castle Grant.Inside Castle Grant.
Inside Castle Grant.

Whyte bought the property and was part way through expensive renovations when he split from wife Kim.

He moved out after their marriage fell apart and the castle was repossessed after he reportedly refused to pay the £7,000-a-month mortgage for two years.

The 16th-Century pile was originally put on the market for £1.1m in April 2014 after the Bank of Scotland seized the property, with Sergey Fedotov, director general of the Russian Author’s Society, and the current owner paying a reported £1 million for it.

Fetedov, 40, is a Russian tycoon who was jailed in Russia in June for 18 months for carrying out a £4million fraud to fund his lavish lifestyle.

Inside Castle Grant.Inside Castle Grant.
Inside Castle Grant.

It was originally known as Freuchie Castle. According to Clan tradition, the castle was taken from the original owners, the Comyn clan, by a combined force of the Grants and MacGregors, and it became Castle Grant in 1694.

The Grant family held onto it until the 1950s. When it was sold in the 1970s, many of the contents, including the arms, weapons and paintings, were sent to museums throughout Scotland.

Soldiers were stationed in the castle during World War II, and they are thought to be responsible for the rotting timbers – because they repeatedly mopped the floors.

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The constant moisture caused dry rot, which slowly demolished the timbers of the upper floors of the building. Despite some renovations, they are still in need of extensive repairs.

The castle has changed hands several times in recent decades.

It is said to have a host, that of Lady Barbara Grant, a daughter of one of the chiefs in the 16th century, said to have been locked in a closet by her father for refusing to marry the man he chose for her.

Legend has it that she died of a broken heart and stalks the tower and can sometimes be heard crying.

The east and west wings, designed by Scottish architect John Adam, were added in 1765. Particular design features of the building are the U-shape and the raised inner courtyard.

Many of the original period features remain, particularly in the ballroom, drawing room and billiard room while many improvements over the years include wood burning stoves, en suite facilities, modern bathrooms and a fitted kitchen.

The third floor, attic and a second attic are in a state of disrepair but offer excellent further development potential subject to the appropriate permissions.

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Kevin Maley, partner in Strutt & Parker’s Inverness office, said: “The Strutt & Parker Inverness office were involved in the sale of Castle Grant just over three years ago. Since then the owners have embarked on a major refurbishment which is still ongoing.

“Much of it was unforeseen, structural and remains a work in progress; that work is, therefore, not aesthetically pleasing on the eye but it will hopefully preserve the ancestral seat of the Clan Grant chiefs for many more generations to come.

“A significant amount of investment is still required but it offers a superb development opportunity. I expect national and international interest in this wonderful property.”

Castle Grant is situated within the outstanding Cairngorms National Park, a haven for outdoors, sporting and wildlife enthusiasts; nearby, there are excellent fishing opportunities on the River Spey and the River Dulnain, several popular golf courses, a ski slope, sailing, kayaking and windsurfing on Loch Morlich and Loch Insh as well as the stunning Moray coastline.