SCOTLAND’S “grandest former pigsty” has gone on the market, at nearly £1.5 million.
Orchil Castle, near Braco in Perthshire, was once owned by a farmer who wanted the land more than the grand Baronial home which stood on it.
He chose to live in the castle’s former laundry and allowed his pigs and sheep to roam amongst the marble fireplaces and carved oak panelling on the ground floor of the castle.
He also kept hens on the second floor where some of their roosting perches can still be seen.
But in its glory days in the 1920s, the future King George VI, then the Duke of York, and his brother George, the Duke of Kent are said to have been frequent visitors to the castle, which also features turrets with spires.
Now restored, the B-Listed castle – set in 21 acres of parkland with panoramic views over its own loch to the Ochil Hills – is being marketed for sale by estate agents Savills, at offers over £1.475 million.
Jamie Macnab, Savills’ director of country houses in Scotland, said: “This magnificent house is an architectural gem that has been superbly rescued and brought firmly into the 21st century, while still preserving its remarkable heritage.
“With further scope to develop the tower and upper floor, this is a rare opportunity indeed for a buyer to acquire a Scots Baronial masterpiece and make it their own.
“Orchil Castle has a wonderful history – it is hard to imagine that pigs and other livestock ever used to amble around the castle, which in stark contrast, is now an immaculate home.”
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Built by the Rev John McDougall of Dundee and his wife in 1867, the castle was twice hit by fire, being gutted in 1917 and losing its roof in 1967.
The castle played its part in the war effort during the 1940s, when the then owner, a Colonel Dawson, kept watch for enemy aircraft from the tower.
Once described as “the finest country house in Scotland”, the castle fell into decline after the war and the estate was sold off.
It was used as a foster home for a few years, and was then bought by the farmer who took up occupancy of the outbuilding which had served as the castle’s generator shed and laundry.