THE HIGHLAND CASTLE repossessed from disgraced former Rangers owner Craig Whyte has been sold to overseas buyers.
Castle Grant was put on the market for £1.1million in April after the Bank of Scotland seized the property from the businessman.
The property had originally been snapped up just hours after it was placed on the market in April.
But the buyers – the first to have viewed the historic castle when it was first advertised last month – pulled out.
The 16th century property, on the outskirts of Grantown-on-Spey, Moray, was re-advertised again and the price was reduced to £1million.
It has now been purchased by buyers from outwith the UK who intend to invest a “significant amount”.
Kevin Maley, partner in selling agents Strutt and Parker, said: “Castle Grant was launched to the market in the spring and generated a significant amount of interest from buyers across the globe, including America, Australia, Russia and Singapore.
“Interestingly those who did view the castle were fascinated by the history of it and the fact that it was purpotedly haunted by the ghost of Lady Barbara Grant, not to mention the misfortune of many of the previous owners.
“The new owner is already planning on spending a significant amount on refurbishing the castle and grounds and it is reassuring to know that the ancient, ancestral seat of the Chiefs of the Grant Clan is in safe hands.”
The stately home includes mature parkland gardens, a landscaped loch and about 35 acres of private land. There is a cinema room, billiards room, library, four bedrooms and a guest wing.
The castle was redeveloped in the 1990s before it was sold to Whyte but is now said to need “significant investment”.
Whyte was evicted from the castle after being unable to pay the mortgage. The businessman and his former wife Kim purchased the property for £720,000 in 2006 with a 110 per cent mortgage of £800,000.
But she moved out after their marriage fell apart, and he reportedly refused to pay the £7,000-a-month mortgage for two years.
The Bank of Scotland raised a legal action against him last year after he had failed to make the repayments from 2012. The battle came to an end at Inverness Sheriff Court when Whyte finally agreed to repossession.
He sought help from his father Tom who supervised workmen as they cleared the castle of his belongings. The clear-out included reportedly the siphoning off of oil from the central heating system and ripping out chandeliers to be transported back to his London home.
Whyte is no stranger to the courts. He has already been ordered to pay investment firm Ticketus £17.7m after failing to disclose full details about his business pedigree when he took over Rangers.
He had sealed the deal to take control at Ibrox with money from Ticketus – paid in exchange for the rights to three years’ worth of season ticket revenue. Whyte initially denied making any such deal, but later admitted the truth. The Ticketus case could force him into bankruptcy.
He has also been embroiled in court battles with his estranged wife over £5,000-a-month maintenance, which he was instructed to pay by the courts.
In December last year, his former housekeepers Jane Hagan and her husband Terence Horan were convicted of stealing thousands of pounds worth of goods from the castle. But the sheriff also criticised evidence given by Whyte.