This follows a painstaking three-month build of scaffolding that, when laid end-to-end, stretches three times the length of Edinburgh’s Princes Street or Aberdeen’s Union Street.
The iconic pink castle, said to have inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle, will also be donning a free-standing seven-storey pink protective mesh for the coming months. This will provide protection while the skilled and careful restoration of the stunning pink harling is carried out.
This project at Craigievar will contribute to the National Trust for Scotland’s conservation and sustainability ambitions, outlined in its 10-year Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone strategy. The repairs and futureproofing works will support the Trust’s strategic objective to stabilise and improve the condition of its estates, as well as help to combat the current and future impact of climate change on Scotland’s most treasured heritage.
The conservation works will reinvigorate the pink tones of Craigievar’s walls with multiple coats of a ‘special recipe’ of limewash. Also included in the repairs, which are expected to take 12 months to complete, are masonry restoration, roof work, maintenance to interior plasterwork and conservation of the lower enclosing (or ‘barmkin’) wall. Visitors will be treated to a grand ‘reveal’ in spring 2024 when the new exterior is unveiled.
Craigievar Castle’s harling was successfully replaced in 2009. However, the impact of changing weather patterns caused by climate change, means that this additional conservation and maintenance work is needed to ensure the building can withstand the increasingly wet and extreme weather.
Iain Hawkins, Regional Director North East for the National Trust for Scotland, said: “Craigievar holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the local community, across Scotland and indeed globally, thanks in no small part to the castle’s famous pink exterior, which was introduced in 1824 by Sir John Forbes.
“It’s our duty to ensure that this much-loved castle is protected against climate change in a way that is sympathetic to the natural environment and heritage of this magnificent building, and supportive of our Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone strategy. As a conservation charity, we rely on voluntary donations and membership support to care for and share special places like Craigievar Castle, so we have launched a “Pink Again” fundraising campaign to support these vital works. If you want to help us keep this enchanting castle safe from rainwater ingress and ensure that visitors can continue to fall in love with Craigievar for many generations to come, please consider donating to our campaign.
“We can’t wait to unveil this fairytale castle’s refresh in 2024 and can assure our visitors, supporters and members that all the hard work will be very much worth it, bringing joy to future generations.”
Craigievar’s grounds will remain open to visitors throughout the works and visitors are reminded that facilities will be closed and there will be signage in place.
If you’d like to find out more about the Pink Again campaign or make a gift to help protect Craigievar, visit www.nts.org.uk/pinkagain