In pictures: The eerie decay of a Loch Lomond castle

Buchanan Castle was built in 1854 and was the seat of Clan Graham and home to the Dukes of Montrose for many years. PIC: Creative Commons.
Buchanan Castle was built in 1854 and was the seat of Clan Graham and home to the Dukes of Montrose for many years. PIC: Creative Commons.
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The castle was once a nerve centre of high society and popular with royals, honeymooning nobles and visiting overseas dignitaries keen to lap up some Scottish hospitality close to the banks of Loch Lomond.

Buchanan Castle, the home to the powerful Dukes of Montrose and the seat of Clan Graham, was also visited by high ranking Nazi Rudolph Hess in 1941.

The roof was taken off Buchanan Castle in the 1950s. PIC: Skyler Brown.

The roof was taken off Buchanan Castle in the 1950s. PIC: Skyler Brown.

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The castle at Drymen served as a military hospital during WWII with Hitler’s deputy treated here for an ankle injury after his plane crash landed during a secret mission to Britain.

Today, the once-lavish home built by the 4th Duke of Montrose in the 1850s continues to crumble after being abandoned more than 60 years ago.

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Nature has taken over at the property which was abandoned more than 70 years ago. PIC: Skyler Brown.

Nature has taken over at the property which was abandoned more than 70 years ago. PIC: Skyler Brown.

US-based photographer Skyler Brown visited the remains of Buchanan Castle earlier this year to document the decline of what was once one of the biggest houses of its kind in Scotland.

His images capture how its former grandeur has given way to an eerie decay.

Buchanan Castle was partially demolished in 1954, the same year that the 6th Duke of Montrose, a heriditary peer and Conservative parliamentary candidate, died.

A buyer for Buchanan Castle could not be found.

Trees and rot have taken over the once-lavish home. PIC: Skyler Brown.

Trees and rot have taken over the once-lavish home. PIC: Skyler Brown.

By then, the castle had partly served as a hotel with an 18-hole golf course built in 1935 over land once used for racing horses and training gallops.

Since the roof came off, trees and rot have taken hold of the building and push it ever closer to absolute ruin.

Buchanan Castle sits on the Buildings at Risk register with Historic Environment Scotland judging it to have a high historical value given its long connection with the Dukes of Montrose.

It is also considered to be a good an example of the work of William Burn, one of Scotland’s most important early-mid 19th century architects.

Buchanan Castle was a popular haunt of Royal guests, visiting dignitaries and honeymooning nobles. PIC: Skyler Brown.

Buchanan Castle was a popular haunt of Royal guests, visiting dignitaries and honeymooning nobles. PIC: Skyler Brown.

He set out to build the large, asymmetrical country house with two courtyards. Decorated with bartizan towers and conical sections of roof, the property was designed “to accommodate the complex protocol of class and function that was prevalent at that time.”

Today, only some of the interior walls remain with just a few traces remaining of life once lived there.

In March 2002, planning permission was sought by the Buchanan Development Company to build 39 flats in the old castle building behind the 19th Century facade.

The move to bring the house back to life was met with stiff opposition from several key organisations including Scottish Natural Heritage, Buchanan Community Council, Stirling Council, and the organisation then known as Historic Scotland.

The 8th Duke of Montrose, James Graham, is a hereditary peer in the House of Lords and lives partly at Auchmar on the shores of Loch Lomond. The house was built for the family in the 1930s as a modern alternative to Buchanan Castle.

A further bid in 2006 to revitalise the property never materialised with the once-mighty building, owned by The Buchanan Trust, continuing to disappear over time.

It is considered to have significant historical importance given its long links to the Duke of Montrose. PIC: Skyler Brown.

It is considered to have significant historical importance given its long links to the Duke of Montrose. PIC: Skyler Brown.

The grandeur of the home has given way to an eerie decay. PIC: Skyler Brown.

The grandeur of the home has given way to an eerie decay. PIC: Skyler Brown.

Some sense of the castle's lavishness does remain. PIC: Skyler Brown.

Some sense of the castle's lavishness does remain. PIC: Skyler Brown.

Attempts to revive the property and turn it into flats were roundly rejected. PIC: Skyler Brown.

Attempts to revive the property and turn it into flats were roundly rejected. PIC: Skyler Brown.