The National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is investigating after nude pictures of English glamour model Rachelle Summers were taken at Craigievar Castle in Aberdeenshire.
The NTS is considering legal action against the photographers who claim they were given permission for the shoot, but the heritage body has said they have no record of the event.
Rachelle, 23, was snapped draped over antique furniture at the 17th century castle.
Details of the session emerged when a relative of the castle’s former owners was tipped off by a member of the public.
Gabriel Forbes-Sempill, daughter of the 19th Lord Sempill – who gave the castle to the NTS in 1963 – told The Daily Record: “I am by no means a prude but I don’t believe my parents gave the castle to the nation for this sort of thing.”
The pictures, which can be bought through art websites, were taken by Karen and Howard Kennedy, who run an Aberdeen photography firm.
Howard told The Record he had booked Craigievar Castle as a location over the phone.
He added: “I told them it was for nude photography. They wanted £500 but I said that was beyond my budget so we agreed £200.
“I handed over a cheque made out to the National Trust to Craigievar staff.”
An NTS spokesman said no staff member appeared to know about the shoot.
A spokesman told The Scotsman: “We have been made aware of unauthorised photographs taken within Craigievar Castle being sold on the internet.
“The photographs appear to have been taken in late 2012 – we are investigating the circumstances but there is no evidence to suggest that permission was granted to the photographer responsible to make use of the castle.
“The Trust would never sanction photographs of this nature – especially at a location that is regularly visited by families with children.”
He added: “No photography is permitted within Craigievar Castle and, in general terms, any commercial photography undertaken in Trust properties must be subject to a contractual arrangement with us.
“Given that these photos appear to have been both taken and then sold on an unauthorised basis we are considering legal action against those responsible.
“We have already expressed our regret to Craigievar’s donor family about these photographs and have taken steps to ensure that this situation cannot be repeated.”
On her official website, Rachelle Summers states: “As my references will show you I am very reliable, motivated and friendly. I have a very professional attitude but do love to build good working relationships and keep my shoots as fun as they are productive.”