Country houses for sale

An elegant Highland castle and estate on the market for the first time in eight centuries

The 560-year-old Kilravock Castle and its estate have come to the market, a fabulous opportunity — but one which will require a lot of work, as Penny Churchill reports.

Up in the Highlands, Rod Christie of Galbraith in Inverness is handling the sale of the storied Kilravock Castle estate in the scenic Nairn Valley, one mile from the village of Croy and six miles from Inverness airport. He seeks ‘offers over £4m’ for the enchanting, 481-acre Highland estate, which has been run by the current vendors — the Kilravock Christian Trust — as a retreat centre. As the pictures show, it’s now in deed of renovation: this is not one for somebody who just expects a perfect place to move straight in.

The estate centres on the Category A-listed Kilravock Castle, the original seat of the Clan Rose, which dates from about 1460, when the 7th Baron built the original keep under licence from John, Lord of the Isles and Earl of Ross. The lands had been acquired in the 13th century by Hugh Rose of Geddes, and were held by the family for the best part of 800 years before being bequeathed in 1984 by Elizabeth Rose, 25th Baroness of Kilravock (pronounced ‘Kilrorke’) to the aforementioned Kilravock Christian Trust. As such, this is the first time that the castle and estate have been available on the market in eight centuries.

Work needs to be done… but it’s worth it for a house with a room that can swallow a grand piano this easily.

Various additions were built on over the years, including the main house in 1553. The main staircase, corridors and west wing were added in the 18th century. The last major alteration, the construction of an additional tower, took place in 1926.

Recommended videos for you

The present castle comprises 13 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a banqueting hall, library, family museum and oubliette, or secret dungeon, plus two adjoining self-contained wings.

It comes with nine cottages and extensive gardens and grounds, including an arboretum, commercial and amenity woodland, farmland, and trout-fishing rights on the River Nairn.

Established in 2003, the Cairngorms National Park in north-east Scotland is the UK’s largest, covering an area of 1,748 square miles in Aberdeenshire, Moray, the Highlands, Angus and Perth and Kinross.

The source of three major rivers — the Spey, the Dee and the Don — the park provides a unique semi-tundra moorland habitat and is home to many rare plants, birds and animals. They include Britain’s only herd of semi-domesticated reindeer, introduced from Sweden in 1952, which roams the high Cairngorms.

Kilravock Castle estate is for sale via Galbraith at £4m — see more details and pictures.

Best country houses for sale this week

Dream homes in the Cotswolds and Cumbria make it in to our list of the finest country houses for sale