A man’s home is his castle. And Kelly Castle, near Dundee, could be your home – for £2.3 million.
The castle, cut from reddish stone, is arranged around a courtyard, with a turreted four-storey building opposite the stone entrance. It is set in more than 33 acres of its own woodland and gardens, and dates back to the 16th century.
True to style, Kelly Castle is not short of luxury features. The Grade B-listed castle itself covers a sprawling 10,649 sq ft, with five double bedrooms, a cinema room, snooker room, private bar and climate-controlled wine cellar to keep the bar well-stocked.
There’s a self-contained, two-bedroom estate manager’s flat, an additional 4,013 sq ft in outbuildings —including a paddock with a barn for horses— and walled and formal gardens. But best of all, there is a private nine-hole golf course, added by the current owners. Along with “Wee Chip” and “Sky to Sea”, the last hole is called “Bar’s Awaiting”. Yes, it is.
Since it was built, the castle has passed through the hands of different aristocratic families, save for a period of around 100 years where the property was abandoned following the Jacobite Rebellion in 1715 (the dining room is rumoured to have been used to store contraband).
You might feel, therefore, that such a home deserves a noble owner: a duke, say, or an earl. Luckily, the title, Baron of Kelly in Angus, is also up for sale via separate negotiation. The ballpark cost, according to David Law at Strutt and Parker, is between £80,000 and £100,000.
A Scottish barony is the only title in the UK that can be bought and sold. It is possible to buy the title without the property, or for the existing Baron to retain the title without owning Kelly Castle. “The sale of titles is somewhat unusual, because in many instances, you can’t sell a title,” says Law. “I would definitely say it’s a selling point. For domestic buyers, it’s a bauble on top, which I think is the way that the current owner looks on it…North American and overseas buyers are a little more intrigued by the title aspect.”
The property —and the Baron of Kelly in Angus title— is currently owned by Alun Grassick, who bought it as a second home for his family in 2001.
Grassick, who now lives in Hong Kong, undertook a wholesale renovation of the castle, which took seven years and cost around £2 million. This included re-doing and raking the plaster on the walls, replacing the roof tiles, insulating, re-wiring and re-plumbing the building. “Pretty much everything,” says Law. “The condition would have been pretty dire [when they bought it]. At one point, they had a bit of a scare where part of the tower collapsed.”
“[Grassick] has been a custodian of the building, and no expense has been spared. It’s been about looking after the castle for the future rather than penny pinching,” Law adds. “It’s in good, modern condition with all its historical character. It’s very unusual to see that in a building of this type, because most people just don’t have the money.”
Now, though, the property is not getting as much use, and Grassick and his family have chosen to sell. Law anticipates interest in the castle as a family home — “I know it sounds crazy” — because of its five bedrooms and multiple reception rooms, all with their own purpose.
Other interest has come from older couples and overseas buyers, particularly from North America. Either way, living in a castle captures the imagination. “Some of them have dreamed about owning a castle for some time,” says Law. “A lot of people who are interested have been looking for a long time for the right thing. Then this popped up.”