I’ve had an update from the new owner of Castle Gogar, once owned by one of my ancestors (see more here). She explained that Brenda Steel Maitland died in 2003, she left the castle and estate to Gordon Stewart who looked after her in later life. The castle was in much need of restoration, so it was put up for sale and bought by Scott and Lesley Seath. They set about restoring the castle, and split up the estate to form 5 modern houses and 3 stable conversions in oder to pay for the restoration. Apparently, the local council turned down the original plans for old fashioned type houses and wanted properties with a complete contrast to the old castle. Check out the Castle Gogar Estate site to see the development, which could easily have had been featured on Grand Designs with Kevin McCloud enthusing about the juxtaposition of the old and new. Mr Seath seems to have done pretty well with the cottages selling for £300,000 each, the new houses for around £1.5 million each and the castle + 3 acres sold separately.
The new owner’s sent some great photos of the restored castle and there’s an interesting article from property news section of The Scotsman about the renovation (see King of Castles). I also like the Le Corbusier comes to Edinburgh article from The Sunday Times, which tells a lovely story about the former owner Lady Steel-Maitland and her friendship with her tenant Gordon Stewart. The article mentions that photographs show her as “glamorous with a penchant for fashions with a nipped-in waist and large hats”, which I’d love to show on the blog as I rarely have any images of those I mention on here.
I’m running out of disk space here so can’t show all the photos of the new Castle Gogar Estate, but I’ve uploaded a photo below which should give you an idea of the contrast between the actual castle and the newer buildings. These came offered with such optional extras as an indoor pool, home cinema, gym, sauna, library and games room.
You can find find out more about the Castle on Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland site here, but it’s also interesting to see the castle just as refurb started over on Multimap here. Anyway, I’m grateful to the new owner for the update, and all the info and photos. Hope I get invited round for a cup of tea if I’m ever in the area as I love to see how the Castle’s been turned into a family home, which was just what it needed.