A 15th-century castle on the west coast of Scotland, which has been owned by the same family for almost 500 years, is up for sale for less than the average London home.
Kilberry Castle has 10 bedrooms and is set in 21 acres but has no central heating, which the current owner, Charmian Campbell, said she is used to but anyone from the South of England would “notice straight away”. Original features include a grand wooden staircase and Italian marble fireplaces.
According to the Knight Frank listing, the £650,000 castle is in need of significant restoration but Campbell said it is liveable now. Charmian, her husband John and their children moved there from London more than thirty years ago.
John’s relatives, the Campbell clan, took ownership of the estate in 1550. Kilberry Castle was burned down in 1773 and lay almost derelict until 1843 when it was restored and extended into a family home. A western wing and billiards room were added in 1873.
Scottish archaeologist, politician and author Marion Campbell, the aunt of current owner John Campbell, inherited the estate aged eight in the 1920s and, soon after, it was sold to an older cousin. Marion then regained possession of it aged 18 and she lived there — moving to the cottage on the estate in later life — until her own death in 2000.
Charmain said the decision to sell the family home was "a huge wrench". She and her husband will be downsizing now that their four children have flown the nest.
"It’s been a fantastic house," said Charmian. "A party space, and our family home. It’s got enormous potential for somebody."
Arranged over four levels, connected by a grand wooden staircase and galleried landings, the castle is packed with original features.
Italian marble fireplaces can be found in the library and a drawing room, while more unusual perhaps are the horns and heads adorning the upstairs walls.
"There’s plenty of stuff in the house which we haven’t changed because we haven’t had to — history is on the walls, it’s written in the house —there has been no reason to remove any of that," said Charmian.
Outside, there’s a separate cottage, a private woodland and a plot with recently-renewed planning consent to build a four-bedroom home.
Kilberry Bay, with its white-sand beach, is around a 10-minute walk away over neighbouring farmland.
"It’s going to need a full rewiring, a heating system, substantial money spent on it," said Tom Stewart-Moore of Knight Frank Scotland who are marketing the castle.
"It’s a wonderful opportunity for someone passionate about wanting to own a property like this."
Charmian and John’s children attended the local primary school which is about eight miles away. Three went away to secondary school while one went to the local secondary which is 15 miles away.
Glasgow is less than three hours’ drive from Kilberry Castle, via a route that takes you past Inveraray Castle and Loch Lomond.
"The two of us are just rattling about in it [the castle], it’s time for us to go," said Charmian.
"It is a special place, and it has a really wonderful atmosphere in the house."
"My husband works in the off-shore industry so I’ve spent a lot of time there on my own over the years, first I was with the children and then subsequently on my own, and it has a most benign atmosphere. It’s really lovely."