Enchanting restoration to a historic Scottish Castle

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Dalcross Castle is a classic sandstone Scottish tower house owned by a family of four that was tastefully restored by Maxwell & Company Architects, located near Inverness, Scotland. The castle was originally built in 1620, and the family purchased the dilapidated home in 1996, captivated by the building and its history. The castle was originally built for one of the daughters of the eighth Lord Lovat, chief of Clan Fraser. It was home to the Duke of Cumberland during the mustering of troops for the 1746 Battle of Culloden. The troops would either stay in the castle or would cross right by it on their way to the battlefield. The castle fell into disrepair in the 19th century, but then was renovated in late Victorian times, yet gradually became run-down.

Have a look at some of the past features from 1 Kindesign on castles: Enchanting old castle style home on the coast and Medieval Stone Castle in Bar sur Loup.


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Two years after purchasing the castle, the family enlisted the architects help to convert the property from cold and damp into something cozy, warm and welcoming, that could be used by both family and friends. While carefully preserving the character of the past, the 8,072 square foot (750 square meters) 11 bedroom, 11 bathroom home showcases 21st-century comforts, creating an inviting Scottish escape for the family’s busy lives in London.

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On the far left is a one story cottage that used to be a diary, which is adjoined with a two story cottage that once was a caretakers home. The structures are adjoined to the main castle via an open courtyard, which was renovated with a roof so that an enclosed mudroom could be created. The owners now use this casual space as their main entryway into the home.

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Taking three years to complete the entire renovation of the castle, salvaged items were incorporated into the design scheme, mixing with items that were picked up along the way. The castle has now been painstakingly restored into its former glory, showcasing period pieces with an intriguing past.

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This space is considered the great hall which has three windows and balconies overlooking the lush landscape. This space is used for having dinner parties with guests. The fireplace was restored to its original stonework. The dining room table and chairs in addition to the chandelier were all custom designed to fit the space.

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Located next to the 17th century great hall is a private sitting area for the family to gather around and spend quality time together. This is a very old wing of the house, dating back to 1890. This can be seen in the not only in the original woodworking details but also in the Arts and Crafts style furniture.

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This is the main staircase of the home, which takes you up five flights of stairs to the upper level of the castle. The architects re-finished the stairwell, giving it a lime wash.

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The master bedroom retreat features elegant finishes in a more neutral scheme that is warmed up with the rich red hues of the area rug. The French marble fireplace is not original to the space, yet is in keeping with the elegant atmosphere.

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The red hallway invigorates the space which leads to the master bedroom suite. The great hall is accented with bookshelves decorated with colorful books and framed family portraits.

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There are three turrets in the castle, and the one picture above was re-designed into a cozy window seat. Plush pillows and cushions and red drapery curtains for privacy makes the space very inviting.

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The upper level of the castle is the children’s domain, with just two, each has their own half. Interior designer Rona Douglas worked on the interiors of the project. For the bedroom space pictured above, the designer selected a nautical theme.

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Pictured above is the hallway entrance to where the family comes in from the back door. Located along this corridor is a wine cellar, garden room and home office, which is used to operate the estate. At the end of the passageway is the main staircase that has access to all levels of the home. Solid oak floors adds warmth to the space and conceals the heating pipes.

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This striking historical renovation project won a Civic Trust award. It demonstrates an excellent representation of the past, with the creation of a consistent and cohesive design.

Photos: Peter Landers Photography

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9 years ago

I’m very surprised by the gutter which is in front of the three upper windows. It is very strange and must be unconfortable from those rooms when you look at the window. And quite ugly from the outside.

But I’m in love with the “between floor”, and the stones around each door. I like the white corridors !