Love seeing a castle on the market. Knockderry Castle is steeped in history as well as being in a fabulous location by the edge of Loch Long with amazing views across it. An A-listed Baronial Castle, it was built in the 1850s for James Templeton who was a textile manufacturer. Those in Glasgow will be familiar with the Templeton Center which started out as a carpet factory for James Templeton and his family.
The property was designed by Alexander Greek Thomson whose name will be familiar to most in Glasgow. The Caste was later extended around 1900. Unfortunately, Alexander Greek Thomson had died by this time so the design for the changes and additions was done by William Leiper, another well know Scottish architect. The Templeton Center was also designed by William Leiper.
The Castle was granted A-listed status due to the interior designed by Leiper. Knockderry is considered one of the finest examples of Leiper's work.
As well as the property itself there is a cottage and other outbuildings on the land. It does not come with substantial land although what it does have is private and well-positioned on the edge of the loch.
It benefits from Electricity, mains water and mains drainage. The heating comes from an oil septic tank.
This is where we run into issues. The Castle has not been maintained at all. The brochure suggests it will require extensive upgrading and refurbishment. They are not kidding! At offers over £1.25m, you can expect to spend a significant amount on repairs before you then develop it to personal taste. But you may, in fact, will be limited to what you can do to the interior given that is where its A-listed status has been granted.
It does still have a lot of its original features though, from stone balustrades and wood panelling. You can see limited images below. The very fact the agent is not showing that many images suggest they are showing the best and therefore the worst is likely still to be seen.
The EPC rating is G, you would not expect a high rating from a Castle built in the 1850s even if it is in poor condition.
The property condition could well be connected to the current owner who was evicted from the Castle in March this year following a dispute over a debt of £230. Yup, £230. Although that debt from 2000 has escalated to £30,000 over the past 22 years.
Marian Van Overwaele, 71, has owned the castle for 35 years. She was made bankrupt in 2000 after refusing to pay a bill of £230 owed by a firm she ran. It was a bridalwear business running up to 1997. Following bankruptcy, she transferred the property to her brother and has lived in the property with his family ever since.
This did not however stop an eviction order from being granted and carried out. No doubt there is more to this story but that is why the property is now on the market, not being sold by the owner but the trustees in bankruptcy. Don't expect a discount though unless they can't find enough interest.
Images below, as noted there are not as many as normally expected but I fully anticipate they are only showing the best and that is likely an indication the rest is not really something they want to show at this stage.
Gallery (click images to view original size)
The property is currently on the market with Strutt & Parker, you can find details here. Image credit mostly thanks to them. Hopefully a buyer with deep pockets will purchase the Castle and restore it the way it should be.