CASTLE FOR KEEPS: Mystery buyer snaps up historic property near Plockton, on the market for £2.85 million

The castle on the shores of Loch Carron Pic

Duncraig Castle near Plockton has been sold to a mystery buyer just two weeks after being put on the market at offers over £2.85 million.

The landmark building on the shores of Loch Carron has been owned for the past 13 years by Suzanne Hazeldine and husband Duncan Gass who have been running it as a luxury B&B. 

The house has been extensively refurbished Pic

But the couple and their young son are moving back to England and the 80-room property along with its 40 acres, including an island, was put up for sale this month.

It is understood there was a lot of interest in the C-listed castle and several offers.

The new owner will take possession early in December but their identity is not yet known.

The Castle’s games room Pic

This week people in Plockton expressed their surprise that such a substantial property had sold so swiftly.

The grounds comprise woodland, a jetty, a boathouse, private pontoons and the island of Eilean Lagach.

The castle, which has its own chapel and cinema room with tiered seating, also includes two flats.

Ms Hazeldine and Mr Gass spent years completely renovating the 19th century property which was in a very poor state of repair when they purchased it in 2009.

The castle has its own chapel and in recent years it has been used as a wedding venue. Pic

They opened Duncraig Castle as a luxury 15-bedroom B&B in May 2021.   

Plockton resident Charlie MacRae, who performed the opening ceremony for the B&B venture, said: “People locally can’t believe how quickly it sold. It’s quite amazing for a huge property like that. 

“It will be very interesting to see who the next owner is. Duncraig Castle’s ownership has been very controversial over the years when the previous owners the Dobsons had it and before that it was leased to the pop star David Balfe for a year by the Highland Council and he didn’t do anything with it.

“So it’s been very up and down until Suzanne and Duncan bought it and then things settled.

The castle’s interior is a far cry from its days as a catering college . Pic

“We would hate to see it going to a pop star or a playboy who would not do much with it. It would be good if there was some employment at the castle and it continued to play a role in the community.” 

Built in the 1860s, Duncraig Castle was used during WW2 as a naval hospital and from 1945 to 1989 as a domestic science college.

It earned TV fame when it was bought by the Dobson family in 2003 and their attempts to refurbish it were made into a reality show, The Dobsons of Duncraig.   

Article by Jackie MacKenzie