The revival of Scotlands Castles

How heartening after decades of decay and the destruction of many old fine homes, to see a revival of Scotland's Castles. After the war when many properties which had been either closed up or badly damaged by their war time guests, were facing a grim future. Many had been used as hospitals or temporary billets for servicemen and to use a modern expression, they had been pretty much trashed.

Of course the end of the war also coincided with a period of heavy taxation and a huge shortage of raw materials. Many families simply buckled under the pressure and either sold up or pulled down the ancestral pile.

However fortunately some hung on and battled through a pretty grim four decades of heavy taxation and diminishing returns from their estates.

With the passing of the estates onto the next generation and all the new prosperity that Britain was enjoying, many homes underwent extensive restoration, which breathed new life into these historic old homes. Whereas previously many castles only survived through government grants or by being taken on by the National Trust, Landmark trust or some other preservation organisation, they now were benefiting from new sources of revenue, like property development, mobile masts, wind farms and office developments in old farm buildings.

An even more exciting development was the emergence of new owners, many from the building industry, who had a passion for old buildings. They bought run down and in some cases ruined former manor houses, castles or keeps and restored them to their former glory. This often involved huge amounts of money and real dedication as they overcame many construction problems. However twenty years on, Scotland is dotted with such buildings and it is wonderful to see so many being enjoyed once more as private homes, small inns or as some form of cultural venue.

They are a huge magnet for overseas guests and rightly so!

The ongoing battle with all these buildings is meeting the huge cost of their upkeep and as traditional income sources like farming, forestry and sporting activities diminish. Owners now have to find other ways to generate sufficient income and many now rent out their homes for exclusive lets, corporate events, and film shoots. The opportunity to hire a Scottish castle is hard to resist. Even though some properties are still struggling, there is overall a much more positive mood out there and even the tourist board now appreciates that these wonderful old properties make up a vital part of the fabric of Scotland.

Very few owners these days can afford to live in the lavish lifestyle of their forebears and most now work incredibly hard to preserve their homes. Most visitors would be surprised and probably rather shocked at the sacrifices many owners have made to keep their homes in good order. The next generation will inherit properties in far better condition than their parents did but they too will face many challenges as upkeep costs spiral and their homes continue to age.

However the revival in the fortunes of Scotland's historic castles and homes, is wonderful to see and encouraging for the future. Many are open to the public and nearly all are well worth a visit.

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Andrew Loyd is a director of Loyd & Townsend-Rose Ltd, who specialize in privately owned mansions, historic houses and castles for rent in Scotland for vacations, corporate events, filming and sporting activities. . .

By: dave4

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