An under-the-radar Scottish castle has been given a new lease of life, thanks to an extensive but thrifty refurbishment of its holiday cottages and the creation of an architecturally unique events space.
The 16th-century Cloncaird Castle stands in 140 acres of grounds just a short distance from the village of Kirkmichael, but has maintained a low profile until recently despite how popular the area is with visitors.
Now, thanks to a new approach by its management team, the castle will boast the newly-created Atrium, an events hub innovatively built into a horseshoe courtyard at the rear of the castle, as well as eight state-of-the-art luxury holiday cottages.
The first refurbished cottage, the recently-completed Ayrshire Loft, will offer five-star accommodation with six-star amenties, including open fires and underfloor heating – perfect for a romantic getaway. There will also be an on-site honesty shop stocking some of Ayrshire’s finest produce, including Dunlop and Ballochmyle Fine Cheeses and Mossgiel Milk from Britain’s first plastic-free dairy.
Andrew Mellon, Cloncaird Castle’s General Manager, wanted to take a collaborative approach to the task. Seeking the help of local businesses, artisans and producers as well as household-name brands, 26 collaborators completed the refurbishment for a very reasonable £1,500 – without compromising on quality.
He said “Cloncaird Castle has always had a lot of potential – both the building itself and its beautiful surroundings have so much to offer visitors to the area.
“We just needed a team of people who could both realise that potential and highlight some of the best things our local area has to offer. We’re delighted with how Ayrshire Loft is looking now, and can’t wait to see how the other cottages look when they are completed.”
The refurbishment marks the start of a new chapter for Cloncaird Castle, with its idyllic location and beautifully preserved buildings aiming to compete with some of the area’s most popular getaways in the future.
Creative Scotland are currently involved in bringing this previously overlooked piece of history back into the spotlight as a Hollywood filming location, with its location scouts intrigued by the mix of modern and traditional the castle offers – all whilst offering five-star accommodation for cast and crew members.