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National Trust for Scotland plans castle restorations

The National Trust for Scotland wants heritage and conservation bodies to join forces to share responsibility for running and promoting historic attractions and help it to “fill the gaps” in its portfolio by rescuing other sites. It has called a major summit for later this month.
A new five-year strategy for the organisation, which celebrates its 80th anniversary this year, is expected to begin moves to ensure NTS does not “overlap” with the likes of Historic Scotland, Scottish Natural Heritage and the RSPB.

Although its main focus is on 130 flagship sites, NTS is also responsible for 200,000 acres of countryside, 46 of Scotland’s Munros, seven nature reserves, 248 miles of coastline and 16 remote islands, including Canna and St Kilda.

In future, NTS is expected to focus more on “heritage of national importance”. Rundown castles, neglected islands, old cinemas and concert halls, as well as the highlights of Scotland’s industrial heritage, including factories and even giant cranes, are expected to be targeted for restoration under the five-year strategy.

Trust chairman Sir Kenneth Calman dispelled fears that the organisation was to embark on “asset-stripping” in the wake of its well-publicised financial problems.
The charity insists it has no plans to dispose of any of its major sites of national significance, insisting it will shed properties only if they are found to be of no heritage value. National Trust for Scotland will see it become more commercially minded, intervene to save threatened historic sites and “sweat” its existing assets to make them generate more money.

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Hungarian castles for sale at rock bottom prices

Hungarian castles are for sale at the moment at unbelievable prices .A castle in Gerla, Hungary, built between 1854-60, once belonged to the Wenckheim family. It was sold in November 2010 for 3.6 million Hungarian forints ($20,000, 13600 euros, or  12,100 pounds)

Times may never have been better for commoners eager to purchase a piece of nobility. In Hungary  there are some 300 castles, mansions and country estates currently listed in the marketplace — many at prices far below those of most apartments found in European capitals.
In fact some are selling for as low as $20,000, according to the Hungarian financial daily Napi Gazdasag.
Buyers might want to buy several gallons of paint, a few rakes, and the services of a skilled worker or two.
Most of the castles for sale are in such a state of disrepair that the renovation and maintenance costs are likely to far exceed – often exponentially – the price of the property itself. New listing –  Hungarian property for sale

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Rochester Castle restoration backed by James Purefoy

Actor James Purefoy has backed plans to see  Rochester Castle restored. Hus latest film Ironclad is a multimillion-pound epic that details King John’s bloody siege of the castle in 1215, in which he tried to crush a band of rebels intent on stopping his march to power in London.  The film’s producers disappointed castle supporters by choosing  to build a life-size replica of Rochester Castle in Wales
But Rome and Resident Evil star James Purefoy, who appears as a Knight Templar, has thrown his weight behind the campaign to restore the castle. He said : “I spent a couple of days there. I think the castle is a living breathing monument to that story – I love it.”
Purefoy has even contacted Rochester Castle Restoration Society to see if a special summer screening could be arranged in the grounds.

The open-air screening would raise awareness of the society’s campaign to turn the castle into an interactive museum.

Purefoy said: “I would do my damndest to get the whole cast along for a screening.”

The society has joined forces with Medway Council and English Heritage, which manage the site between them.

It hopes to raise £10 million to repair the castle’s roofs, floors and stonework, transforming the site into a working attraction.

The idea for Ironclad sprung from a visit the director, Jonathan English, made to Rochester Castle. He was mesmerised by the haggard Norman structure.

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French Castles for sale

France is renowned as a great place for holidays because of the pleasant climate, tourist attractions and some of the best cuisine in the world. Ever since the publication of  “A year in Provence” people in the UK have made holidays in France a big priority. For a select few France has become their permanent home. For all these reasons the market for French castles for sale has been growing. Some websites have over 200 castles in France on the market. There are thousands of property websites online but the quality of their properties varies widely.

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Hopton Castle renovation makes progress

16 members of Hopton Castle Preservation Trust visited the site and enjoyed views from the top of the castle. A new archway has been built in the castle’s north west tower and a new roof is being put over one tower to protect the original medieval plaster. Scaffolding, which has surrounded the castle for more than two years, is due to come down this week and it is hoped the restoration will be finished by Christmas. It marks the beginning of the end of an appeal launched by trust members 10 years ago to restore the castle ruins. The project has since been delayed by poor weather and new problems discovered in the castle structure.

Hopton Castle received funding of £1.25 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund . The project should allow access by the public. The castle needs about £3000 a year for maintenance.

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Nijswiller Castle for sale

A centuries old castle in Limburg, the Netherlands is being redecorated to the highest possible standard by developer Stelreu. The castle is situated in a historical park with brook and a long private road over a 19th century bridge. It has played a role in medieval times when the Belgian Jan van Brabant concurred the Germans in the Battle of Worringen in 1288. The architect, Claus en Kaan Architects Rotterdam, took no compromise with the voluminous spaces and high ceilings. The castle steps into the 21st century with self-esteem thanks to the state of the art building control (domotica), CO2 neutral floor and wall heating and an array of solar cells while it’s 12th century roots still remain in the castle with the old wine cellar and authentic shooting holes. Nijswiller Castle has transformed caste living from a moist, cold and costly burden to an elevated and ultimate experience of enlightened happiness. You can invite your friends to stay in the double guest quarters, dining with wine from your wine cellar and burning the wood from your forest in one (or more) of the fifteen fireplaces. The castle is located in “Zuid-Limburg”, in the south of the Netherlands. This location is referred to as “Euregio”, the heart of western Europe. Cities like Maastricht (NL), Aachen (D), Liège (B) are very close and have high speed train connections to cities like London, Paris, Barcelona and Berlin. Connectivity to the large international airports Frankfurt and Düsseldorf are 1 hour away, Amsterdam airport is two hours. The castle and park are both marked as historical which means it is viable for tax deductions and subsidy handouts.

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Lady Gaga wants her own castle

Superstar singer Lady Gaga wants to buy a castle – and no expense will be spared in her quest for her perfect abode.  The publicity-shy singer is said to have fallen in love with the British landscape and wants to purchase an estate in the countryside.
A source told Scottish newspaper the Daily Record:
‘It is her childhood dream and she’s particularly interested in castles in the north of England or Scotland.’
Gaga’s grandfather, Joseph Germanotta, passed away last week at the age of 88. Gaga is the latest in a long line of celebrities who have the money and desire to buy their own castle

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Isle of Craro for sale

This enchanting 8-acre private island is located just off the South West coast of the Isle of Gigha, Inner Hebrides. The surrounding waters are home to seals and much bird life, with dolphins passing by regularly. The island is virtually untouched by people, yet important part of local folklore.

The Isle of Gigha is a history-rich part of the Inner Hebrides, and the most southerly of the island chain. Influenced by warm ocean currents, the area around Gigha is relatively dry and temperate, and the scenic bays, green meadows and lochs are a perfect expression of the beauty of the Scottish Isles. The 8-acre isle of Craro itself is in a pristine state and waiting to be appreciated by its new owner. Offered at GBP 65,000.

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Monaco property sells for £199 million

The FT reports that a flat in Monaco owned by British property entrepreneur Christian Candy has been sold for €240m (£199m) in one of the most expensive residential property sales.  La Belle Epoque, a property occupied by Christian and his brother Nick Candy, has been bought by an unnamed Middle Eastern investor.

The sale of the home, which dates back to the interwar years of swinging Monte Carlo, underlines the recovery in the fortunes of the super-rich, which has helped boost prices for luxury homes.

The apartment comprises the top two floors of the building and was the home of Edmond Safra, the financier and philanthropist. He died in a fire at the property in 1999.

Despite its price, which is almost one-third more per square foot than recent sales, La Belle Epoque has only three bedrooms.

However, it covers some 17,500 sq ft, with each suite having its own cinema, kitchen, dressing room and two bathrooms.

It has a library and spa, while its gardens feature mature trees and views of the waterfront.

It has been sold on a 97-year lease.

The flat was home to both brothers, who are domiciled in Monaco. They will remain in the principality where their yacht, Candyscape II, is moored, and are understood to have found a new residence.

The sale reaffirms Monaco as the most expensive place to live, boosted by a very tightly held property market and a benign tax system which attracts the super-rich.

Across the border in France there remains strong demand for exclusive properties in Cap Ferrat, Cap d’Antibes, Saint-Tropez and other playgrounds of billionaires from Russia and the Middle East.

Posted in luxury homes scotland, prestige houses for sale scotland.

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Ruperra Castle for sale

Ruperra Castle is for sale at £1.5 million  . The design for Ruperra Castle was clearly based on that for Lulworth Castle, just 100 miles away in Dorset, and built between 1603-05. Always called a ‘castle’ but built with the instruction from Lord Howard of Bindon that it ‘prove pretty’, it was never military. Indeed, Thomas Gerard writing in 1630 described it as ‘well seated for prospect and pleasure; but of little other use’. Bought by the Weld family from Lord Howard it remained their family seat until a devastating fire in 1929 completely gutted the interior – as it remains today, although the building itself has been restored. Another house thought to have been built around 1612 is Compton Bassett House in Wiltshire (dem. c1929) which clearly shared a similar layout although the corner turrents were square. Thomas Morgan built the castle . The builder of Ruperra Castle was Thomas Morgan (b.1564 – d.1632), who made his fortune as the Steward for the Earls of Pembroke at Wilton House, Wiltshire. Morgan would have been regularly exposed to court life and would have been very aware of the latest architectural fashions. more castles for sale

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