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 15th-century Cloncaird Castle
stands in 140 acres of grounds just a short distance from the village of Kirkmichael – and less than an hour’s drive from Glasgow or eight hours by train from London, and has somehow 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, offers five-star accommodations with six-star amenities, including open fires and underfloor heating -- perfect for a romantic getaway. There is also 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 without compromising on quality.
"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 realize that potential and highlight some of the best things our local area has to offer,” said Mellon.
This previously overlooked piece of history is also making its way into film offices as an attractive Hollywood filming location, especially for historical and period pieces, with its mix of modern and traditional backdrops - all while offering five-star accommodations for cast and crew members.