Balintore Castle occupies an elevated site in moorland above Balintore village. A tower house named Balintor existed on the site in the late 16th century.

It was designed in 1859 by the architect William Burn. A typical example of the Scottish Baronial style, it features an abundance of turreted towers and gables, and a gone oriel window. The main tower is topped by a balustraded viewing platform similar to that of Buchanan Castle.

The centrepiece of the interior is the great hall, and there is also a gallery, bedrooms, dinner service room, women servant’s sitting room, brushing room, beer cellar, lumber room, butler’s pantry, dining room, and a library.

Balintore Castle was commissioned as a sporting lodge by David Lyon, MP, who had inherited a fortune made by his family through investments in the East India Company. Latterly the castle was used only during the shooting season.

In the 1960s it was decided not to repair the extensive dry rot, and it was abandoned. The castle then stood empty until 2007, during which time its condition deteriorated to point of endangering the structure. Balintore Castle has been listed in the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland since it started in 1990. Angus Council used its compulsory purchase powers to buy it from its absentee Far Eastern owners, and it is now in the hands of a Scotsman who is restoring it and residing there.



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Founded: 1859
Category: Castles and fortifications in United Kingdom

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User Reviews

Andy Lawler (13 months ago)
Balintore Castle is the closest you will get to a magical and realistic Victorian time-travel experience in the Highlands of Scotland. The Laird, David, is a thorough gentleman and welcomes you like a long lost friend. From the moment you arrive you become and are made to feel part of the Balintore Castle family, breathing life back into a beautiful and historic building that the host has passionately saved from dereliction, with an energy and enthusiasm capable of overcoming all adversity. Castles are cold places especially when they are up a mountain in the middle of nowhere, but the host had a cosy log fire going for our arrival and later in the evening was happy to share a wee dram for some traditional warmth. Balintore Castle isn’t for everyone and is still very much work in progress, but if you like hard history and want to join in with the pleasures and struggles of a bygone age, then then a truly authentic experience awaits. For us, there are not enough superlatives to describe our time at Balintore Castle, the place and the people will be forever in our hearts and we are already looking forward to our next visit
Javi _ (15 months ago)
Stunning building in a jaw-dropping location. We stayed in the beautiful kitchen wing (new rooms were being refurbished at the time of our visit) and we enjoyed every second there (having walks in the beautiful surroundings, having a tea next to the fireplace and seeing how the refurbishment of the castle is bringing it back to life) Honestly, cannot think of a better place where to have a break. Dog friendly too. We will be back!
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On an ancient Roman fortification was built during the reign of Sancho VII of Navarre (13th century) and extended by his successors Theobald I and Theobald II, which the latter was is installed in the palace in 1269 and there he signed the consent letter for the wedding of Blanche of Artois with his brother Henry I of Navarre, who in turn, Henry I since 1271 used the palace as a temporary residence. This ancient area is known as the Old Palace.

Then the palace was housing the Navarrese court from the 14th until 16th centuries, Since the annexation (integration) of the kingdom of Navarre for the Crown of Castile in 1512 began the decline of the castle and therefore its practically neglect and deterioration. At that time it was an official residence for the Viceroys of Navarre.

In 1813 Navarrese guerrilla fighter Espoz y Mina during the Napoleonic French Invasion burned the palace with the aim to French could not make forts in it, which almost brought in ruin. It is since 1937 when architects José and Javier Yarnoz Larrosa began the rehabilitation (except the non-damaged church) for the castle palace, giving it back its original appearance and see today. The restoration work was completed in 1967 and was paid by the Foral Government of Navarre.