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Balintore Castle

An forlorn Scots Baronial mansion in W Angus, Balintore Castle is located on slopes above Glen Quharity, 6 miles (10 km) west northwest of Kirriemuir. It was built in 1859-65 by William Burn (1789 - 1870) on the site of an old tower-house.

Constructed in red sandstone from Stirlingshire, this castellated mansion comprises two principal floors with a substantial basement and an attic, together with a separate kitchen wing to north. The entrance tower rises a storey above the main building, with a stair tower reaching a further storey beyond. Balintore features pepper-pot turrets, crow-stepped gables, Jacobean chimney-stacks and early French Renaissance scrolled dormer-heads. Much of the fabric of the building has suffered considerable deterioration, with collapsed walls, floors and sections of roof.

Amongst its 50 or so rooms, the castle once featured a drawing room, dining room, library, saloon and a double-height Great Hall, with a canted-bay window offering fine views across the valley. There was also a dinner service room, women servant's sitting room, brushing room, beer cellar, lumber room and butler's pantry. The interior is now in a state of considerable decay, but the remains of Jacobean-style plaster ceilings can still be observed.

The house was built for David Lyon, a politician who had inherited a fortune made through the East India Company, but he was to live here for only two years before it passed to his brother Major William Lyon. Balintore was then occupied by an Andrew Chirnside and then the Lyell family. Lady Lyell was responsible for installing water-powered turbine to run electric lighting.

It was used latterly as a shooting lodge, but suffering from dry-rot was abandoned in the 1960s. A-listed since 1980 and on the Buildings at Risk register, the house was acquired by compulsory purchase by the local authority in 2007, who then sold into private hands on condition it be restored.


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