16th century Angus castle is put on the market

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A STUNNING 16th century castle in the heart of the Angus countryside near Arbroath is for sale.

Colliston Castle, which has been used as a private residence since it was built in King Henry VIII’s reign 550 years ago, retains wonderful period features such as a barrel-vaulted ceiling in the hallway, a tower and a priest’s hole.

The B-listed attractive four-storey castle is on the market through Strutt & Parker for offers over £650,000.

Cardinal David Beaton of Arbroath Abbey granted the estate to John Guthrie and his wife, Isabella Ogilvy, in 1539 and Colliston Castle was then built in 1545. It is thought Isabella may have been Cardinal Beaton’s daughter, the result of his long-term relationship with Marion Ogilvy. A secret passage reportedly runs between the castle and the abbey but it is not clear if it still exists. The current owners have never found it.

Colliston was sold to the Gordon family in 1691 and then the Chaplin family in 1721. In 1920, it was sold to Richard (Dicky) Bruce (Major R.F.D. Bruce). On his death, his wife married a local lawyer and the castle was purchased by Captain Alfred Knox who eventually sold it to Robert Alexander Stuart. It remains within the Stuart family to this day.

The Z-plan castle, similar in design to Claypotts Castle, Dundee, underwent alterations in the 17th and 18th centuries which saw the removal of the top storey and the top of the west tower. The pepperpot turret was also reduced in height.

Period features include the original castle front door which leads into a barrel-vaulted hallway with a stone floor, period fireplaces throughout, wooden panelling, a priest hole, a staircase with brass hand rail and the turret which offers stunning views over the garden.

The main reception rooms lie on the first floor and include a drawing room with a library leading off it. The family kitchen also leads into a professional kitchen which has the capacity to cook for large formal occasions. For the last 10 years, a catering, marquee hire and castle venue business, run by the owners, has been based on site.

There are 10 well-proportioned bedrooms with the potential for more, depending on the configuration, and the property extends to 10 acres of mature gardens, woodland and parkland.

Valerie Stuart, whose family have lived at the castle for 50 years, said: “Four generations of my family have lived here, from my grandfather down to my own children.

“The castle really does have the wow factor when people walk in but it is also a fabulous family home. It is not nearly as big and unapproachable as people might think when they hear the word castle. However, it has the character and sense of history which gives it an amazing feel.”