Dreaming of buying a castle in Scotland? Sadly there aren’t quite as many castles as would-be castle owners. But if you’re prepared to lower your sights just a little, the peel towers of the Scottish Borders may be the perfect solution.
Peel towers were built in the 15th and 16th centuries when the area was lawless, the towers were fortified strongholds designed to protect families and their stock from raids.
„It was a bit like the Wild West out there at the time,“ says Rory McDonald from Historic Scotland. „There were corrupt sheriffs, violence between warring families, and lots of cattle rustling.“
Many of these towers have now been restored, some as museums and some as private houses. They’re commonly four or five storeys tall, narrow with very thick walls, and, having been built on high ground for defensive purposes, inevitably boast wonderful views across the surrounding countryside, as well as an historical flavour which more than matches that of a castle.
There are more than 100 peel towers in various states of repair and ruin scattered the breadth of the Borders – the area on both sides of the English/Scottish border.
Renovated ones come up on the market occasionally, such as Kirkope Tower, which was offered two years ago through Rettie & Co in Melrose. There is a keen market for both the wrecks and the restored towers: „We always had a consistently high level of demand for peel towers, particularly from people interested in history and in the area,“ says John Millar, an estate agent in the Borders for more than 30 years.
Peel tower layouts wouldn’t suit everybody. The average floor size is smaller than one might expect. Walls of between 23ft and 33ft thick mean that, over four or five floors, you could have only 1,500sq ft of living space and relatively small rooms. Also bear in mind that steep stone spiral staircases and small doorways and windows, which give the buildings their character, pose their own challenges when it comes to safety.
Government grants for the restoration of peel towers are less common now, but Historic Scotland is a good place to start finding out more about a building, not least because exactly what you’re allowed to do with it will depend on whether it is listed or protected as a scheduled monument.
Finding a peel tower or similar property for sale [http://www.countrylife.co.uk/property/] will take patience and determination, and one must bear in mind that, although some are in quite good condition, others are now just piles of stones but . Some have been recently sold and are currently undergoing full restoration, including Cavers Castle, which was bought with 10 acres of land for £285,000 in 2006.Immobilienmakler Heidelberg Makler Heidelberg
Source by Holly Kirkwood