Balintore Castle was built in the mid to late 1800s and was commissioned by David Lyon (MP) as a sporting lodge. It was designed by the architect William Burns, who’s other work includes Edinburgh Academy and the Church of St John the Evangelist, also in Edinburgh. It is reported that a tower house named Balintor existed on the site since the late 16th century.
The castle has had a rollercoaster of a life. Built by a politician who had inherited a fortune thanks to his family’s investments in the East India Company, to being abandoned due to extensive dry rot in the 1960s. Balintore Castle exchanged hands several times over the subsequent years until 1994 when it was purchased by a Taiwanese businessman. Initial reports were favourable that the castle would be saved however the years drew by with nothing being done to try and salvage what was left of it. The castle was badly vandalised and the roof was long since watertight, with the lead stripped from every and any accessible part of the castle. As a result, one of the main features of Balintore Castle, the huge bay windows on the east side collapsed and was left to lie as rubble next to the building.
A few years later there was a glimmer of hope for the decaying structure. The council issued a Repairs Notice on the owner from the Far East, however this went unanswered. The council then attempted to compulsory purchase the castle, which after a few years of objections being made and withdrawn, eventually went through. It was then sold to its current owner David who took on what can only be described as a mammoth task to restore the building to its former grandeur.
Work has steadily progressed since David took on the project with the building once again sealed to the elements. Slowly and carefully, room by room, floor by floor the building is beginning to look like a castle again, which is a magnificent sight to behold. The remnants of the huge bay window have been gathered up in preparation for what will be one giant jigsaw puzzle when putting it back together.