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Kincardine Castle and Estate to have new ownership for first time in over 40 years

Kincardine Castle. Kincardine O'Neil, Aberdeenshire. Supplied by Etiom Events.
Kincardine Castle. Kincardine O'Neil, Aberdeenshire. Supplied by Etiom Events.

Ownership of a Royal Deeside castle and estate is to be passed on for the first time in over 40 years.

Current owners of Kincardine Castle and Estate Andrew and Nicky Bradford today announced that they would be passing over the reins to the next generation of their family.

The couple said in an online statement that it would be “hard to let go” of their castle in Kincardine O’Neil, Aberdeenshire, but realise that they must to ensure future generations can “acquire the same enthusiasm about this very special place”.

Andrew Bradford on the Kincardine Estate. Picture by Darrell Benns.

It means that Andrew and Nicky’s son Edward, wife Rosa and their children will move into the castle at the end of the month to take on the management of the estate.

Reminiscing, the couple posted to Facebook: “Dear friends, after 40+ years at the helm it is time for us to hand over the castle and estate to the next generation of our family.

“At the end of the month our son Edward, his wife Rose and their children will move into Kincardine Castle and take on the management of the estate.

“I’m sure you all appreciate that it takes a high degree of passion to tackle the continual challenges presented by the castle and estate. After such a long time it is hard to let go, however we must if future generations are to acquire that same enthusiasm about this very special place.

Kincardine Castle Picture. Supplied by Kincardine Castle.

“During our time here we have always regarded ourselves not simply as owners but as stewards, responsible for the trust placed in us by previous generations to improve the estate for those who will follow and always having an awareness of how (within the constraints of keeping the estate viable) our activities can support the wider community.

“It has been a huge privilege to have done this for so long, but also an enormous responsibility.

“This changing-of-the-guard is an opportunity to express our profound thanks to those who have lived and worked with us on the estate through thick and thin, to the kind people of ‘Kinker’ and to all of you from all over the world who have come to stay at the castle and supported our hospitality and tourism businesses over the years. With very best wishes, Andrew and Nicky Bradford.”

Nicky Bradford, right, attending the Deeside Committee lunch at the Banchory Lodge Hotel. Picture by Jim Irvine.

An outdoor theatre is just one of the events announced at the castle this summer as it stages a production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s comic opera HMS Pinafore.

After the show was cancelled in light of Covid-19 restrictions, the continually improving situation in Aberdeenshire means a reduced cast playing all the parts between them on a specially-made nautical set can go ahead.

Performed by renowned touring company Illyria, the live performance will take place on Friday August 20 at 7pm, with gates opening at 5.30pm for picnics.

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