A historic Highland castle heavily involved in the 1745 Jacobite Rising which has been the Seat of Clan Mackenzie for over 500 years is undergoing a £2million restoration and refurbishment.
The ultimate goal of a massive fundraising effort to save Leod Castle in Ross-shire is to build a visitor centre and generate income to retain the buiding for future generations.
The castle is under the protection of the Clan Mackenzie Charitable Trust which is campaigning to raise more than £2million in total to restore both the external and internal fabric of the building.
Part of the fundraising efforts include a special valuation day of antiques and collectables being hosted by Bonhams specialists later this month.
The current custodian is the Earl of Cromartie, the present Mackenzie Clan Chief.
He said: “Castle Leod is one of the most beautiful, romantic and unspoilt castles in the Highlands.
“The castle and family have been at the epicentre of Highland and Scottish politics, heavily involved in the Jacobite Rising of 1745 as well as other adventures.”
Lord Cromartie said the roof failed some years ago and allowed water to damage the upper floors of the old tower.
He added: “The roof was successfully repaired and since then we have managed to maintain the status quo but have not managed to fully move forward with the next stages of restoration.
“The ultimate aim is creating a visitor centre, a community-led educational facility and restoration of the upper floors of the old tower.
“These refurbished rooms would not just be display rooms, they would be available to hire out to groups and individuals who would like to stay in the castle.
“When completed this scheme will give the castle an income that will secure its future and also keep it aired and fired. An empty building has no future,”
Castle Leod, which has its own dungeon area, and its grounds are open to the public for 25 days a year.
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The rooms are also the venue for small scale public events and weddings.
The Earl added: “Castle Leod is a grand old lady, a landmark worthy of saving and will become a great asset and attraction for the local community and the local economy when restored.”
The Bonhams valuation event takes place on next Tuesday, October 30, from 10am.
Anyone wishing to have their treasures valued is asked to book an appointment due to space constraints by contacting Edinburgh@bonhams.com. Visitors are asked for a suggested donation of £5 per item or £10 for three items for the Clan Mackenzie Charitable Trust