A Moray castle which was declared unsafe for public access more than 15 years ago is being given a major refurbishment.
Blairfindy Castle, near Tomintoul, was closed to visitors after being deemed at risk of falling down and has been derelict for the last decade.
It is a 16th-century tower house built by the Gordons of Huntly, but needs serious renovation in the future.
However, plans to revitalise the historic location were lodged last year and construction is about to begin to stabilise and conserve the site and make it accessible to tourists and the public once again.
The project is being led by Crown Estate Scotland in partnership with the Tomintoul and Glenlivet Landscape Partnership and will cost about £630,000.
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Simon Ovenden, countryside manager at Crown Estate Scotland for the Glenlivet Estate, is in charge of the initiative and said he was excited about what the renovation scheme could do for tourism in the area.
He added: “We realised that the castle was continuing to be at risk of falling and breaking apart, so the Crown Estate need to maintain it as well as we can and we couldn’t let it continue to deteriorate.
“The castle is part of our national heritage and it used to be open to the public, but it reached a point 15 to 20 years ago where it was deemed unsafe for free access due to the deterioration of the stonework.
“The main concern was the safety, so a security fence was put up around it.”
As part of the stabilisation project, contractors will start work later this month.
The castle will be covered in scaffolding and work will be done repairing the significant cracks and consolidating the stonework.
Afterwards, an elaborate steelwork will be installed inside the castle at different levels to tie it all together and keep it upright.
A new pathway is also being built between Glenlivet Castle and Blairfindy Castle, with hopes that the project will be fully completed and opened next year.
Blairfindy Castle near Tomintoul (Scotland) watercolour reconstruction suggestion. Site was covered at a later date with lime/mortar wash harling. A L-Plan built by the Gordon family. #BlairfindyCastle #medieval #ClanGordon pic.twitter.com/DHgGfjCD5b
— Andrew Spratt (@andrewsp2009) January 20, 2019
Mr Ovenden believes it will be a massive boost to have the former tourist attraction open once again.
He said: “Next year, we want to have it open to visitors on a free-flow basis and bring increased levels of tourism interest to the area.
“There’s a recognition that the whole area is on the up, with the North East 250 and the snow roads and we are trying to encourage more people to stay longer here when they are passing through and bring more money into the area.”