A “fairytale” castle said to have inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle has been swathed in pink mesh to protect it during a major conservation project.
Work is beginning early this year to restore the pink harling at Craigievar Castle in Aberdeenshire and “futureproof” it against damage from rain and climate change.
The harling at the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) property was successfully replaced in 2009, however, the impact of changing weather patterns caused by climate change means that additional conservation and maintenance work is needed to ensure the building can withstand the increasingly wet and extreme weather.
Scaffolding has been put up around the building, which has been swathed in pink mesh seven stories high to protect it during the work, which is expected to take about 12 months.
NTS is urging people to support its Pink Again campaign to raise funds for the restoration.
Iain Hawkins, regional director North East for the NTS, said: “Craigievar holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the local community, across Scotland and indeed globally, thanks in no small part to the castle’s famous pink exterior, which was introduced in 1824 by Sir John Forbes.
“It’s our duty to ensure that this much-loved castle is protected against climate change in a way that is sympathetic to the natural environment and heritage of this magnificent building, and supportive of our Nature, Beauty & Heritage for Everyone strategy.
“As a conservation charity, we rely on voluntary donations and membership support to care for and share special places like Craigievar Castle, so we have launched a “Pink Again” fundraising campaign to support these vital works.
“If you want to help us keep this enchanting castle safe from rainwater ingress and ensure that visitors can continue to fall in love with Craigievar for many generations to come, please consider donating to our campaign.
“We can’t wait to unveil this fairytale castle’s refresh in 2024 and can assure our visitors, supporters and members that all the hard work will be very much worth it, bringing joy to future generations.”
During the conservation work multiple coats of a special recipe of limewash will be applied to the castle walls to refresh the colour.
Masonry restoration, roof work, maintenance to interior plasterwork and conservation of the lower enclosing (or “barmkin”) wall will also be carried out as part of the work.
Craigievar’s grounds will remain open to visitors throughout the works although facilities will be closed.
Visitors will be treated to a grand “reveal” in spring 2024 when the new exterior is unveiled.
The castle was begun in the Scottish Baronial style around 1576 and is among the best-preserved tower houses in Scotland.
The project in Aberdeenshire has echoes of work at another NTS property, the Hill House in Helensburgh, which was designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
The structure there has been protected by a giant, chainmail mesh “box” built to protect its saturated walls from further damage from the elements, as part of a 10-year conservation project.
The box structure was unveiled in the summer of 2019 when the building reopened to the public.
More information about the campaign can be found at https://www.nts.org.uk/campaigns/pink-again