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Pitsligo Castle Trust campaign gathers pace

23 October 2009

The campaign to consolidate Pitsligo Castle and create a centre for Jacobite history and Scottish Heraldry in the former Pitsligo Parish Kirk has reached a new landmark.

Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution, Michael Russell, visited the former Kirk and castle to officially unveil banners encouraging people to become part of the ambitious heritage project.

The Minister said: “Pitsligo Castle was once one of the finest residences in the north-east and the campaign to consolidate this monument is intended to give students and visitors greater access and a better understanding of this impressive ruin and its fascinating story.  This partnered with the proposals for the former Parish Kirk shall create a facility which can assist in regenerating the economy in this part of Aberdeenshire.

“The Pitsligo Castle Trust and the Friends of Pitsligo Castle are doing a great job of generating interest and have already secured funding for the first phase of work from Historic Scotland and I am delighted to support them in their work. A project like this will not only preserve the physical remains of the castle and provide a new use for a landmark former Kirk but shows a commitment to benefiting the economic wellbeing of the wider community through a project which will be used as an education, study and tourism resource”.

On completing the consolidation of the castle, elevated walkways will provide public access and viewing of the castle and its surroundings. The extensive gardens will be recreated to form the Great Garden of Pitsligo and the woodland to the south will be restocked with native species and managed as a small nature reserve.

The former Parish Kirk will be redeveloped to accommodate a major national facility for the study and enjoyment of Jacobite history and Scottish Heraldry.

Richard Leith, Pitsligo Castle project manager, said: “The proposals for the castle a former Kirk have passed through difficult times but now with great support being received from the local community, Historic Scotland, Aberdeenshire Council and other conservation funding bodies there is a determination for this project to become a reality in the next few years.”

Historic Scotland has awarded up to £50,000 for the first phase of consolidation, which will take place between 2010 and 2011.

Notes for editors

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament. For more information visit

  • Historic Scotland is delighted to be supporting the 2009 Year of Homecoming with a series of initiatives including family trails, spectacular events and the creation of a Homecoming Pass for heritage attractions in association with other heritage organisations.

For further information

Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873