Thursday, June 3, 2021

A Scottish Castle

From Country Life:

Many original features have survived in the 42,000sq ft interiors, including a magnificent wooden staircase, intricately decorated ceilings and fine fireplaces, so the fabric is there to create a magnificent home—as it originally was when it was built in the early 20th century for Mary Caroline, Duchess of Sutherland, the woman who may possibly have inspired Cinderella’s stepmother in the Disney version of the fairy tale.

The building’s colourful history is an attraction in its own right — it could be straight out of a book. The Duchess, the second wife of the 3rd Duke of Sutherland, wasn’t much liked by her husband’s family and when he died, the 4th Duke took her to court to contest the will.

Found guilty of having destroyed documents to help secure her inheritance, the Duchess was thrown into prison for six weeks. Eventually, however, she found a compromise with the Sutherland family, who agreed to build her a castle, but only as long as it was outside of their estate.

The crafty Duchess then found a piece of land on a hillside immediately beyond the estate’s confines, thus ensuring that she’d rub it in the family’s face for the rest of their days — and that’s how Carbisdale came to be. To top it all off, she had clocks put on all the faces of the castle’s tower bar one — the one that faced towards the Sutherland estate. (Read more.)


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