This 15th Century Scottish Castle Could Be Yours for $20M

published Jun 22, 2018
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Live out your own costume-drama’d fantasies and hotelier dreams by purchasing Ackergill Castle and the Napoleonic-era Solent Forts, all currently for sale together as a lot by English mattress millionaire Mike Clare.

Clare is selling the four historical properties located in Scotland and on surrounding English islands for a combined $20 million. Ackergill Castle and the Solent Forts, three island forts—No Man’s Fort, Spitbank Fort, and Horse Sand Fort—originally built to defend England from French invaders under Napoleon’s command. All four properties were decommissioned after World War II, and the enterprising bedding entrepreneur has converted all four properties into luxury boutique hotels and wedding venues.

Ackergill Castle, built in 1476, features 32 bedrooms, a pub called Smugglers Inn, six additional self-catering cottages, a stable block that sleeps 10, and the largest tree house in Europe—a secluded, circular cottage perched in a 150-year-old Sycamore.

According to Homes & Property, the incredibly private hideaway—set down a mile-long drive from the rest of the plebean masses—is a regular haunt of the ultra-rich anglo-diaspora from around the globe, including Americans like Jack Nicholson and Michael Douglas and Aussies like Richard Branson.

The 30-acre property on the rugged Caithness coastline and its three island forts, floating between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight, were refurbished and renovated by Scottish architect David Bryce in the mid-19th century and Clare has invested heavily in restorations over the last few years—after Clare sold his bedding & mattress company, Dreams, for more than $200 million pounds sterling in 2008.

Over a mile from land, and only reachable by boat or helicopter, two of the three forts are currently used as luxury hotels (with rooms renting upwards of $1,000 per night in peak season) while the third is currently being renovated. Just south of John O’Groats, which is considered to be the most northerly settlement in Scotland, these are properties fit for an epic Halloween party—all year ’round—while the fort hotels make for a truly private, once-in-a-lifetime getaway for a group of history or maritime buffs.

Ackergill Castle even has a haunted history, complete with a 700-year-old ghost clad in a long, red ballgown named Helen Gunn or the Beauty of Braemore, who was abducted on her wedding night and imprisoned in the castle’s tower—from which she then leapt to her death.

For more details and photos, visit the listing with Knight Frank.