BLAIR Castle’s restoration team have been working hard over the winter months to ensure the 700 year-old castle is sparkling and in tip-top condition as the historic visitor attraction opens its doors to the public on April 1st after an extensive renovation programme.
Furnishings and features that are hundreds of years old have been lovingly cared for and treated to ensure they will continue to be preserved for many more centuries.
Restorations have ranged from rediscovering original wall colours through commissioning specialist painters to re-carpeting some of the largest rooms in the castle.
All restorations have been completed sympathetically at the Highland Perthshire castle.
Specialist painter, Tony Malin, was commissioned to improve a wood grain effect on the picture stair case and he also uncovered an original colour under paint from the 1980s on table from the castle’s dining room.
He has now matched that colour to give the tables a more authentic look.
Other restorations included intricate work to restore a portrait of George Murray, an ancestor of the 10th, 11th and 12th Dukes of Atholl.
The portrait was sent to Egan, Matthews & Rose in Dundee who specialise in the restoration of older paintings.
To maintain the castle rooms’ traditional styles, newly installed woven carpets have replicated the patterns on previous carpets to be in-keeping with the era of the castle’s décor.
Also, during the restoration work, the castle’s cleaning team uncovered a 70 year-old letter behind a radiator in the castle’s ball room that was the correspondence between two brothers, one of which had been evacuated to Blair Castle during the Second World War.
Stuart Letford, marketing and communications officer at Blair Castle, said:
“It has been a busy and exciting time at Blair Castle and the team here has been working very hard over the past few months to ensure the castle is ready for visitors on April 1st when we open our doors for the summer.
“From polishing every last piece of weaponry on display to restoring antique furniture to its former glory, all the work carried out has been completed with care to respect the castle’s 700 years of heritage.”
This year, Blair Castle is introducing four exhibitions for visitors to experience throughout 2015.
One is to celebrate Scotland’s Year of Food & Drink, displaying castle memorabilia including recipe books featuring authentic recipes prepared for the Atholl family over 100 years ago.
Three further exhibitions are to commemorate the centenaries of three Battles in history.
A Gallipoli exhibition to mark 100 years since the Dardanelles Campaign in the First World War, a Battle of Waterloo exhibition as it is 200 years since that famous conflict and also, to mark its 300th anniversary, an exhibition remembering the 1715 Jacobite Rising.
“There are a great many attractions to see at Blair Castle this year and our commemorative war exhibitions will be particularly significant as it is 100 years since the Dardanelles Campaign at Gallipoli during World War One of which the 8th Duke of Atholl commanded the Scottish Horse Regiment.”
“As well as our exhibitions inside the castle, members of the public will be able to enjoy Blair Castle, the restaurant and gift shop as well as enjoy the grounds at Atholl Estates.”
The castle are also offering special season passes for £12 that allow people to visit the castle and gardens as many times as they like during the season.
To find out more about visiting Blair Castle, go to www.blair-castle.co.uk
For further information, please contact Anna Gunn, Volpa, Tel: 07803589732 or 01738 700135
About Atholl Estates
- Atholl Estates is located in Blair Atholl, Highland Perthshire. The estate is centered around the famous landmark of Blair Castle.
- One of Scotland’s best known estates, Atholl Estates dates back to the 13th century.
- Atholl Estates manage a range of operations in the tourism, events, forestry, farming, property and country sport sectors.
- Atholl Estates also has a range of Highland lodges and a caravan park on site.
- For more information please visit wwww.atholl-estates.com or call 01796 481411.
About Blair Castle
- Atholl Estates is centered around Blair Castle and Gardens in Blair Atholl which are open to the public for day visitors, corporate events, functions and weddings.
- Blair Castle dates back to 1269 and has 30 rooms on display to the public.
- Blair Castle is open to the public from 1st April to 31st October and features a restaurant, gift shop and tours of the house and grounds.
- For more information please visit www.blair-castle.co.uk or call 01796 481411.
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Contact: Anna Gunn