Friday 19 September 2014

Scans of Old Photos

I was delighted to come across these amazing high quality photographs of Balintore Castle recently. They are already proving invaluable for the current restoration. 

It looks like the images are very old. There is some efflorescence of the lime below the oriel window but the remainder of the mortar and certainly the gravel paths look "sharp". Given a little time has passed since construction in 1860, I would put the photos between 1870 and 1900
west elevation
 The west elevation image above reveals the missing urns from the entrance door to be still in place. It shows a balustraded rail to the immediate left of the door which is also no longer there. I understand the balusters are in use as garden ornaments all over the surrounding area. :-) Currently there is poor quality grass/mud to the front of the castle, but the rather hard texture suggests there might once have been gravel there. The photograph confirms this, and shows how to put things back as they were originally.

west elevation detail : main entrance door
What particularly grabbed my attention in the above detail of the main entrance, is the marvellous door furniture: a lion's head bell pull and an unusual square brass handle. Someone once described the handle to me as "squarish and like nothing I've seen before" so it has clearly been there in living memory. However, I was not expecting the handle to be quite so plain and un-ornamented. In fact to my eye, the placement of the handle's back plate ( 9" wide × 7 ½ " high) is not quite aesthetic. I am currently investigating getting a replacement back plate made.

west elevation
The west elevation above shows garden paths (now missing); a stone staircase to the north (now missing) and an intact oriel window (now collapsed).

Thanks to Catherine MacIntyre for scanning these in.


  1. The last picture must be one of the most impressive pictures of Balintore castle. I love it, it's alive!

  2. I know for a fact that the knockers/handles were still in place in 1991 when we first visited Balintore, along with the cast iron spiral stairs that were sat on the right-hand side of the oriel window.

    What I find really interesting from these photographs is that there is only the 1 door handle, I am ABSOLUTELY certain that there were a pair of them, so I have to assume at some point after these photographs were taken a second handle was added......I know I have another photograph somewhere of the handles, but I was unable to find it last year when I dug out the photo of the wind direction dial.

    I will keep looking for it!

    Thanks David for these amazing photographs!

  3. Hi David, you might not remember me I sold you an old table when you were just starting your project, we toasted with Kipling cakes lol, hope things are coming on, all the best Andy.