Wednesday, 12 November 2014

The Pink Plans

Despite owning Balintore Castle for some time, it is eminently possible still to be surprised by things that turn up. Quite recently, I got sent the following set of plans of Balintore Castle by a friend called James. I had never seen these plans before and so was at once surprised, delighted and grateful!  

James's family are restoring another building by William Burn called Revesby Abbey, and during his search for the plans of the Abbey at RIBA in London he came across these of Balintore. Although they are only grabbed mobile phone shots they are quite clear, though of course I would love to have high quality scans. 

I have dubbed these the "pink plans" as the walls are filled in with a salmon colour. I suspect these were made for the client, as they are much simplified non-technical plans and highlight the room layout, which is what most customers are concerned with. They are dated 1859, and note the old spelling "Balentore". James also scanned in an artist's impression of the castle, which was no doubt also used to sell the idea to the customer. I love the fact that the modest mountains round the castle have grown into dramatic gothic crags. :-)

The building as built is slightly different from the pink plans. Chiefly, the actual bedroom floor is organised as three bedrooms and three dressing rooms, whereas the pink plans show four bedrooms and two dressing rooms. However, the last minute conversion of a bedroom to a dressing room has been somewhat "bodged" with an awkward small private corridor and a dummy door that ironically that I only just discovered a few days ago i.e. there is a solid wall behind. I always knew there was something "not quite right" about this area of the castle, and the pink plans explain exactly what happened i.e. in the pink plans the dummy door is a real door.

pink plans: basement
pink plans: principal floor
pink plans: bedroom floor
pink plans: attic
artists impression of castle: some artistic licence with landscape


  1. What a thrilling discovery! Congrats!

  2. What a great find! Very interesting stuff indeed!

  3. It has been my dream for some time to find and restore a Scottish castle that is affordable, so to have stumbled upon your blog today was a delight. I have been reading all the past posts, and am so thrilled at the progress you are making. To have found the plans is of great interest to me, as I know it was to you. I have been intrigued with hidden passages, secret rooms and false doors since my childhood when I was obsessed with reading Nancy Drew books. I have several years experience in foundations and masonry work, despite being a woman who worked for many years designing and making wedding gowns and theatrical costumes. If I should get to visit Scotland in the next few years I would love to come visit and lend a hand. I am also skilled at doing window treatments, so who knows, perhaps I could be of service to you once you get to the interior decorating stage.

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    2. Many thanks Elena for your comments. The castle has a "secret door" in the drawing room, behind it is a short stone spiral staircase that leads down into the garden. I always think this is a great way for the lady of the house to flee undetected from the unwanted guest. :-) We even found a "secret room" recently under a hatch no-one had spotted before - this is for a future blog entry. I am way behind! I would be delighted if you should visit the castle: let's get interior decorating together. :-)