Leslie Castle, Leslie Insch Aberdeenshire AB52

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Mortgage calculator Ref: BAN170040
  • 7 bedrooms
  • 6 bathrooms
  • 4 receptions

CLOSING DATE SET: A 16th century B-listed restored castle and the Barony of Leslie

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A fairy tale castle with turrets and tower, set in the heart of Aberdeenshire. This is a 5 storey tower house built of 1m thick granite walls under a slate roof.

Leslie was carefully restored to retain the character and architectural integrity of the original structure, including the very rare lantern tower. Connecting all the floors, this square stair tower has an unusual lantern void to light the stairs.

The castle now provides accommodation over 5 floors. The ground floor features vaulted rooms with small windows and flagstone floors. The new kitchen has a Stanley multi-purpose cooker and boiler, a range of stainless steel commercial units and domestic style storage space. The former kitchen is now a breakfast room with the huge old fireplace a dominant feature. There is also a cloakroom and utility/larder area.

The first floor was formerly the reception area and includes the Great Hall, with triple aspect and fireplace, a drawing room and a private study area, now known as the Baron’s room.

The second and third floors each comprise 3 en suite bedrooms, with those on the third floor also featuring corner turrets.

The fourth floor is used as the owner’s rooms (effectively a study and bedroom with cloakroom), whilst guests stay in the second and third floor bedrooms.

The fifth floor is the top of the tower with a triple aspect and distant commanding views over the surrounding countryside. There is also a spiral stair up to the battlements and flagpole.

History In around 1069 King Malcolm granted lands in the Garrioch to Lord Lesse, whose family name was Bartholomew. Whilst Queen Margaret was riding pillion with Bartholomew the horse stumbled and the queen asked if the buckle around his waist would hold. It did, but for the future Bartholomew added two more buckles to his riding belt and to the arms of Leslie; the Leslie motto became ‘Grip Fast’.

The original castle was reputedly a motte, but in around 1661 it was built in stone and has existed in its present layout since then. In 1670 the castle passed to the Leiths of Leith Hall. It eventually became a ruin and was rebuilt in the 1980’s by a previous owner.

The Barony The sellers have inherited a barony title, Baron of Leslie (granted in 2004), with the property. This could be included in the sale at a price in addition. The coat of arms includes 3 ears of corn, a turnip, a carp, a falcon and 3 buckles, which has historic significance.

The Barony is a personal title of dignity and as far as we know is the only noble dignity which can be legally purchased.

Business The current owners have established a Bed & Breakfast business (www.leslie-castle.co.uk). This has been going for 2 years and has already gained a reputation with many overseas visitors from as far afield as Canada, USA, Germany, China, France and Scandinavia.

This property has 1.9 acres of land.


Around the castle is an attractive garden extending to about 2 acres. The grounds are mostly in grass but there is an external screen of mature trees which ensures that the garden is very private. There is a wide mixture of both deciduous and coniferous trees, including beech, ash, chestnut, lime, oak, pine, spruce and larch.

The drive which winds through the castle grounds is approached through stone entrance pillars with metal gates. Within the garden is a large cobbled area which no doubt has an interesting historical past, probably linked to the motte, although its use is unclear. A paved path leads from the drive to the main entrance door.

There is a small garden shelter in the grounds which also houses the 5,000 litre bunded oil tank.


Aberdeen 29 miles, Inverurie 13 miles, Insch 4½ miles

Leslie Castle is located 29 miles north west of Aberdeen, the “Granite City” and oil capital of Europe. Situated in rural Aberdeenshire to the north of Castle Forbes and west of the famous landmark of Bennachie. the castle is readily accessible to Aberdeen’s International Airport at Dyce, which has a comprehensive range of international and domestic flights daily. A regular inter-city rail service operates from Aberdeen and there is a connecting railway station at Insch, 4 and a half miles away.

Alford and Inverurie are the two principal towns nearby; both are commuting towns for Aberdeen. Both centres provide a comprehensive range of shops, hotels, garages, post offices, secondary and primary schooling. Primary schooling is also available at Auchleven.

The range of amenities available in the area are considerable with a number of golf courses, fishing opportunities on the nearby River Don and skiing available at Aviemore, Glenshee and the Lecht and also at the dry ski slope in Alford. There is even a registered airfield at Auchleven.


From Aberdeen head north on the A96, by-pass Inverurie and bear left after 6 miles onto the B9002 towards Insch, bear left after 3 miles towards Auchleven. In Auchleven go straight over the crossroads and head towards Leslie. The castle is just before the village on the right.

Other Features

  • Laid out on five floors in the traditional L-plan
  • Vaulted kitchen
  • Breakfast room
  • Great hall
  • Drawing room
  • Baron’s retreat
  • 6 Bedrooms with en suites
  • Tower bedroom
  • Tower study

F Energy Efficiency Rating

This plan is for layout guidance only. Not drawn to scale unless stated. Windows and door openings are approximate. Whilst every care is taken in the preparation of the plan, please check all dimensions, shapes and compass bearings before making any decisions reliant upon them.

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