DiCamillo Companion

Balfour Castle (Cliffdale) (House of Sound)

  • Earlier Houses: Major Thomas Balfour built an earlier house on the site called Cliffdale in the 18th century.

    Built / Designed For: Colonel David Balfour

    House & Family History: Bryce designed a house in the Baronial style for Colonel Balfour that included parts of the earlier house of Cliffdale (elements of which are visible today on the west wide of the current house). On the south Bryce added a large block and kept the existing north wing and about 60% of the main block, while refacing the east façade. Bryce also designed the interiors of all the main rooms. In 1960, following the death of David Hubert Ligonier Balfour, who left no heirs, Balfour Castle was sold and became the family home of the Zawadski family, who ran it as a country house hotel for over 20 years, during which time it was called "The most northerly castle hotel in the world." In August 2008 the Zawadskis put the castle and 770 acres up for sale for approximately £2.7 million; the property sold in February of 2009.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: The fine terraced garden that was laid out circa 1850 to the designs of Craigie Halkett is extant. A gateway of the late 17th century, probably a fragment of the demolished House of Sound (which stood near the current house), is extant. Gate lodges near the north end of Balfour village are extant and are attributed to Bryce, probably inspired by Pinkie House.

  • Architect: David Bryce

    Date: 1846-50
    Designed: House, and probably Gate Lodges, for Colonel David Balfour.

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    Architect: Craigie Halkett

    Date: Circa 1850
    Designed: Terrace Garden

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  • John Bernard (J.B.) Burke, published under the title of A Visitation of the Seats and Arms of the Noblemen and Gentlemen of Great Britain and Ireland, among other titles: Vol. II, p. 135, 1853.

  • Title: Buildings of Scotland: Highland and Islands, The
    Author: Gifford, John
    Year Published: 1992
    Publisher: London: Penguin Books
    ISBN: 014071071X
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Category A

    Park Listed: Not Listed

  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Major Thomas Balfour, 18th century. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: Colonel David Balfour, 19th century; David Hubert Ligonier Balfour, until 1960. Zawadski family, 1960-2009.

    Current Ownership Type: Individual / Family Trust

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Private Home

  • House Open to Public: No

    Phone: 01856-711-282

    Website: http://www.balfourcastle.co.uk

    Historic Houses Member: No