DiCamillo Companion

Skibo Castle

  • House & Family History: For most of its early history Skibo was a church property (it's first mentioned in a 1211 charter) that was used as a residence of the bishops of Caithness. The Castle remained a property of the Diocese of Caithness until 1565, when the church gifted the Estate to John Gray as part of a strategy to contain a rising Protestant tide in the north. Skibo remained in the Gray family until 1745, after which it passed through a succession of owners. In 1872 the Estate was purchased by Evan Charles Sutherland-Walker, who enlarged and improved the Castle and greatly enhanced the garden. In 1897 Andrew Carnegie leased Skibo Castle for one year; he purchased the Estate outright in 1898 for £85,000 (approximately £32 million in 2012 values using the labour value commodity index). Carnegie lavished huge amounts of money to make Skibo a great sporting estate and one of the most magnificent homes in Britain. The Castle remained a property of the Carnegie family until 1982, when it was sold, together with 14,000 acres, to a private buyer. Shortly thereafter Peter de Savary purchased Skibo and created a very successful private club, the Edwardian-themed Carnegie Club. De Savary sold Skibo to Ellis Short in 2003 for £23 million. The Castle was famously the venue for the December 22, 2000 wedding of Maddona and Guy Ritchie.

  • Garden & Outbuildings: As of 2008, the Skibo Estate stood at 8,500 acres; during Andrew Carnegie's ownership, the Estate spanned 32,000 acres. On the grounds is Lake Louise, a small artificial lake and one of the few bodies of water in Scotland known as lakes.

  • Architect: Thomas Hayton Mawson

    Date: 1904
    Designed: Gardens and Terrace for Andrew Carnegie

    View all houses
  • Title: Disintegration of a Heritage: Country Houses and their Collections, 1979-1992, The
    Author: Sayer, Michael
    Year Published: 1993
    Publisher: Norfolk: Michael Russell (Publishing)
    ISBN: 0859551970
    Book Type: Hardback

  • House Listed: Category A

    Park Listed: Listed

  • Past Seat / Home of: SEATED AT EARLIER HOUSE: Bishops of Caithness, until 1565. SEATED AT CURRENT HOUSE: John Gray, 16th cenury; Gray family here 1565 until 1745. Evan Charles Sutherland-Walker, late 19th century. Andrew Carnegie, 1897-1919; Carnegie family here until 1982.

    Current Ownership Type: Club

    Primary Current Ownership Use: Club

    Ownership Details: Today the very private Carnegie Club

  • House Open to Public: No

    Phone: 01862-894-600

    Fax: 01862-894-601

    Email: info@carnegieclub.co.uk

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

    Historic Houses Member: No