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31 Jan 2023

Craigievar Castle to turn pink again

Written by Sarah Burnett
The pink Craigievar Castle seen from an aerial viewpoint, surrounded by tall trees, fields and rolling hills.
Craigievar Castle in Aberdeenshire is said to have inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle
As we begin a major conservation project to protect Craigievar’s fairytale pink exterior for future generations, the Pink Again fundraising campaign has launched to support the work.

A major conservation project to protect and future-proof the famous pink exterior of Craigievar Castle in Aberdeenshire against damage from rain and climate change is beginning this year. This follows a painstaking three-month build of scaffolding that, when laid end to end, stretches three times the length of Edinburgh’s Princes Street.

The iconic pink castle, said to have inspired Walt Disney’s Cinderella Castle, has also donned a seven-storey pink mesh for the coming months. This will provide protection while the skilled and careful restoration of the stunning pink harling is carried out.

Craigievar Castle’s harling was successfully replaced in 2009. However, the impact of changing weather patterns caused by climate change means that this additional conservation and maintenance work is needed to ensure the building can withstand the increasingly wet and extreme weather.

The current programme of conservation work, named the Pink Again project, will reinvigorate the pink tones of Craigievar’s walls with multiple coats of a special recipe of limewash. Also included in the repairs, which are expected to take 12 months to complete, are masonry restoration, roof work, maintenance to interior plasterwork and conservation of the lower enclosing (or ‘barmkin’) wall. Visitors will be treated to a grand reveal in spring 2024, when the new exterior is unveiled.

Donate to Pink Again and help protect and restore Craigievar Castle

Craigievar’s beautiful grounds will remain open to visitors throughout the work, and there will be signage onsite where people can read more about the project and its impact.

An aerial view of the scaffolding-covered Craigievar Castle. The scaffolding is wrapped in a pink banner that bears the web address: www.nts.org.uk/pinkagain. A line of white vans and work vehicles are parked along the narrow road leading to the castle.
As well as refreshing the protective harling, the Pink Again project includes masonry restoration and roof work

Iain Hawkins, Regional Director for the North East, said: ‘Craigievar holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the local community, across Scotland and indeed globally, thanks in no small part to the castle’s famous pink exterior, which was introduced in 1824 by Sir John Forbes.

‘It’s our duty to ensure that this much-loved castle is protected against climate change in a way that is sympathetic to the natural environment and heritage of this magnificent building, and supportive of our Nature, Beauty and Heritage for Everyone strategy. As a conservation charity, we rely on voluntary donations and membership support to care for and share special places like Craigievar Castle, so we have launched the “Pink Again” fundraising campaign to support this vital work. If you want to help us keep this enchanting castle safe from rainwater ingress and ensure that visitors can continue to fall in love with Craigievar for many generations to come, please consider donating to our campaign.

‘We can’t wait to unveil this fairytale castle’s refreshed pink walls in 2024 and can assure our visitors, supporters and members that all the hard work will be very much worth it’.

The Pink Again project at Craigievar contributes to our conservation and sustainability ambitions, outlined in our 10-year strategy Nature, Beauty and Heritage for Everyone. The repairs and future-proofing works will support the Trust’s strategic objective to stabilise and improve the condition of our estates, as well as help to combat the current and future impact of climate change on Scotland’s most treasured heritage.

Help us protect and restore Craigievar’s historic pink walls

Pink Again

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