A Baronial castle that has been at the center of a 25-year legal battle over a £ 230 debt has gone on the market for more than £ 1.25m.
Knockderry, on the west coast of Scotland, was designed by the architect Alexander “Greek” Thomson and is A-listed, largely on account of its ornate and richly paneled Leiperian interior, which is considered one of the finest examples of the style in Scotland in the country.
The previous owner of the Victorian mansion near the village of Cove, Dunbartonshire, was 72-year-old Marian van Overwaele, who was made bankrupt after repeatedly refusing to pay a bill relating to a bridalwear business she ran in the 1990s.
Her repeated refusals to pay escalated the debt to £ 30,000, at which point a bankruptcy trustee was appointed to take control of her assets, but Van Overwaele has fought ongoing attempts to have her evicted so that the mansion could be sold off to pay her creditors .
After she was made bankrupt in 2000 over the unpaid factor fee bill, Van Overwaele transferred ownership of Knockderry to her brother, George Amil, and continued to live there with him and his family. But last summer their legal battle came to an end at the court of session, Scotland’s highest court, when their movement against a decree ordering them to vacate the property was refused, and they were evicted in March.
The mansion, which was built in the 1850s and is set above Loch Long, is being marketed for offers over £ 1.25m by the estate agents Strutt & Parker and Shepherd surveyors.
With six bedrooms, four reception rooms and a wealth of original features including turrets, stone balustrades and a minstrel gallery, potential buyers have been cautioned that the property requires “extensive upgrading and refurbishment”.
A sales brochure for the property reads: “The property is an A-listed baronial castle built in the mid-19th century for James Templeton, a textile manufacturer, and designed by the renowned architect Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, with later alterations and additions by John Honeyman and William Leiper.
“Knockderry Castle is category A-listed largely on account of the exceptional Leiperian interior which is considered one of the finest domestic interiors of its style in Scotland.
“The property benefits from a wealth of original features including crow step gables, turrets, stone balustrades and an extraordinary wood-panelled drawing room which includes a minstrel gallery and other features including period fireplaces, paneling and stained-glass windows.”