Ayton Castle on the market for £3 million

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FOR sale for £3 million - one baronial castle.

Upmarket estate agents Retties are advertising Ayton Castle for sale, describing it as “an imposing and renowned Baronial A Listed castle with outstanding principal accommodation within established gardens”.

But if the castle is a little out of your price range there is always Peelwalls House, a former nursing home that is also in Ayton, and which is currently on the market for a more modest £795,000.

Ayton Castle boasts a main hall, inner hall, gallery, drawing room, dining room, library, boudoir, small dining room, breakfasting kitchen, billiards room, domestic offices, 17 bedrooms, nine bathrooms, plus more accommodation in South Gate Lodge.

It was built in 1851 by William Mitchell-Innes, and in 1895 his grandson Alexander Harold Mitchell-Innes of Ayton and Whitehall sold the barony of Ayton, its castle and lands etc to Henry Liddell-Grainger for £90,000.

The Liddell-Grainger family has continued to own the castle throughout the 20th century, but with the death of David Liddell-Grainger in 2007, the estate and the family seem to have encountered turbulent times, resulting in the castle being put on the property market.

The private life of David Liddell-Grainger has been colourful and an affair with Christine de la Rue, wife of Sir Eric de la Rue, resulted in him divorcing his wife in 1981 and Christine moving into the castle along with her elderly husband who by this time required nursing care. David Liddell Grainger and Christine de la Rue had two children together, one of whom died of cancer as a child.

They married in 1996 and when he died 11 years later it is believed that David Liddell-Grainger left his 6000 acre estate to his son by Christine de la Rue rather than his eldest son by his first marriage.

Last month a Private Rented Housing Panel issued an enforcement notice which ordered Henry Liddell-Grainger and Lady Christine de la Rue to carry out immediate repairs on two cottages on Ayton Castle estate. Tenants had complained of leaking roofs, damp and a two page catalogue of essential repairs that were needed to bring the properties up to a habitable standard.