Permission sought to move bodies from Ayton Castle grounds to village

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EXHUMING the bodies of her late partner and two of her children from the grounds of Ayton Castle to have them reburied in Ayton village is currently occupying Christine de la Rue.

Last year she put Ayton Castle up for sale for £3 million but according to a report in the Daily Mail this week there have been claims that potential buyers have been put off by the family mausoleum.

The price is now believed to have been reduced to £2.2 million.

Lady de la Rue, who is waiting for permission to move the coffins told the Daily Mail: “I didn’t think buyers would object to the graves because they are in a very beautiful and imposing setting.

“Max’s grave is very grand and has steps which lead down to it and are lit. James was so little, his is just tiny slate stones.

“I wanted to open Ayton up to a bigger market. It shouldn’t be a family home any more, in this day and age it should be a hotel. These days people wouldn’t know how to live in a castle or a large house.”

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 sold the barony of Ayton, its castle and 6,000 acre estate to Henry Liddell-Grainger for £90,000.

The Liddell-Grainger family have continued to own the castle but since the death of David Liddell-Grainger in 2007, the estate and the family have encountered turbulent times, resulting in the castle being put on the property market.

Lady de la Rue has had more than her fair share of tragedy.

Her son, Maximillian died aged 13, she had a still-born baby, James, and her oldest son St George de la Rue was found dead in his cottage in the castle grounds in November last year.