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  • David Leavitt

Searching for Knockderry Castle History

The photos of the navy vessels in this post comes from our new neighbor, Paul KorzeniewskiI.

Thanks Paul!

We're hoping that we can find some help in discovering the rich history of the castle. Our castle has loads of history. Unfortunately, we only know the smallest portion of it. We believe the following to be part of the history. Please contact us if you have history of any kind you could share with us regarding the castle.

Scotland's National Record of the Historic Environment records "'the debris of an old Danish or Norwegian fort' on the shore of Loch Long. The site is now occupied by the modern mansion of Knockderry Castle." That vikings placed a fort on the shores of Loch Long makes sense since Loch Long is such a deep lake that their long boats could sail safely down the long body of water.

Because Loch Long is such a deep loch, the Royal Navy has a nuclear submarine base roughly five miles from Knockderry Castle. It's not uncommon to see both submarine and other huge naval craft slowly pass by the castle. Our neighbor Paul took photos of the submarine and what looks like an aircraft carrier as they passed the castle.

The castle was built in the mid-19th century for James Templeton, the famous Scottish textile manufacturer. The ‘A’ listing with the Scottish Government has more to do with the exceptional Leiperian interior which is considered one of the finest domestic interiors of its style in Scotland.

Andrew Carnegie, a friend of castle owner James Templeton, stayed in the castle and from the castle wrote a letter agreeing to fund Scottish public libraries.

It served as a hospital for wounded soldiers in World War II, operated as a hotel for a number of years before returning as a private residence in the post war years.

The former owners of the castle lost the castle in a bankruptcy proceeding that was one of Scotland's longest running bankruptcies. Chelom and I purchased it from the bankruptcy trustee with the approval of the bankruptcy court.

Set on seven magnificent acres, the castle used to have an orangery, orchards, a tennis court, and who knows what else! Our long term plan is to restore it to its former glory.

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