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  • David Leavitt

The Music Room

The Music Room of Knockderry Castle is a spectacular room. When designed and constructed by William Leiper for the 1896 renovation of Knockerry, no expense was spared. From the inlaid tiled fireplace, bronze rimmed windows, parquet floor, wood paneling, minstrels gallery to the art which spans surrounds the entire room and ceiling, the room was exquisitely elegant.

Walk into the Music Room now, close your eyes, and you can almost picture the concerts, balls, and parties that graced the room. Keep them closed and you can picture wounded French soldiers from World War II convalescing as they admired the best that Scotland had to offer them. The Music Room is what sold Chelom and I on Knockderry when we first stepped foot in the Music Room in the Fall of 2022. Three months later it was also the room that nearly made us turn our backs on the project and walk away. January 2, 2023 was decision day for us and what we saw sickened us.

Water was streaming down south wall of the room, completely soaking the not only the art but also the amazing burl wood paneling. Portions of the art was already badly damaged, but not as bad as it being damaged on that January day. Chelom and I could knew intuitively that unless we purchased it immediately and went to work finding and stopping the leaks, the room would not be recoverable.

Deciding to move ahead with the purchase, our crew of talented craftsmen identified and stopped the majority of the leaks. But making the Music Room water tight took another several months to accomplish. We're certainly hopeful that we've stopped the leaks for good.

On to the restoration of the art!

Recently, Karen Dundas and her colleague Shannon spent a week removing the damaged art from the wall to restore it properly and cleaning the thick mold that had been growing on much of the rest of the art for half a year.

Karen and her team are taking the restoration of the art in several phases over the course of several months. But their recent visit was significant because they were able to remove the mold and remove the art that has been so badly damaged. On the first day of their recent visit, Karen was kind enough to allow us to video her explanation of what they were seeking to accomplish during the week. She has consented to the video being placed on the blog.

Thank you, Karen and Shannon!

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Sep 11, 2023

Oh my goodness, as a music teacher, I'd be in heaven with such a stunning room! What an amazing experience for you! I'm glad to be able to see it through your blog - can't wait for the YouTube videos!


Sep 08, 2023 must have had a heavy hand in painting the murals! Would love to go in a time machine to be there during the creation snd installations!


Aug 29, 2023

What is the cost of having Karen and Shannon cleaning and restoring the art? Also- alet the people working on your castle- do they have to have places to stay close by the castle so they can stay close to work each day? what is the town like where the castle is located- is it modern with hotels?

Aug 29, 2023
Replying to

all* the people


Aug 22, 2023

Hello Chelom and David,

I fell upon your Instagram while scrolling before my early morning walk. I am totally captivated about your rescue of this beautiful neglected castle. I can understand why when you saw the January damage in the music room you were compelled to restore all the hard worked craftsmanship and artistry that went into the castle. Great you can find experts in the field of restoration. I look forward to following your long painstakingly details in resuscitating an old beauty to life.

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