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  • David Leavitt

What Questions Do You Have?

The video clip to the right of these words kind of started it all. Chelom and I had just purchased Knockderry Castle. We were both stressed at the purchase. We'd just spent £1.15M for a dilapidated castle that was the subject of one of Scotland's longest bankruptcy proceedings. It was roughly 4,500 miles from our home. And we knew that we'd have to spend much more than the original purchase price to to restore it to its former glory.

We've done some crazy things during our 34 years together; but this was positively either the most bold or the most crazy; or both. It was 1:00 a.m. in Scotland and we were nestled in our hotel room in the Knockderry House Hotel, less than 50 yards from the castle. We were each dealing with our stress in our own way. I was sound asleep, choosing to numb myself from the reality of what we'd just done. Chelom was wide awake, ruminating over the whole issue.

I awoke to Chelom shaking me. "What the HELL did we just do?" She asked. Neither of us had an answer. But, we realized that we needed to record the feelings of the moment. And so we shot this video and sent it to our children back in America along with a commitment that we would start a blog to record our emotions, experiences, and impressions of the entire experience.

It's difficult to imagine what has grown out of that late night moment. Shortly after we started the blog, several publications wrote about it and things started to spread. Within a week or two, we'd been contacted by a number of television/streaming production companies enquiring about our willingness to chronicle the experience in a documentary or series of some kind. That sounded interesting and so we said, "why not?" That prospect still has a ways to go before it plays out. We'll see.

Shortly after that, our niece Anne Marie visited the castle and fell in love with the whole concept. "You have to have an Instagram page!" She told us. "Ok," we said. "Go ahead and create one." It was about that casual of a conversation.

Anne Marie did create an Instagram page and now we're really asking ourselves: "What the hell did we do?" Within the next day or so, the Instagram page will exceed 250,000 followers. And a portion of the video clip that we shot at 1:00 a.m. six months ago, today exceeded 3,500,000 views with over 500,000 views coming in the last two days!

Frankly, it's a little surreal. And it's been fun to have people tune in while we do what we set out to do: Restore Knockderry Castle.

As I sat down tonight to write a blog post, I realized that many of you have questions about Knockderry, about us, about our plans. Frankly, we are getting more emails and messages from Instagram to be able to respond to them all. But we can respond to questions on the blog. And so that's my request in this blog post.

What question do you have that you'd like us to address on this blog site? Feel free to pose your question either in the comment section of this blog or by sending us an email. Ask any question you'd like and and we'll do our best to dedicate future blog posts to answering them. Of course, we reserve the right to not answer questions that would not be appropriate to answer due to safety/privacy issues that we all ought to be concerned about in this day and age.

Thank you for your interest in our project! Chelom and I are so grateful for you support and your encouragement. We hope to hear from many of you with your questions.

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5 opmerkingen

11 sep. 2023

I don’t know how I found this but I do keep asking myself “What the hell did I just read?“

ha ha

Wishing you both the best on restoring your dream castle in Scotland!

P.S. Do you have heat yet???


28 aug. 2023

I have to ask… how much does a castle cost? By the way, I’d love to come visit. is it going to be an Inn?


26 aug. 2023

I’m just wondering what you future plans are for the completed castle?


22 aug. 2023

What’s your timeline and ultimate goal? Do you plan to use it within your family or are you considering sharing it as a B&B or for events (weddings, etc)?


22 aug. 2023

First of all, I love this journey for you guys! It’s been a dream of mine since I was a little girl to move to Scotland and restore a castle. I could see my husband and I doing this! I just found your IG page and searched you up on YouTube, as well. There’s a bunch of people out here that would support a YouTube channel, by the way. are you planning on restoring the gardens?! That pond!

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