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  • David Leavitt

YouTube Channel

A blog reader posed two questions: Do we plan on restoring the walled garden and the pond? And have Chelom and I considered a YouTube channel to share our journey in greater depth? I'll answer those questions in this post.

When Chelom and I purchased Knockderry, we spent the majority of our limited time on the property looking at the castle: How did the roof look? Did the foundation look solid? Was there anything obvious to the eye that would unexpectedly turn the castle into a bigger money pit than we knew it would be? We knew we would have to completely replace the heating, plumbing, and electrical systems. We knew that it would need completely new kitchens and refurbished windows. We walked casually over the seven acres of gardens. But frankly, we didn't spend a lot of time exploring them. We found them enchanting, but we had no idea the wonders that we'd find buried underneath decades of neglect.

We may have seen the ponds before we purchased it. Ponds, plural, that's right. I don't think we've written or shown the other pond on the property. That will have to be the focus of another blog post at some point. While we may have seen the ponds, I don't think we even knew there was a decaying walled garden with fruit trees inside it. We discovered that on a later visit.

The short answer to the question of whether we'll restore the ponds and garden is, yes. We absolutely will restore them. But we'll do so in time. We've gotten the castle water tight. We've begun the process of conserving and restoring the art.

Karen Dundas, art conservator, restoring Music Room art

We've also spent the summer renewing the water main line into the castle, figuring out the storm water drainage system, as well as the sewage drainage system (which we learned emptied directly into Loch Long!

Works to find and replace main water line

As I mentioned in a previous post, getting a heating system for the castle before cold weather sets in, is what we're working on now. It's amazing how much discovery we've had in locating and surveying all of the above infrastructure that is so vital to making the castle restoration a success.

When we restore the ponds and the walled garden, we'll have to run water lines and electrical lines to them, to be sure. We're restoring Knockderry to its former glory, but we're also striking a balance between former glory and modern glory. For example, we'll light the pathways through the gardens. We likely will even light the outside of the castle. It's all a process of discovery and balance as we make carefully make our way.

While we bought Knockderry to fulfill our dream of restoring and owning a castle, we had NO IDEA just how many people have similar dreams. Today we were thrilled to see that we had received 300,000 followers. It's just mind boggling to us. Many Instagram followers ask a similar question: Will you do a YouTube Channel?

Yes! A YouTube channel is coming soon. We hadn't planned on it. But now that we know that so many people are interested in the journey, we want to share it in as much depth and with as many people as possible.

Stay tuned!!

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Sep 05, 2023

Thank you for answering this question! I can’t wait! You guys are so brave to take this massive project on and do it with thoughtful consideration for so many unknown issues. Thank you for sharing!


Aug 26, 2023

Please don’t water blast, sand blast or steam blast the exterior of the castle. I know finding out it’s original colour is intriguing but you’ll wash away the exterior patina. The building has aged gracefully in the Scottish weather. It has a beauty in its weathered age. It’s not meant to stick out like a sore thumb above the shores of the Loch. Surely it has earned the right to be the graceful grey lady of Loch Long that it currently is?

Sep 05, 2023
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Truly captivating. We need more people like yourselves pursuing the same amount of love and respect for so many more neglected capsules of history here in the UK. So many Country Estates are left to rot.

Please keep being you, it's so refreshing to see. Good luck with the restorations, it's a blessing to watch and hear the amount of passion you both have.

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