Simpson & Brown Architects with Addyman Archaeology


Barnbougle Castle is category A-listed and lies in the grounds of Dalmeny House outside Edinburgh on the shores of the Firth of Forth.  It was rebuilt in 1881 by the Victorian Prime Minister, the 5th Earl of Rosebery on the site of a former castle.  The Earl’s architect, James Maitland Wardrop, incorporated some fabric from the earlier building which is thought to date back to the 13th century.  The Earl intended the building to be his private retreat and it housed his extensive library.  After his death the building remained furnished but unoccupied and remained so for most of the 20th century.

After the castle suffered storm damage in 2010, Simpson & Brown were asked to carry out work in connection with the repair of the terrace and a full external repairs contract followed.  In 2016 the decision to convert the castle into a prestige events venue was taken by the estate and the practice was appointed as conservation architects for the work.

The principal spaces of the building, such as the Scottish Library and vaulted Banqueting Hall, were all retained and new facilities for catering and toilets were created within the building.  Space for a lift was found and the services fully upgraded.  Fire detection and protection issues were addressed and a sprinkler system, carefully integrated within the existing fabric, has been installed.  The completed conversion respects the history of the building and is a fine example of low-key intervention.  The new venue opened to the public in the spring of 2019.

Project name: Barnbougle Castle
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