The latest chapter in the saga of the 16th century Baltersan Castle could see it being run by a charitable trust as an international music school.
Current owner Lichtsome Hoose Co Ltd, put the castle up for sale in late 2017 for offers over £150,000. Now a charitable trust is in the process of being formed - Lady Row Trust - to acquire Baltersan, on the road between Maybole and Kirkoswald, and reconstruct it as a music school offering masterclasses with internationally renowned musicians.
A public meeting to discuss the plans is being held in Carrick Centre, Maybole (beside the railway station) on Tuesday, February 5, at 7.30pm.
The web site https://yourscottishcastle.com/ lays out the future plans for Baltersan: “The innovative proposals envisage upscale tourist accommodation in the high season and music masterclasses at other times of the year. Scotland has a rich musical heritage and the opportunity of advancing that in the wonderful setting of the architectural gem that is Baltersan is a very rare one indeed.
“The project is likely to span the next five years and will be the subject of two documentaries – one a film showing the progress from the new charity’s vision to an opening night celebration, the other a meticulous, academic study, through written notes as well as still and moving images, of the technicalities and challenges faced by the architects, designers, craftspeople and builders in reconfiguring a unique 16th century country house for modern uses.
Previous owner of the castle, built in 1584 for the Kennedy family who abandoned it in 1745, James Brown describes his “relentless efforts to save Baltersan span 30 years of ups and downs”: “It is too valuable a cultural asset to be allowed to crumble to dust.
“The plan that will be announced on February 5 is the most exciting one I have come across in all those years.”