Further words from my book, “The History of Crossbasket Castle” by Paul Veverka (c) 2015
At this time (2013), the gardens were left to allow focus on the building, but the Crossbasket site was made more safe by the removal of the damaged wooden footbridges, a temporary measure until the gardens could be attended to.
There was talk of Crossbasket House being permanently rebranded as “Crossbasket Castle”, an owners privilege to do so.
A brand new children’s nursery was also planned in the grounds of the estate. Construction began in Summer 2013 in the field to the west of the Main Lodge. The nursery construction ran concurrently with the renovation of the Castle. Something to be noted in itself, with credit to the managers who expertly attended to this. The design of the nursery complimenting the nearby Castle.
Initial stripping out and clearance also commenced inside the Castle. Samples of the existing cornicing were taken in moulds for bespoke and new cornicing to be created. This ensured the detailing matches what was there previously, a theme recurring throughout the building. Ceilings, doors and walls were inlaid with timber facings, removing the look of any flat surface, and creating an older, more ornate feel.
2014– The architect for the project was Gordon Smith of Smith Findlay Architects and the structural engineer was Jim Young of Ramage Young Structural Engineers.
John Sneddon, project manager in charge of the subcontractor team, working on behalf of Crossbasket Castle Holdings, commented in 2014: “The project is going well and we have a good team. Effectively we were creating a new build within the structure of the old, with extensive works being required in order to comply with modern building regulations.”
“A stone spiral, three storey staircase within the castle tower has been reinstated. Throughout the building, most of the internal layout has been retained. All new building services including heating, lighting and plumbing have been installed.”The renovation also included a new feature for Crossbasket Castle, a modern lift travelling between 4 floors.
External works included the re-roofing and the reinstatement of all the windows with double glazed units designed to match the originals. Timber lintels, which had rotted, were also removed.
“The old render was added in order to prevent water ingress, but actually trapped the water making the problem worse. The building now looks stunning with the original stonework revealed. We found many original features concealed under the render, including more windows which had been bricked up and were re-instated, as well as, arches and stone Celtic cross details,”said John Sneddon.
Within the main building on the ground floor, the original features in the grand drawing room, the library and the dining room have been reinstated to a very high standard. It would be a very keen eye to pick out where the old finishes end and the new begins. New wood paneling features in several rooms including the very atmospheric, new bar on the ground level.
The 19thCentury part of the Castle now features upgraded, magnificent rooms, the best example of which is the Grand Drawing room with stunning detailed cornices finished in gold leaf and featuring a large ornate chandelier salvaged and restored from a Castle in Europe. Such rooms are flexible as function rooms and can be used for private dining, wedding ceremonies, conference and training facilities or any sort of important occasion, including celebrations of life for loved ones. The rooms can be set up entirely bespoke in a way to suit guests requirements without compromise. The rooms are fully supported with leading edge audio/visual facilities and a fully equipped catering kitchen.
On the upper floors, there are eight large and beautifully appointed bedrooms and the most beautiful views over the grounds. Each floor features a beautiful lounge where guests can meet and mingle whilst maintaining the privacy of the bedroom suites. The Ceiling window on the top stairwell has been renovated.
Eight new en-suite bathrooms have also been created on the first and second floors again retaining many of the original features. They are indeed simply stunning. Each bathroom, whilst retaining common elements to each like the tiles, porcelain and wall light fittings, are unique in their own right, by their tasteful decoration, with wallpaper highlights to match the luxurious colour schemes of each incredible bedroom.
Suzanne Ritchie, a friend of the Timoneys has worked very hard in attending to the detailing of the Castle which included frequent road trips to fetch and source fittings. Similarly both Steve and Alison have worked incredibly hard in sourcing some major items like fireplaces, and chandeliers, all of which were restored.