Scottish castle that inspired Walt Disney restored to iconic pink colour

Scotland's very own 'Cinderella' castle has a shiny new look after a project.

Iconic Scottish castle that inspired Walt Disney restored to pink exterior after project National Trust for Scotland

A famous Scottish castle said to have inspired Walt Disney has been restored to its iconic pink exterior.

Craigievar Castle in Aberdeenshire has been undergoing essential maintenance work for over a year as part of a restoration project to protect the historic building near the village of Alford.

The National Trust for Scotland’s Pink Again project aims to carry out high level repairs to the building’s roof and harling, while refreshing the lime wash that gives the castle its distinctive look after it was affected by wet weather.

The centre has been closed to visitors while extensive construction work took place, but the NTS have now carried out the work to futureproof the iconic exterior with a grand reopening to the public expected in the spring.

Craigievar Castle, in winter snow.

Animator and film producer Walt Disney was believed to have taken inspiration from Craigievar for iconic fairy tale castles such as Cinderella’s at Disneyland after seeing pictures of the Scottish landmark.

The castle had been covered in scaffolding for a number of months to protect the renewed limewash from climate change, after the harling was successfully replaced in 2009.

James Henderson from the National Trust for Scotland told STV News in June: “It’s already known around the world, ultimately for potentially being the inspiration behind Disney Cinderella Castle, but definitely for being pink.

“We want to keep the building as protected as possible.

“While the harling and the limescale on the outside do an excellent job, there are vulnerable areas where water can seep in.

“If we can add some subtle details which aren’t visible from ground level that won’t change the overall aesthetic of the overall building – it is still as it was and how people remember it, but it will do a better job of protecting the building overall.”

The castle was first built in 1626 by Aberdonian merchant William Forbes and has remained effectively unchanged since.

Construction has been ongoing for more than a year on the historical site. Photo: National Trust for Scotland.

Annie Robertson from the NTS said: “Craigievar came to the trust in the 1960s and until then it had been home to the same family for hundreds of years and very much the castle we inherited was as they had it, as they lived in it, it was their home.

“Part of the agreement of the trust taking over the property is that there wouldn’t be great changes and the castle hasn’t seen much change since it was completed in the early 17th century. So it doesn’t have electricity on the upper floors for example, it very much still feels like a family home.”

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