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Scottish Barholm Castle once home to John Knox for sale at £700,000

A 500-year-old fortress in the Scottish highlands a couple bought for £65,000 is on the market for £695,000 after they transformed it into a luxury castle hideout.

Barholm Castle in Dumfries and Galloway is a 15th century fort and was once home to Scottish Reformation leader John Knox.

Owners Janet and John Brennan first stumbled across it in 1997 when it was just a shell of crumbling stone walls.

But after their eight-year ‘labour of love’, the castle is now a four-bedroom luxury home, complete with a great hall, spiral stone staircase and access to the castle’s roof parapet.   

Before: Former owners Janet and John Brennan bought its crumbling walls in 1997

Barholm Castle, Dumfries and Galloway is a 15th century fort and once home to Scottish Reformation leader John Knox. It was bought by Janet and John Brennan in 1997 who spent eight years transforming the crumbling stone walls into a luxury home

It took two years to complete the purchase, four years to get planning permission and three years of building work.

But Ms Brennan, 60 and Mr Brennan, 64, are selling up to be closer to family, giving someone else the chance to scoop up the property.     

Nearly three years after putting it up for sale they are still yet to find a buyer and have re-marketed the property. 

In its early days the castle was a stronghold and home to the local McCulloch clan, but in the mid-18th century it fell into disrepair. 

Based in Gatehouse of Fleet in the South-West of Scotland, the castle sits around 100 miles from Edinburgh and Glasgow and close by are the local school, hospital and post office. 

After their eight-year 'labour of love', the castle is now a four-bedroom luxury home (one of four-poster bedrooms pictured), complete with a great hall, spiral stone staircase and access to the castle's roof parapet

After their eight-year ‘labour of love’, the castle is now a four-bedroom luxury home (one of four-poster bedrooms pictured), complete with a great hall, spiral stone staircase and access to the castle’s roof parapet

Pictured is the luxury kitchen the Brennans installed as part of their eight-year restoration complete with luxury fittings 

Pictured is the luxury kitchen the Brennans installed as part of their eight-year restoration complete with luxury fittings 

Inside the 15th century fort is a luxury four bedroom home, with fully furnished living room (pictured) and a great hall 

Inside the 15th century fort is a luxury four bedroom home, with fully furnished living room (pictured) and a great hall 

JOHN KNOX: THE MINISTER WHO LED THE PROTESTANT REFORMATION IN SCOTLAND 

John Knox was a Scottish clergyman, who was the leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland and often considered the founder of the Presbyterian denomination.

He was a Catholic deacon and priest but first joined the movement to reform the Scottish church in the early 1500s.

He then went on to teach a number of sons of Protestants who had been captured in St Andrews Castle and called on Knox to become their minister.

It was at this time that he is believed to have used Barholm as a place of refuge.

In 1547 he was captured by the French, who attacked St Andrews Castle and was kept as a prisoner for over a year.

On his release, he travelled to London, where he continued to attack the Roman Catholic faith but left the UK again in 1553 when Mary I became Queen.

When he returned to Scotland, he realised how much the teaching of the Reformers was spreading.

He then became one of the most well-known preachers in Scotland, with the Scottish Reformation taking place n 1560.

Knox is credited with helping to write the Scots Confession of Faith, one of the first formal documents of the Church of Scotland.

From the top of the castle’s rooftop parapet you can look out onto the stunning views of the waters of Wigtown Bay.

On the ground floor you’ll find the kitchen, as well as the boiler and the outhouse, then moving up you’ll come across the splendour of the great hall.

On the second floor sits a bedroom with en-suite, and office and then moving on up, you’ll find the second and third bedrooms, as well as a shower room and second en-suite.

Lastly, on the fourth floor, you’ll find the final bedroom with a vaulted ceiling and it’s here that John Knox was reputed to have hidden. 

From there you can carry on up the stone staircase to an upper cap house chamber, with a door to the roof parapet, offering stunning seaside views. 

From the top of the castle and its rooftop parapet you can look out onto the stunning views of the waters of Wigtown Bay

From the top of the castle and its rooftop parapet you can look out onto the stunning views of the waters of Wigtown Bay

It took two years to complete the purchase, four years to get planning permission and three years of building work

It took two years to complete the purchase, four years to get planning permission and three years of building work

Pictured: An original spiral stone staircase connects Barholm Castle's three floors and rooftop parapet 

Pictured: An original spiral stone staircase connects Barholm Castle’s three floors and rooftop parapet 

Previous owners Janet and John Brennan first stumbled across it in 1997 when it was just a shell of crumbling stone walls

Previous owners Janet and John Brennan first stumbled across it in 1997 when it was just a shell of crumbling stone walls

From ruins to riches: Janet Brennan is pictured next to one of the walls at Barholm Castle before she and her husband transformed it into a luxury home 

From ruins to riches: Janet Brennan is pictured next to one of the walls at Barholm Castle before she and her husband transformed it into a luxury home 



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