Troubled historic hotel finds new owners

Just over a year after it abruptly closed, the historic but troubled Shieldhill Castle Hotel near Biggar has been sold for almost three quarters of a million pounds.

Friday, 21st February 2020, 10:43 am
Shieldhill Castle Hotel has found new owners after a troubled recent past
Shieldhill Castle Hotel has found new owners after a troubled recent past

Early last year the Gazette charted the downfall of what was one of the area’s most prestigious hospitality businesses, which was famously home to Nelson Mandela while he was in Scotland for a Commonwealth conference in 1997.

Staff were left unpaid when the hotel suddenly closed down in January, 2019, it later emerging that the sole director, Mary Yuill, was an undischarged bankrupt.

The castle, parts of which date back to the 12th century but is mainly Victorian, had been a hotel for 60 years before it was repossessed by the bank mortgagees.

The 30-bedroom hotel plus a private three-bedroom house and 6.5 acres of grounds went for “close to” the asking price of £750,000 according to the vendors, real estate company Colliers International.

The firm was not disclosing the name of the new owners but a spokesperson said the purchase was “a joint venture” between south east England investors and a local buyer with South Lanarkshire connections.

“The purchasers’ plan to re-open Shieldhill Castle Hotel as soon as possible, to operate in 2020 principally as an events venue,” they said.

“Following a significant refurbishment, at a later stage, they plan to market the castle as a high-quality country house hotel leisure destination.”

Added Alistair Letham, director of hotels with Colliers: “Shieldhill Castle is your quintessential Scottish country house hotel.

“It is an excellent spot to develop a leisure destination, whether for private, exclusive or corporate event use.”