A CASTLE that threatened to topple into a swollen river looks set to be saved.

The 16th-century Abergeldie Castle on the banks of the Dee in Aberdeenshire has been left perilously close to the water after severe weather saw land bordering the property swept away.

Structural engineers have been assessing the A-listed tower house and believe it is no longer at imminent risk.

The news will be welcomed by owner Baron Abergeldie, 76-year-old John Gordon, and his wife.

It is understood they decided to vacate their 450-year-old home when a wall in the garden was ripped away by the torrent.

The four-floor castle is located by Crathie, which neighbours the Queen’s Balmoral residence.

Vincent Docherty from Aberdeenshire Council said: “At the moment our structural engineers are working with both the owner and insurers to make sure that they’re able to prop that castle up and make sure it doesn’t fall into the Dee.”

He added: “The information that I’ve received today is that the imminent risk to the castle is over and that the building probably can be saved.”

Royal Deeside has experienced some of its worst flooding in years following the battering by Storm Frank, with the town of Ballater among those that were particularly badly hit.