CRAIGIEVAR Castle has had its iconic pink colour restored after undergoing essential maintenance work for around a year.

The centre has been closed to visitors while work took place – and a grand reopening for the public is expected in the spring.

James Henderson from the National Trust for Scotland previously said the group “want to keep the building as protected as possible”.

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But where is Craigievar Castle and what’s the history behind the building?

Where is Craigievar Castle?

The castle (below) is situated on a picturesque hillside six miles south of Alford and around 26 miles west of Aberdeen.

The National:

Work started in 1576 and was finished in 1626 by Aberdonian merchant William Forbes. It has remained effectively unchanged since then.

What is the history of the castle?

Craigievar was a family home until the 1960s and is described by the National Trust for Scotland as being filled with “cosy interiors and rare antiquities within the ancient walls”.

The Forbes family resided in the castle for over 300 years before it was placed in the care of the National Trust for Scotland.

What is the connection with Disney?

The iconic animator and film producer Walt Disney is believed to have based his designs of fairy tale castles on Craigievar after seeing pictures of it.

The National:

Henderson added: “It’s already known around the world, ultimately for potentially being the inspiration behind Disney’s Cinderella castle, but definitely for being pink.”

The Pink Again project

The National reported at the beginning of the year on how a major conservation project was underway to protect and future-proof the castle’s famous exterior.

The plan involved refreshing the lime wash that gives the castle its unique colour.

The outside of the castle has a practical purpose as well as it is covered with a coating known as harling.

“The purpose of this is to hide the stone from view and also to help protect the building from the weather,” the National Trust for Scotland website explains.

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It adds: “Thanks to a previous pioneering project by the Trust to remove a cement-based coating, the harling on Craigievar is once again lime based.

“This is the traditional material for harling due to its ability to allow moisture within the buildings core to escape and its flexibility which means it is resistant to cracking within building movement.”

However, the harling at high level areas is subject to damage due to the wet Scottish weather.

It explained that “multiple coats of a special recipe of lime wash” were used to “reinvigorate the pink tones of Craigievar’s walls”.