Balfour Castle, Shapinsay Island, Orkney, Scotland

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Iceland cruise March 2018 – This s a very special castle, as it was only castle that I saw on the whole of our trip, and I had given up seeing one.  I was on deck waiting to take photos of a lighthouse, when I suddenly saw Balfour Castle in the distance.  I didn’t know the castles name then, but having looked up details, I think I have missed my chance of visiting.  There were apparently trips with afternoon teas to the castle, but according to their web site, it is now a private home.  

Balfour Castle is aptly known as a Calendar House. It has seven turrets, twelve exterior doors, 52 rooms, and 365 panes of glass and is situated on the southwest end of Shapinsay Island of Orkney. 

In 1782 Thomas Balfour built a house called Cliffdale and it was inherited by his grandson, David Balfour in 1846 and the following year he decided to build Balfour Castle. It was completed in 1848. The castle incorporated the original house between a service wing to the north and the imposing public rooms of castle on the south overlooking the sea.

The last Balfour died in 1960 without an heir and the entire estate, comprising of an 800 acre farm and the castle were sold.  The castle was used as a hotel, but now it would seem it have converted back, to being a private house.  

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