Fatlips Castle set for major restoration

image captionThe tower has been empty for decades and has fallen into disrepair

Borders landmark Fatlips Castle is to undergo a £200,000 facelift to save it for future generations to enjoy.

The 16th Century site is reputed to be named after the habit of men kissing women as they entered the building, which was considered indiscreet.

The castle near Jedburgh has sat empty since the 1960s and its condition has deteriorated significantly.

Now the Tweed Forum has secured funding from a range of groups to carry out major renovation work.

Director Luke Comins said: "This is a very significant moment in the history of the castle and for local people who enjoy its enormous contribution to the landscape.

"Tweed Forum have been working for a number of years with the Minto estate to build a financial package that would enable such works.

"Some £200,000 has been secured from Historic Scotland, Scottish Borders Council, SBC Landfill Credits Fund and Lord Minto which is enough to initiate the works and we are extremely grateful for their support."

He said the Minto family had been trying to stop the "incessant vandalism" of the property but with "limited success".

"It has now got to the stage where there is an urgent need to save the roof from complete collapse," said Mr Comins.

"This is a great opportunity to start afresh and help secure it for future generations to enjoy."

Fatlips Castle was originally built by the Turnbull family but was completely rebuilt by the Elliots of Minto, the current owners, in 1857.

It was further remodelled as a family museum and shooting lodge by Sir Robert Lorimer in 1897.

However, since the 1960s it has been unoccupied and its condition has deteriorated over the decades.

The building work is expected to be completed by mid-2013.

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