When Hugh MacLeod assumed responsibility for the MacLeod Estate in 2008, Dunvegan Castle was in a parlous state with serious damage to its internal fabric caused by decades of water ingress. Hugh decided that the only way to secure this iconic building of national importance was to identify a viable way to undertake a phased restoration that would take many years.

Having secured a £650,000 grant from Historic Scotland and a £100,000 loan from Highland Opportunity Ltd back in 2009, the MacLeod Estate was able to embark on the first phase of restoration works to repair and renew the castle’s lead roof. This was only made possible because the MacLeod Estate funded the majority of the £1.2 million project cost by taking on very high debt levels which remain to this day. The roof restoration was completed on budget and ahead of schedule in November 2010. The quality of the workmanship was second to none and the remit of rendering Dunvegan Castle Skye-proof against the elements was achieved.

In 2011, the MacLeod Estate embarked on the second phase of works to restore the castle’s windows and various masonry elements including replacing all the rusting iron window lintels in the South Wing. Since then, the MacLeod Estate has invested a further £1.6 million in numerous projects to restore the castle’s interiors and exteriors alongside major re-landscaping works in the castle gardens to further enhance the visitor experience. The remit of these phased restoration works was to remove some poor later additions and reveal more of the original features combined with an overall design aesthetic that was sympathetic to Dunvegan’s historic setting. The positive impact of this rolling programme of major capital investment, together with all the hard work and dedication of the Estate team, was recognised by Visit Scotland awarding Dunvegan Castle & Gardens 5* in 2016 and more recently, Dunvegan Castle won the ‘Helping it Happen’ tourism award in 2018 and was shortlisted by both the UK Heritage 2019 Awards and the Scottish Rural Awards 2019.

In common with all built heritage, the castle does cost a small fortune to maintain. If you would like to contribute to our ongoing mission to preserve, develop and share the unique history of Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, please join our Friends of Dunvegan membership scheme and/or you can make a donation to the following dedicated estate account:

Account name: MacLeod Estate Restoration
Account Number: 00311874
Sort Code: 60-93-03
IBAN: GB19 WBYS 6093 0300 3118 74

All donations, however large or small, will be gratefully received because there is still a lot of ongoing repairs and future restoration works to undertake. Thank you for your support.