Banff THI - No 2 Old Castlegate

Conversion of existing derelict townhouse into 2 dwellings

2 Old Castlegate is a three-storey, mid-18th century townhouse (category B Listed) in the centre of Banff, within the conservation area of the town. For decades it has been neglected and abandoned, and was featured on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland. The house was most recently used a dental surgery with attached accommodation.

After being abandoned by its former owner in 1988, Aberdeenshire Council was forced to issue a Compulsory Purchase Order on the property in an attempt to save it from further ruin. It had suffered de-stabilisation and structural damage over the years due to irregularities in the ground conditions. This was visible on the Old Castlegate frontage, where sizeable cracks and a bulge in the walls appeared, and at the back of the house, where lintels were cracked and movement in the wall could be seen.

The project was managed and monitored by the North East Scotland Preservation Trust (NESPT) in association with the Banff THI. Funding for the project was provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund through Banff THI; Historic Scotland; Aberdeenshire Council; and Scottish Enterprise Grampian.

The plan for the redevelopment of this property was to undertake a programme of complete restoration, creating two dwelling houses with a shared garden. This will entail extensive restoration work, including significant structural underpinning and tying; full restoration of the windows; full restoration of all internal doors; repairs to the roof and rainwater goods; removing the cement harl and reharling the entire exterior in lime harl; cleaning and stabilising chimneys; repairing the main stair; repairing cornicing and skirting; and repairing lath and plaster sections.

In addition to the historic repairs, the building was modernised, with new plumbing and wiring throughout. New kitchens and bathrooms were also installed. Externally, the courtyard was paved and the gardens reinstated at the rear.

Project Completed in August 2009

The development of 2-4 Old Castlegate was completed in August 2009, and both properties have now been sold. The completion of the project was marked by a ceremony attended by Marcus Humphrey, Chairman of the NESPT, along with project manager Paul Higson, architect Les Hunter, local dignitaries and representatives from A.D. Walker, Banff Preservation & Heritage Society and Aberdeenshire Council.

The building won an Aberdeenshire Council Design Award 2010 for Conservation.

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THI Project

Old Photos

Property as it was in 1986

These two photographs show the front and rear of the property as it was in 1986, when the building was still occupied.



Rear of the Property

Rear of the property

The left hand photo is a view of the rear of the property, as seen from the courtyard garden. The house will be split internally where the two angles meet in an L-shape. The house to the left in the photo will be the smaller house with house on the right becoming the larger, main house. The right hand photo is a view of the rear of the property as seen from the courtyard garden area. The area to the right is the access pend from Old Castlegate into the courtyard. The sections to the left will belong to the main house.



 Interior Interior


The left hand photo depicts an example of structural bracing within the interior. This photo is of the internal bracing on the interior face of the tripartite window seen in the left hand photo above. The right hand photo shows the same tripartite window after stabilisation work to the internal structure has been completed and repairs made to the windows.


 Internal Walls Internal Walls Internal Walls

Progress up to May 2009 - Internal Walls

The left hand photo shows traditional lath & plaster is being applied to all internal walls, where existing plaster is not repairable. This image shows a partially completed section in one of the bedrooms, with the unplastered reinstated lath still visible on the right. The original cornicing throughout the property is being retained, but where it is beyond repair new sections will be installed. Moulds are cast of the existing cornices, before replica sections are produced and fixed in position. Where possible, original features have been retained including fireplaces and mantel surrounds.


 Progress up to May 2009 Progress up tp May 2009Progress up tp May 2009

Progress up to May 2009

Shows the building in the process of having a roughcast lime render applied, which will subsequently by coated with a coloured lime wash. The right hand photo depicts an example of the new timber window frames installed, complete with renewed sash cords and ironmongery.


Damages Outside

Damages Outside

The left hand photo shows the bracing over one of the tripartite windows, necessary to help stabilise the whole house. The middle photo is a view of the structural damage over the entryway to the house along the Old Castlegate frontage. The right hand photo shows the rear of the house, as seen from the courtyard garden area. This section shows what will become the smaller of the two houses.



 Completed Project



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