Confused.com founder puts castle on market for £1.5 million less than she spent on it
“Wild haired” Kate Armstrong, the Australian founder of Confused.com, bought the medieval Scottish castle Cassillis House in Ayrshire from the Kennedy clan in 2009 for £3 million. She spent four years and £3.5 million updating and improving it but is now selling it at a loss for just £5 million.
Situated 42 miles from Glasgow, the Category A listed 15,662 square foot castle has been brought into the 21st century and now includes a ballroom, 3 reception rooms, a library, a cinema and 13 bedrooms. The renovation of the 112 room building was tracked and featured in an episode of the BBC documentary Restoration Homes and has been completed to a commercial specification. At the time, Mrs Armstrong commented:
“Painting the exterior was an expensive task, we got through hundreds of litres of paint and the scaffolding alone cost £40,000… It has been a labour of love, but I’ve loved every minute of it. Now I have the grand Scottish castle I dreamed of when I was a little girl”.
Also included in the sale price is a 5-bedroomed converted coach house, 4 cottages, 309 acres of land and 1.8 miles of salmon and trout fishing on the River Doon.
The selling agent, Evelyn Channing of Savills, commented:
“It is on the market for less than what [Mrs Armstrong and her husband] spent on it. She is not asking for all her money back. She is more concerned about making sure the castle is being looked after”.
Armstrong shared in a £21 million windfall when Confused.com was sold to The Admiral Group. Cassillis House, however, was certainly not one of her better investments.
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