Owners of newly built castle hoping for royal seal of approval

A new castle in Cumbria, thought to be the first built during King Charles III reign, has opened following a six-figure investment from The Cumberland Building Society 

Situated on the grounds of the 1830s Grade II listed building Garth House, in the market town of Brampton on the outskirts of Carlisle, owners Gordon and Dawn McGregor set about building the luxury holiday home, Peel Castle.

Offering three bedrooms across three floors, as well as a rooftop gin terrace encircled by a castle parapet, the overall cost of the project totalled over £1 million.

The castle has royal connections with King Charles III having previously visited Garth House, gifting plants for the garden. It is also believed that his head gardener from Highgrove was sent to help the previous owners to establish a hedge.  

Despite the royal heritage, Gordon and Dawn had to overcome many hurdles to see the project come to fruition. With the couple having to obtain planning permission to construct the castle on the grounds of a Grade II listed building, they also had to compete with the challenges brought about by the pandemic.  

Having obtained planning permission after a revised application, Gordon and Dawn set about creating the building, including a two-and-a-half foot thick parapet at the top.  

With the impact of the pandemic seeing the cost of building materials increase dramatically, this put additional strains on the couple’s finances allowing them to finish the project. With the castle almost finished, when it came to securing a mortgage Gordon and Dawn found banks and other lenders unwilling to commit funds to the project. An independent broker put the couple in touch with the Cumberland in a bid to secure the mortgage which would see it complete.

The Cumberland considered a range of factors including Gordon and Dawn’s previous success in the holiday let market, as well as the uniqueness and potential of the building.  

“While they had been refused by other banks, we delved deeper beyond the financials and looked at the experience Gordon and Dawn have, the passion they had to ensure the project was a success  and the stunning property itself,” said Katherine Thomson, the Cumberland’s relationship manager for the case. “Taking all of this into account we felt it was the right thing to do.” 

Guests can see the vaulted roof design of the building as soon as they walk into the open plan kitchen and dining room, with the interior complemented by high-quality furnishings.  

The building is split into two parts, Peel Castle and Castlesteads, Guests can also stay at other venues on the grounds including Garth Cottage and Garth Studio. 

Gordon McGregor, Peel Castle owner, added, “The Cumberland did everything they said they would. They considered our case when other lenders wouldn’t.

“The venue is truly unique and brings the wow factor for all who come and stay here. It all began as I stood in the garden and thought ‘I’m going to build a castle there’, and since then, thanks to The Cumberland’s support and willingness to see our ambitions realised, we have a fully functioning castle on our grounds.”

Since its completion, Gordon has written to King Charles III to showcase potentially the first castle built during his reign.