- Client: Private
- Value: Confidential
- Start Date: April 2016
Castle Hill is a 23-acre walled site on the northern coast of Scotland. The grounds of an old Caithness stone quarry, the site is home to beautiful dry stone walls that enclose a series of glades, gardens and intimate nooks. The land is dotted with picturesque structures in poor repair including a several ruined cottages, a squash court and vaulted stone building overlooking a harbour that once sent copious quantities of this sought after stone around the world, paving streets in London, Sydney, Edinburgh and the financial district of New York City.
We were asked by a lovely, visionary couple who had recently moved to the area to look into the feasibility of reviving this derelict site to create a vibrant heart for the local community as well as those passing through on their way to Britain’s northernmost tips Dunnet Head and John o’Groats. The proposal was to marry a careful restoration of the existing stone structures with new buildings following the pattern suggested by the stone wall to create a new home, cafe and bunkhouse with possible expansion to include lettable villas. Given the remote nature of the site and environmental aspirations of the client, off-grid energy generation and responsible waste management options were considered to build in harmony with this rugged yet precarious site.