What could be the first castle built during King Charles III reign was made possible following a six-figure investment from The Cumberland Building Society  when no other lenders would give the go-ahead for the regally ambitious project.

Situated on the grounds of the 1830s Grade II listed building Garth House, in the beautiful market town of Brampton on the outskirts of Carlisle, owners Gordon and Dawn McGregor set about building the high specification luxury holiday home, Peel Castle. With the overall cost of the project totalling over £1 million, Gordon and Dawn had a vision to create a truly unique, high quality venue.

Offering three bedrooms across three floors, as well as a rooftop gin terrace encircled by a castle parapet, Peel Castle allows guests to experience exquisite luxury during their stay.

The Castle’s royal connections go deeper than the aesthetics of the property however, 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 in the gardens. Despite the ground’s royal heritage, creating a castle fit for royalty was no easy task and Gordon and Dawn had to overcome many hurdles to see it 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 Covid-19 pandemic.

Having obtained planning permission after a revised application, Gordon and Dawn set about creating the building, inclusive of a two and 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 their funds to the project. An independent broker put the couple in touch with the Cumberland in a bid to secure the all-important mortgage which would see it completed.

The Cumberland looked beyond the finances and considered other factors as part of Gordon and Dawn’s application including their 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,” Katherine Thomson, the Cumberland’s Relationship Manager for the case said. She said: “Taking all of this into account we felt it was the right thing to do.” Offering astounding exterior architecture, 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 beautifully designed interior complemented by high-quality furnishings.

The new building is split into two parts, Peel Castle and Castlesteads, with both offering the perfect place for visitors to explore Cumbria, being within a few miles of Gelt Woods and Talkin Tarn Country Park, as well as being close to the iconic Hadrian’s Wall and the Lake District National Park. Guests can also stay at other venues situated on the grounds including Garth Cottage and Garth Studio.

Gordon McGregor, Peel Castle owner, said: “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.”

Katherine Thomson said: “The planning behind the project gave us real confidence to give the go ahead. We looked at the big picture, not just part of it, and we’re pleased to say it has since been a huge success.

“It was something which was important to Gordon and Dawn, and we wanted to ensure we could help them achieve their goals. Their properties on the site of Garth House offer luxury self-catering accommodation for anyone who is looking to visit Cumbria and is a remarkable holiday destination.

“With its design being in-keeping with the buildings around it, The Castle adds to the area’s culture and history and has a real sense of belonging in Brampton and brings with it economic and communal benefits to the area.”

Since its completion, Gordon has written to King Charles III to showcase potentially the first castle built during his reigns and gaining approval for his efforts from the Palace.

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