Scottish Castles Association

Preserving the Past for the Future

Dudhope Castle's future in doubt as potential purchase falls through

Concerns for the future of Dudhope Castle in Dundee have increased after a potential purchase by the National Trust for Scotland has been ruled out.

Dudhope Castle*

Dudhope Castle stands within the city of Dundee. One of Dundee's oldest buildings it started life as a 13th Century tower house built by the Scrymgeour family but over time it morphed into a striking courtyard castle.

It later became a woollen mill and then barracks, both of which left their mark, but at least ensured preservation of the building.

Older images showing how Dudhope Castle looked in the past

Dudhope Castle was in a sorry state until taken in hand and handsomely renovated in the 1980s. It served as offices for Dundee City Council until they quit in 2018, leaving the building empty.

The council now wish to sell Dudhope Castle but suggestions that it could be turned into flats or a hotel have not met with favour as many feel it should be retained as a public asset and open to all. A petition to prevent the castle being sold to developers has been steadily gathering signatures and the story has been closely followed in the local newspaper The Courier.

The National Trust for Scotland were approached to purchase the property and provide them with an attraction in the city but they considered Dudhope Castle ‘unviable’. Given that the under-pressure charity is facing a £30 million loss of income due to the Covid pandemic, it's perhaps not surprising that they feel their resources are too stretched to take on another property.

A Friends of Dudhope Castle Facebook Group has been formed to explore potential opportunities for the future of this A-listed building and the park’s extensive amenities and attractions are also detailed on the Friends of Dudhope Park website.

Dudhope Castle was restored in the 1980s but has lain empty since 2018**

Article by Scottish Castles Association member Brian McGarrigle.

* Dudhope Castle photograph by Ydam is licensed with CC BY-SA 3.0

** Photograph courtesy of Scottish Castles Association member John Pringle

Added: 30 Jan 2021 Updated: 16 Oct 2023
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