Russian princess who bought £400,000 ruined Scottish castle still hasn’t visited it

February 18, 2014 | by | 0 Comments

A Russian princess told how she bought a ruined Scottish castle for £400,000 – without even visiting it.

Olga Roh, 43, who starred in reality TV show ‘Meet The Russians’ last year, bought the derelict pile despite only looking at photographs of the crumbling building.

But Olga is determined to modernise Inchdrewer Castle near Banff, Aberdeenshire,  and has vowed not to destroy its traditional look.

Russian Princess Olga Roh who bought a £400,000 Scottish castle

Russian Princess Olga Roh who bought a £400,000 Scottish castle

Millionairess Olga, a direct descendant of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia, said: “I have no intentions of turning it into Disneyland in Banff.

“As a designer, I am very tactile and believe in the power of touch so I think the first thing I will do is to feel the old walls of the building.”

Olga, who works as a Versace model and fashion designer, said she bought the 460-year-old castle to “disconnect” from her busy lifestyle, even though she has yet to visit it.

She said: “Living in the crazy world of fashion, it can be difficult to find somewhere to call home. My children feel most at home on a plane sometimes.

“We have stayed in Monaco, Switzerland, London and various other places but it’s difficult to disconnect in these places.

Inchdrewer Castle near Banff in Aberdeenshire

Inchdrewer Castle near Banff in Aberdeenshire

“I love the idea of coming to Scotland from the madness of Fashion Week to the peace and tranquillity of our castle.

“It still feels strange for me to say that (our castle), as I have only seen photographs so far. This will be my first visit.

“I think if you asked many Russians in London, that you see on TV about Scotland, most of them wouldn’t have a clue.

“But I come from a much more traditional Russian family and know about history and the links between our two countries over the centuries. My whole family has a deep love for Scotland.

“I really hope that the people of Banff will welcome us and not just see us as some crazy outsiders and oddballs who try to fit in.”

But Olga and her husband Stephan, a lawyer and economist from Switzerland, are under no illusions that they face a lot of hard work to convert the castle – only made watertight a decade ago – into a family home.

Stephan said: “The castle is just a shell and will need a lot of structure surveys and work to establish what we can do.

“The main building does not have much room but the outbuildings have all collapsed, so we may need to look at extending.”

Olga added: “Many people, when they restore a historic building, try to make it modern.

“I want it to be traditional and back to its former glory – similar to what Donald Trump has done with MacLeod House.”

Inchdrewer Castle dates back to the 1550s and its earliest records suggest it was bought by Sir Walter Ogilvie of Dunlugas – or his son, Sir George – in 1557 from the Curror family.

Although the castle was eventually abandoned at the turn of the 20th century, Count Robin Mirrlees bought it in 1963.

Mirrlees helped Bond author Ian Fleming research his novel On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

With the purchase of the castle, Olga becomes Baroness of Inchdrewer and husband now holds the title Baron of Inchdrewer.

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