Skibo Castle

Located just to the west of Clashmore and the A9 road, some 4 miles (6.5 km) west of Dornoch. Skibo Castle was built between 1899 and 1903 for the Scottish-American steel magnate and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1918) and his wife Margaret as their Scottish retirement home. The architect was Alexander Ross (1834 - 1925) of Inverness. A substantial baronial mansion overlooking the Dornoch Firth, Skibo incorporates another house built some 20 years earlier. In the landscaped grounds, Carnegie created Loch Ospisdale and an 18-hole golf course. Owned by leisure entrepreneur Derek Holt (1929 - 2010) between 1982 and 1992, the fine Jacobean interior was restored by English millionaire Peter de Savary, who has reinstated the luxury of an Edwardian sporting estate. The property was sold to American businessman Ellis Short in 2003 who made further improvements to the buildings and estate, including refurbishment of the castle accommodation, redevelopment of the golf course and restoration of Carnegie's remarkable swimming pool. Through the highly exclusive Carnegie Club, the castle continues as a unique and very private hotel, a discrete get-away for the rich and famous, including film-stars such as Michael Douglas and Jack Nicholson.

Skibo has proved popular as a location for celebrity weddings, including those of film stars Robert Carlyle, who married makeup artist Anastasia Shirley here in 1997, singer Madonna who married the film director Guy Ritchie (2000), actress Ashley Judd who married racing driver Dario Franchitti (2001), together with golfer Sam Torrance (b.1953) and Ewan McGregor (b.1971). Actress Talulah Riley and billionaire Elon Musk held their wedding reception here in 2010, after their marriage in Dornoch Catherdral.

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