See inside £3m mansion used by the Queen and MI6

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A FAIRYTALE castle used as a playground by the Queen and with connections to MI6 has been put on the market for more than £3 million.

Carberry Tower, a 16th-
century mansion set in more than 30 acres of Musselburgh parkland, is being sold by AmaZing Venues, which has owned the property since 2011.

Carberry Tower. Picture: comp

Carberry Tower. Picture: comp

The distinctive B-listed building boasts 30 luxury bedrooms, nine function rooms, a library and a converted former chapel – but estate agents said it was the site’s unique history which could prove particularly irresistible to buyers.

The lands on which it stands were first mentioned in the 11th century when King David I of Scotland granted Carberry to the monks of Dunfermline Abbey.

Around 500 years later, the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh – the last pitched conflict between the armies of Scotland and England – took place in the mansion’s extensive grounds, with trenches dating back to the skirmish still visible today.

Owned by the Elphinstone family since 1801, the castle was later the childhood home of the Queen’s cousin, Margaret Rhodes, who would go on to help co-ordinate the movements of secret agents while working for MI6 during the Second World War.

The Queen and Princess Margaret both stayed at Carberry Tower regularly as children, along with the Queen Mother.

In the early 1960s the estate was bought by the Church of Scotland, which ran it as a retreat and training centre, before being taken over by a religious charity. More recently, it has been operated as a luxury venue and hotel.

Margaret Stewart, vice-
chairwoman of Musselburgh and Inveresk community council, said she was “surprised” Carberry Tower was being put up for sale.

She said: “It’s being used as a wedding venue – my niece actually got married there. It’s very nice, and lovely inside. It’s quite popular. I’m surprised it’s being sold.”

The castle is one of three historic buildings across Scotland that are being sold by AmaZing Venues, with Colliers International handling the marketing of the properties for parent company Clarenco LLP.

Ackergill Tower in the Highlands is expected to attract offers over £4.5m, while the 19th-century baronial-style Kinnettles Castle in the heart of the Angus countryside is set to go for more than £2.5m.

Alistair Letham, director in Colliers’ Scotland Hotels team, said Carberry Tower would most likely attract buyers interested in running the stunning property as a country house retreat.

He said: “It is not often that we see properties of such great historical significance come to market, so to be appointed to dispose of three magnificent historic properties at the same time is a truly rare instruction.”

alistair.grant@edinburghnews.com