Braemar Castle’s hidden past could be uncovered when it undergoes specialist work.
The popular visitor attraction is set to get a new look with a major reharling project being lined up.
And the peeling back of the exterior may reveal secrets of the grade A listed building’s history.
Braemar Community Limited has received approval from Heritage Lottery for match funding for the first stage of investigations into the complete reharling of the castle.
A campaign is under way, through crowdfunding, to raise the first £10,000 and the community has made an appeal for donations.
It is believed the investigations could well reveal not only the castle’s original colour, but also perhaps unknown hidden windows, doors or even secret passages.
A castle spokesperson said: “When the community took over the failing visitor attraction, the castle was showing all its 400 years of wear and tear.
“The roof was leaking and the chimneys crumbling but 10 years on with half a million pounds raised, the building is watertight and the chimneys repaired.
“However, the exterior gives little indication of that £500,000 investment and continues to look tired and weary.”
The man behind Craigievar Castle’s fairy-tale pink exterior, Ian Mitchell Davidson, has been brought in to lend his expertise.
Professor Davidson, former director North East and head of projects for the National Trust for Scotland: said: “The challenges we face at Braemar are the same as those the Trust faced at Craigievar and it’s very important that we create the best specification to do the job, which is why we need first to run tests and analysis of the existing harl.”
“To reharl a castle is a massive but exciting challenge.
“It’s like peeling back history, all sorts of things we don’t know about the building are suddenly uncovered. And we are looking forward to new discoveries at Braemar.”
Simon Blackett, chair of Braemar Community Limited, said: “We are so grateful for the enormous support we’ve had in the past, both locally and from all over the world, and are optimistic that we’ll be able to reach this total quickly.
“This is a tiny but crucial step in the masterplan. Please do donate, no matter how small, it will all help put this Grade A listed building back, hopefully, ‘in the pink’.”
Test work is scheduled to get under way later this summer.