An aristocrat has lost a fight with his stepmother over plans to build a visitor attraction at the castle associated with Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Colin Campbell, the seventh Earl of Cawdor, was furious after his Czech stepmother, the widower duchess Lady Angelika Cawdor, requested that a venue, exhibition and banquet be set up in the garden of Cawdor Castle near Nairn.
The couple have been at odds since the late Hugh John Vaughan Campbell, the sixth Earl of Cawdor, left the 15th-century castle to 76-year-old Lady Cawdor, rather than his eldest son, in 1993.
Colin Campbell, the seventh Earl of Cawdor, was furious after his Czech stepmother, the Duchess of the Widow Lady Angelika Cawdor, requested that a venue, exhibition and banquet be set up in the garden of Cawdor Castle near Nairn pictured above
The 58-year-old Earl called the plans for the year-round visitor center "pretentious", "inadequate" and "detrimental to the historical value of Cawdor Castle".
However, they have now received the go-ahead from Highland Council officials.
The castle was opened to the public in 1976 and has become one of the most popular attractions in the region, with 90,000 visitors a year.
It is best known for its literary connection to Shakespeare's tragedy Macbeth, in which the title character becomes the owner of the castle after he is made "Thane of Cawdor".
A draft statement submitted to the council on behalf of Lady Cawdor stated: “Currently, Cawdor Castle does not have a fully operational facility for visitors that is open all year round.
Colin Campbell, the seventh Earl of Cawdor (pictured above), has lost a battle with his stepmother over plans to build a visitor attraction at the castle linked to Shakespeare's Macbeth
& # 39; Recent visitor numbers averaged 90,000 and it's a major cultural attraction. The castle closes between October and May. This makes it difficult to keep staff year round and is inherently costly to maintain.
& # 39; Our client would like to promote and improve the attractions offered to visitors and provide a garden space facility where the core staff can work all year round.
"This will provide dining and event space for local user groups and visitors alike."
The Earl, Lord Cawdor, sent a six-page letter to the local authority demanding that the proposal be rejected.
He said: 'The proposal is poorly thought out and poorly set up; exaggerated in its proportions; pretentious in its appearance and out of step with the character and surroundings of the castle.
“The alleged benefits the proposal is supposed to have in business terms is far exceeded by its impairment in architectural and cultural terms.
& # 39; The proposal loses sight of the presentation of the castle as an authentic experience for visitors that avoids submitting to the harmful peculiarities of tourism.
“Hence, the proposal is likely to have a detrimental effect on the tourist experience itself – for the visitor – by introducing an undesirable element of counterfeiting and craftsmanship.
"The proposal introduces a pre-eminent commercial component into the historical setting that breaks the subtle balance between historical residence and tourist attraction."
Lady Cawdor (pictured), who was raised in Rhodesia by parents who fled Czechoslovakia during World War II, married Hugh Campbell in 1979 and stayed with him until his death in 1993
Lady Cawdor, who was raised in Rhodesia by parents who fled Czechoslovakia during World War II, married Hugh Campbell in 1979 and stayed with him until his death in 1993.
The argument between Lady Cawdor and her stepson broke out weeks later when the contents of the late Count's will were revealed and aristocratic convention was broken.
In a written report approving the project, the planners said: “The representations relate to the proposed design and its appropriateness for the site and that it is not in the vernacular of traditional Scottish architecture.
& # 39; However, in consultation with the Historic Environment Team and Historic Environment Scotland, design considerations were made.
“The overall net impact on the walled garden is not considered to be materially adverse.
“With regard to the location of the castle and the views onto and from the castle, the proposal is not expected to have any effect on them.
Historical setting Scotland suggests that the proposed building would not affect understanding and appreciation of the castle and its landscaped grounds to such an extent that they would object to the proposal.
"It is assumed that the impact on the setting of the inventoried landscape is unlikely to be significant."
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