Lady versus locals as police are called out to bust-up over castle

Lady versus locals as police are called out to bust-up over her fairytale castle

  • Force issues warning after feud escalates 

Buying a castle was supposed to fulfil a dream to become ‘a princess in her own fairytale’.

But Lady Carbisdale’s lofty plans to preserve her 19-bedroom stately home in the Highlands descended into angry recriminations and a visit from police last week.

Samantha Kane, as she is better known, faced the wrath of locals, who voted down her attempt to bring public land surrounding Carbisdale Castle into her ownership for a third time.

The barrister and business tycoon bought the property for more than £1million in 2022. But it is understood that ‘heated’ events at the Ardgay and District Community Council meeting on November 21 led to a disturbance outside the venue.

Stately home: Samantha Kane bought Carbisdale Castle last year

Police Scotland said it received a report of a disturbance in Carron Place, Ardgay, on November 23. Officers issued advice and a woman received a recorded warning in relation to an earlier ­disturbance on November 21.

Ms Kane, who is an elected member of the community council, attended the meeting to state her case but had to leave while a vote took place.

Last night the 63-year-old described the police involvement as an ‘over­reaction’, despite claiming that some of what was said was ‘homophobic and racist’.

Ms Kane added: ‘In my view it wasn’t a disturbance other than a handful of people wanting to see what I’m doing derailed. 

There was a group of people muttering something who were against me, those who support me, and someone muttering something else. 

‘Dreamer’: Lady Carbisdale’s plans have met opposition

That’s about it. Is that a ­disturbance? In my view it isn’t.

‘I’ve got a half a dozen people trying to smear my name and the castle’s name. They’d rather see a ruined ­castle than a preserved castle.’

Ms Kane, who is the only person in Britain believed to have changed ­gender three times, added: ‘I have spent all my life fighting injustice and to face discrimination is not nice.

‘If they had left it alone that would have been the normal reaction after any heated meeting.’

One local, who did not want to be named, said he heard the woman had been ‘abusive’ to one of the committee members. 

He said: ‘The language she used was exceptionally strong which even a sailor would have been proud of. I wouldn’t use it as a man, never mind it coming from a woman.’

The meeting was to discuss Ms Kane’s attempt to own seven acres of land on the steep slopes surrounding the castle.

Councillor Michael Baird said in the end the vote will not count after the community council failed to follow the ‘ward management code of conduct’. 

He said: ‘They have to wait for six months to bring it back again. So the truth of the matter is that community council meeting is null and void.’

Mr Baird said he was supportive of what Ms Kane was planning, saying the land in question was ‘highly ­dangerous’ and ‘unusable’ as a ­walking route due to its steepness.

After buying the hill-top mansion, Ms Kane said she ‘always wanted to be lady of the castle, a princess in my own fairytale’. Last night she described herself as a ‘dreamer’ who had a ‘vision for the castle’.

Police Scotland said: ‘On the evening of Thursday, November 23, police were called to a report of a disturbance in the Carron Place area of Ardgay. ­

Suitable advice was provided and one woman was issued with a Recorded Police Warning following an earlier disturbance on Tuesday, November 21.’

A spokesman for Forestry Land Scotland, which manages the land on behalf of the public, said it does not expect a decision to be made on the application until next year.

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