The secret castle , the farmer and the judge

edinburgh castle screensavers
Edinburgh Castle ( not the secret castle)

If you want to build your own castle and the local planning laws prevent it , what do you do ? Well, you could do what a farmer did – he built his castle and hid it for 4 years behind straw bales . Robert Fidler (sic) thought he could not be prosecuted after 4 years for breaking the planning law . Unfortunately a High Court judge took a different view and told him to demolish it .

A High Court judge ruled that Robert Fidler, 60, who sneakily built the luxury home – complete with ramparts and a cannon – deceived the local planning authority and was not entitled to benefit from the deception.

Mr Fidler, 60, from Surrey in southwest England, hoped to get another chance at gaining planning permission to keep his dream home.

He moved into the massive castle with his wife Linda and their son Harry in 2002 and successfully hid it from local authorities for four years by stacking up straw bales.

He took away the bales in May 2006 because he thought that after four years, his new home was immune from planning enforcement controls.

But the local council issued a notice in March 2007 requiring that it be demolished on the grounds that the building was erected without planning permission.

A government planning inspector rejected Mr Fidler’s appeal in May 2008, saying the removal of the straw bale camouflage constituted part of the building works.

The inspector said Mr Fidler could not rely on the four-year immunity period and must demolish the building.

The court considered whether the removal of the hay bales and tarpaulin was, in the eyes of the law, part of the ongoing building operation.

Ruling that it was, judge Sir Thayne Forbes said: “In my view, the inspector’s findings of fact make it abundantly clear that the erection (and) removal of the straw bales was an integral … part of the building operations that were intended to deceive the local planning authority and to achieve by deception lawful status for a dwelling built in breach of planning control.”[poll id=”1”]

Edinburgh tours and transfers

Private tours from Edinburgh run throughout the year – phone 07305-294773 for more details.

For tour information contact Private tours Edinburgh online or by phone on +447305294773 .

  1. Whisky tours
  2. Mary Queen of Scots tours – visit the key places in the life of Mary . From £210 for private groups up to 4 people . Phone 07305-294773 for more details.
  3.  Outlander tours featuring a visit to Lallybroch , Jamie Fraser’s home ( Midhope Castle )
  4. Falkirk tours  including the Kelpies and the Falkirk Wheel
  5. Game of Thrones tours

Transfers from Edinburgh to St Andrews can be booked online – perfect for national and international visitors .

A taxi from Edinburgh to St Andrews costs from £85 . Freephone 0800-6190575 for bookings

A taxi from Linlithgow to Midhope Castle/ Lallybroch costs £14 . Freephone 0800-6190575 for bookings or contact us online .


a taxi from Edinburgh Airport to St Andrews costs £85. Phone 0800-6190575 for bookings.

Airport transfers Falkirk

Visit the Kelpies

Visit Falkirk

Falkirk tours

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Things to do in Edinburgh

Private tours Edinburgh offer a full range of Outlander tours going to from 3 to 5 locations . Our most popular tour goes to Lallybroch , Blackness Castle ( Fort William ) and Linlithgow palace ( Wentworth Prison ) and costs £150 . Jamie Fraser Outlander tour - Midhope Castle, Linlithgow Palace and Blackness Castle http://privatetoursedinburgh.com/outlander-tours/outlander-tours/ We also have tours to up to 5 locations . More details at our website www.privatetoursedinburgh.com or phone 07305-294773 We run a number of castle tours visiting up to 5 Scottish castles. Five castles tour http://privatetoursedinburgh.com/outlander-tours/five-outlander-castles/outlander-tour-5-scottish-castles/

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