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Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 12:28 GMT 13:28 UK
Judge rejects castle claim
Brodie Castle
Brodie Castle, home to the Brodie clan
A judge has dismissed a claim by the grandchildren of a clan chief that their ancestral home was sold illegally to the nation.

Alexander Brodie of Brodie and his younger brother and sister, Edward-Benedict and Phaedra, wanted the sale of 15th century Brodie castle, near Forres, in Moray, to be set aside and sought financial compensation over belongings and fishing rights.

But Lady Smith rejected their action at the Court in Session in Edinburgh without even allowing it to proceed to a full hearing.

Sympathy for pursuers

She said she had "no difficulty" in concluding they failed to set out any relevant case for overturning the sale of the castle to the Scottish secretary and its subsequent transfer to the National Trust for Scotland.

But Lady Smith expressed sympathy for the grandchildren of Ninian Brodie of Brodie, 89, the former soldier and actor who still lives in the castle.

She said: "I do recognise the upset and distress experienced by them at the fact that what they had hoped to be able to regard as their family home is no longer the property of the Brodie family or of the trust from which they may, one day, benefit.

'Acute' feelings

"Given that the sale of the castle occurred at about the same time as the break-up of their parents' marriage and a period of evident unrest and certainty in their own lives, the acuteness of their feelings regarding the matter of the castle is readily understandable."

The castle was sold in 1978 to the Scottish secretary for 130,000 before being transferred to the NTS.

The grandchildren said that the sale had been in "bad faith" and had breached the trust from which they would ultimately benefit.

They sought 140,000 compensation from the NTS and 33,000 from trustees for salmon fisheries, which they claimed were undersold.

See also:

09 May 02 | Scotland
05 Sep 01 | Scotland
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