The hidden and picturesque oasis of the Scottish Highlands was the perfect getaway for a reclusive celebrity – and Skibo Castle offered just that for its previous residents ranging from Scottish bishops to one of America’s wealthiest – and most well-known – steel tycoons.
Though associated with American enterprise, Andrew Carnegie was actually born in Dunfermline, Scotland. He spent his youth there until immigrating to the U.S. with his family at the age of 12 to live out their version of the American Dream.
Andrew would go on to shatter expectations when he cornered the railroad and oil industries, and founded the Pittsburgh Carnegie Steel Company — which eventually earned him the title of the richest man in America for several years.
While literally laying the tracks to his success, Carnegie’s sights turned towards his beloved homeland. Longing for home, he began a year-long lease of Skibo Castle in 1897, but the year proved to be too short. Carnegie ultimately purchased the fortress and began a restoration & expansion process to add the Loch Ospisdale, an indoor swimming pavilion with plenty of space for the whole family.
Skibo Castle remained in the Carnegie’s name for nearly 100 years until it was transformed into a private members club in the 1980’s – aptly titled The Carnegie Club. With a massive 8,000+ acre campus – it’s only a wonder why Carnegie never added a personal railroad track to get across his expansive estate.
Written By: Kelly Murray