Blair Castle, Perthshire

Project: Blair Castle, Perthshire

A Bilco NB-50T roof access hatch is now providing safe and convenient access to one of Scotland’s most historic rooftops; that of category A listed Blair Castle near the village of Blair Atholl in Perthshire.  The Castle, said to have been started in 1269, has been extensively added to over the years and as a result has an unusual roof top configuration. 

After attending a Bilco CPD seminar in Edinburgh, Atholl Estates Manager, Angus MacDonald invited Bilco’s team to help devise a roof access solution using their products.  Following a site survey and discussions between the estate office and a Bilco engineer, it was agreed that a Bilco NB-50T roof access hatch would provide an ideal solution.  He explained, “One of the many challenges in looking after such a building is the fact that it was not designed with ease of access to the roof in mind.  In contrast, the access solution that Bilco helped us to formulate has provided simple, safe and convenient access.”

The hatch, which is fitted at an angle on the traditional pitched slated roof section, is easily accessible from the attic space within the castle and gives quick, easy and safe access to the roof, permitting ease of movement for maintenance personnel, tools and equipment.

Blair Castle houses important collections of weapons, paintings, furniture, hunting trophies and needlework and is also the home garrison of the Atholl Highlanders (the only legal private army in Europe).  The Castle is now one of the most popular visitor attractions in Scotland with thousands of people visiting each year from around the world to marvel at both the building and its contents.  Maintaining such an historic monument is a massive task; the Atholl Estate employ an army of staff to ensure this iconic property is preserved for future generations.

As with all Bilco hatches, the NB-50T is manufactured to a very high standard and is supplied  fully insulated, meeting all current British standards for air leakage, weatherproof and security, an important issue at Blair Castle. To make sure that using the hatch is safe and simple, it features a robust hold-open arm which locks in place when the hatch is opened.  The spring assisted opening of the hatch can be calibrated to suit various locations ensuring a safe controlled operation.  Its robust manufacture and ease of operation make this the ideal solution for the castle staff who are delighted that simple maintenance tasks have now been made even more straightforward.