The fire services were called to the home of Blair Castle International Horse Trials last night after fire broke out in the clock tower.

Assistant director of the Perthshire horse trials Hannah Wilkins said: “Flames were spotted rising from the clock tower at the South End of the castle at around 8.45pm where a chimney fire had broken out above the castle’s wood chip boiler.

“Thankfully the castle was empty at the time and the few residents were quickly evacuated.

“Fears that the fire would spread to the rest of the castle failed to materialise and fire fighters had fully extinguished the blaze by 10pm.”

The fire gutted the interior of the clock tower and its roof was completely destroyed by the flames.

The fire also meant a power cut to the castle offices.

Atholl Estates is currently in discussion with the emergency service teams and its insurers to repair the damage.