A new owner is being sought for one of Prince Charles’ favourite castle – a dilapidated 19th Century island retreat valued at £1 which needs £20m of repairs.
The crumbling Kinloch Castle on the Isle Rùm in Scotland is owned by NatureScot, the public body responsible for the nation’s natural heritage.
Previously given a nominal value of just £1, the 120-year-old castle used to be a favourite spot for parties, deer stalking, game shooting and fishing.
Built by a millionaire, the turreted red sandstone mansion still houses the world’s last functioning orchestrion – which itself reportedly needs a £50k revamp.
It is a complicated instrument that belonged to Queen Victoria and emulates a 40-piece orchestra.
The castle on the Inner Hebridean island is said to be a favourite of the Prince of Wales, who is said to have backed past plans to save the castle.
NatureScot is now looking for a private individual, charity, foundation or private company to come forward with proposals for taking over the impressive home.
Any new hopeful owners will have to prove that they have the resources to save this Category A landmark
Any new hopeful owners will have to prove that they have the resources to save the Category A landmark – and plans to better the future of the small isle where it sits.
The prospectus says: “This is a unique opportunity to take ownership of Kinloch Castle on the island of Rum off Scotland’s west coast.
“It is a rare chance to create a long-lasting legacy from this imposing hunting lodge; to bring it back to life so that it can again play its part in supporting the island and its community; to secure its future for generations to come.”
Repairs on the crumbling turreted red-sandstone house are estimated at an eye-watering £20m
Kinloch Castle was built by Lancastrian multimillionaire Sir George Bullough between 1897 and 1900.
The imposing hunting lodge offered guests the opportunity to indulge in Highland sports.
The rooms are laid out as they would have been in its heyday – filled with sculptures, artwork, and a Steinway grand piano.
There are four-poster beds and a sprung-floor ballroom with gold-damask walls.
Referring to the search for a new owner, a spokesperson for NatureScot, said: “Our priority is to protect and conserve Scotland’s nature, so that is where we have to focus our resources.
“But we feel the castle will support the community with the right owner, and we have been working towards that goal over the past number of years.
“Kinloch Castle is not currently on the open market for sale. We are working to identify a beneficial owner for the castle and grounds.
“Any future owner will need to contribute towards three key objectives: securing the conservation and preservation of the castle; contributing to the sustainability of the Rum community; and enhancing nature on Rum, including promoting its enjoyment, and minimising the castle’s impact on the natural environment.”
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