Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

The island of Little Ross is up for sale

I’m always intrigued to see how often small islands around Scotland come up for sale – even more so when I think that I could maybe sell up everything (and I really mean EVERYTHING) and maybe have the one of the cheapest for myself.

Then stuff like ‘Cost of ownership’ and ‘Reality’ (not to mention ‘Eating’) start to appear – and I stop having such foolish thoughts.

Liken it to buying a second-hand (or even a new) Ferrari – you might get it home and enjoy looking at it, but for most ‘ordinary’ folk, the first year would probably ruin them with the various running costs if they actually drove it too. And don’t even think about the pain of any repair costs if warranty or insurance did not apply.

But back to the island.

On offer is the island of Little Ross, with offers over £325,000 being invited.

It will be interesting to see if it sells, as the trend has (for the ones I’ve eyed up, and the sale info has not been kept private) been for them to hang around for a while, not sell for ages, or have their price dropped to help them along – or they do sell, but the details are held private, with hints that the price was not changed (much).

The lighthouse tower – which is not included in the sale – was designed and built by Alan Stevenson at the mouth of Kirkcudbright Bay to close the gap between other lighthouses at the Mull of Galloway and Southerness. and first lit in 1843.

It was manned until 1960.

geograph-2583732-by-Walter-Baxter

Little Ross

Complete with history of murder

In this case, the island comes with an interesting history.

In 1960, the lighthouse keeper was killed by a colleague.

Keeper Hugh Clark was found dead on the island and his assistant Robert Dickson was later tried and found guilty of his murder.

geograph-2123480-by-David-R-Collin

Keepers’ houses

The listing includes a six-bedroom, B-listed cottage and courtyard which is next to an operational lighthouse tower which is not part of the deal.

Via: Little Ross lighthouse island up for sale

It’s a bargain compared to a castle

Looking at recent news, I spotted a castle up for sale, for mere £3.75 million.

Admittedly, Glenborrodale Castle actually includes TWO isolated islands (Risga and Eilean an Feidh)along with its 16 bedrooms, not forgetting the tennis court, gym and sauna, commercial kitchen, games room, boat house with jetty, and of course, live-in accommodation for your staff.

But a look at recent castle sales and stories show they are just a liability, bringing annual maintenance bills which will (like the apparently desirable Ferrari mentioned at the start) soon cripple you financially.

But, if you have your own oil-well, or a Facecrook page, you might be interested…

Dream home: Highland castle goes on the market for £3.75m

 

July 15, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Rubh’a Chruidh sold again – nice profit too

I first noticed Rubh’a Chruidh for sale back in 2010, seven years ago, when I expressed my own opinion that the price tag of £430,000 was a little ambitious.

I went further, suggesting that in the market of the time, a price of something closer to £100,000 might have been more realistic, and noted that having been reported as sold, the then listing of properties online showed that the sale had not been made, and it was ‘For Sale’ again.

It seems it made its asking price back then:

Mr Hamilton, a keen sailor, fought off international interest to buy the island in 2010 for £426,000 and after demolishing the existing bungalow commissioned his new home in 2012.

Mr Hamilton, who demolished the only house on Rudh-A-Chruidh, an old bungalow, to make way for a stunning architect designed home, owned the island, which has its own helipad and boathouse, for six years.

There’s no indication in the news story about the cost of the “stunning architect designed home“, but the lucky owner clearly made a nice little profit from the sale of the island, which was on the market for offers over £950,000 and he confirmed had sold for “near enough the asking price”.

Via Farmer buys Scotland’s ‘island gem’ Rudh-A-Chruidh for £1m

I spotted the original sale back in 2010, with this pic to hand:

Rubh'a Chruidh island bungalow

Rubh’a Chruidh island bungalow as seen from the passing ferry © Peter Barr via Geograph

As noted in the news story, that bungalow has been demolished, and the new home looks like:

Viewed from the Mull ferry

Viewed from the Mull ferry

Out of interest, the monument atop the hill behind the house is for David Hutcheson, founder of the Hebridean ferries which evolved into Caledonian MacBrayne, CalMac.

February 2, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Eilean da Mheinn (Harbour Island) is for sale for a mere £500,000

Seriously small cash for your own island, even compared to some sales I’ve noted in recent years, and with some prices having to be cut by that amount in an attempt to generate interest among potential buyers.

There is a tiny problem with this tiny island, and that’s its degree of privacy and/or isolation.

As can be seen from the pic below, you may not be on the mainland, but under some criteria, I suspect you would not even be considered to be on an island since you are just not sufficiently far away. I have read of some larger, populated islands that are not much further away than this, and they either do not qualify, or have to fight ‘tooth and nail’ to get grants and other payments that would be more or less automatic if they were further out to sea.

View of Crinan Harbour, and the Eilean da Mheinn, from the ridge above.

View of Crinan Harbour, and the Eilean da Mheinn, from the ridge above.

Per the selling agent’s blurb, it’s been owned by someone who just liked being there, and is now a ‘fixer upper’. Or, if you’re like me, just ready to move into as a bargain, not inflated by some damned developer who has ‘upgraded’ it, and inflated the price to make a quick profit.

Harbour Island is reached in a matter of minutes by boat from Crinan Harbour and is therefore a fantastically located private haven without being too remote.

Its coastline is rugged with wild gardens and woodland inland all of which attract a spectacular array of wildlife and seabirds.

The house comprises around 1000 square feet and is single storey built under a slate roof. Although in need of significant improvement, it offers flexible accommodation all on one level, with access from a porch to the side which leads to the hallway with two storage cupboards. The hallway gives access to all the main rooms: a sitting room with conservatory off, kitchen, three bedrooms and a bathroom with separate WC. There is a wooden outbuilding with guest room and shower room, a boathouse and slipway. The house, outbuildings and grounds are in need of significant improvement but Harbour Island offers a wonderful opportunity for a nautically-minded new owner to make their mark on this unique place.

Harbour Island, Crinan, Lochgilphead, Argyll, PA31 8SW. Offers Over £500,000.

Via Private Scottish island with three bedroom cottage up for sale: The Scotsman

Have fun, as commenters have pointed out one or two little ‘oopsies’ in that article.

June 30, 2016 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

£500,000 knocked off island price after it fails to sell

Island
We don’t seem to have spotted this island when it first went up for sale, apparently a year ago. Eilean Righ, which is said to translate into King’s Island by some, and the Lord’s Isle by others (I have no ides, so am offering both):

A SCOTTISH island has had its asking price slashed by £500,000 after failing to attract a buyer in a year.

With its commanding position in the middle of a loch, King’s Island could be fit for royalty.

But King’s Island, translated from the Gaelic Eilean Righ, failed to find somebody willing to pay £3 million.

It has now been re-advertised at £2.5 million.

The isle off the Argyll coastline within Loch Craignish was put on the market by a top City trader in June last year.

It has been owned since 1999 by former Goldman Sachs market trader, Christian Siva-Jothy, who once enjoyed almost mythical status among the City’s financial community.

That all came to an end in 2011, when he closed down the $200 million business he began after leaving Goldman Sachs and made a stunning confession about his ability to play the market.

Mr Siva-Jothy wrote to investors in his firm SemperMacro: ‘In this business, you are only as good as your last few trades.

‘Mine have not been very good. Whether I have lost my edge or simply need a break after 23 years, I am not sure. I certainly hope it’s the latter.’

Via: Scots island price slashed after lack of interest – The Scotsman

Also: Property Listing – The Scotsman

According to the latest story, while there has been some interest, this has been from overseas, and nothing has come of it.

It has had some interesting owners, and some interesting features:

As well as a four-bedroomed principal house (there is another), the 238-acre island comes complete with a giant 500sq metre helicopter hangar, two slipways and a jetty.

King’s Island has had a number of colourful owners over the years. In the 1930s, it was home to Sir Reginald Johnston, the retired tutor to the last Chinese Emperor, Puyi.

Sir Reginald built a Buddhist temple on the island and flew the Manchukuoan flag in the Chinese-style gardens.

It later passed into the hands of a retired Indian Army officer, Lord Wilfred Brown and James Waldegrave, the Viscount Chewton.

The houses are described as being refurbished, and have mains electricity and broadband.

June 16, 2014 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Another little Scottish island – Gigalum – is for sale

Island

I have to confess I have never heard the name before, or think I ever saw the name on a map, but the little island of Gigalum has been placed on the market, and it looks like a bargain, with offers of only over £550,000 being asked for. While I won’t be placing an offer, I do watch the prices of houses being sold around me, and even in the east end of Glasgow, that’s not necessarily a rare selling price.

The island covers about 19 acres, has a jetty that aids access to the nearby islands of Gigha and Cara, and only one building – Gigalum House, built in 1980 and described as having a unique structure with a central octagonal core as its living space, surrounded by four wings housing three bedrooms and a kitchen.

The estate agent states that it has potential, subject to planning consent, for a renewable energy scheme or more homes.

Via: Remote island up for sale at £550k | Herald Scotland

Update

Just over a year later, and I see that Gigalum is still for sale:

Private Island for sale – Gigalum Island, Great Britain, Europe & Atlantic Ocean

The price seems to have dropped to “offers over GBP 450.000”.

There’s also a complete set of pics in that offer for sale, including views of the octagonal Gigalum House.

May 31, 2014 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Now the island of Tanera Mòr is for sale and for only £2.5 million

Island

I wonder if the rules for selling islands are the same as for soft-tops (convertibles)?

Unless you positively, definitely, have to, must sell it tomorrow, then you keep it under cover until the first sunshine of spring greets the World with blue and cloudless skies. Failing to do so reportedly knocks a whole chunk of money of the price you can expect to set and get.

Tanera Mòr is the largest and only inhabited island in the Summer Isles in Wester Ross, and cover approximately 800 acres (324 ha).

It is now being offered on the open market by its current owners (the Wilder family) after the local Coigach community declined the option of a buyout due to the number of local project they already have underway. The family bought the island in 1996, after selling their dairy farm in Wiltshire.

The island comes with six properties for holiday letting, a sailing school, and a café and Post Office. The latter were developed within an old boathouse, and the Post Office has permission to issue its own stamps.

Tanera Mòr island has been placed on the market with a guide price of £2.5 million.

The sale is being handled by the Inverness office of property consultants CKD Galbraith.

Via Tanera Mor in Summer Isles on sale for £2.5m

And Idyllic island Tanera Mòr to go on sale with £2.5m price tag | Highlands & Islands | News | STV

Looks as if there was once some industry on the island, as there is also a photograph of an old abandoned herring factory:

They seem to have a thing about the old red telephone box there too.

I wonder of any of them work?

Update

In April 2014, the price was cut by more than £500,000…

A PRIVATELY-OWNED Ross-shire island is on the market once again – with its price tag slashed by over half a million pounds.

Tanera Mòr, an 800-acre island in Wester Ross, was put up for sale last May at an asking price of offers over £2.5 million.

But despite attracting worldwide interest, no buyer could be found for Tanera, the largest and only inhabited island of the Summer Isles which lie off Achiltibuie.

Now selling agents Savills and CKD Galbraith are jointly marketing the island for offers over £1,950,000.

Via Half-million price cut for Ross island | North Star | News

 

May 6, 2013 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Life on Muck – almost a modern electrical fable

Solar cell sun

It was fascinating to read the reality of life on the tiny island of Muck, which has just moved into the world of 24-hour mains electricity supply.

Previously, the islanders (numbering 38 at the time of writing) were limited to a schedule, determined by the fuel supply of the island’s diesel generators which first provided electricity in 1970, but could only provide power for 14 hours a day, from 11 am to 5 pm, and 11:30 pm to 7 :30 am. The population has fallen over the years, having peaked around 300 at the start of the 20th century.

This meant using candles or tilley lamps similar for lighting, missing the end of films, and problems with food stored in fridges and refrigerators, with the island’s tearoom having to organise things to make sure provisions were safely stored. The island’s generator was only rated at 10 kW, which meant that users had to arrange schedules for using appliances such as washing machines that drew large amounts of power when operating.

There’s a fair few outright lies being circulated by supporters of Donald Trump, posting comments after articles critical of the Dump to the effect that wind power doesn’t work, but Muck is benefiting from developments in this area (albeit I am not suggesting the island has suddenly grown a giant wind farm), and its new supply is built around a new installation combining six 5 kW wind turbines with a 30 kW solar panel installation.

Muck joins Eigg, where residents now get more than 90% of their electricity from hydro, solar and wind schemes, and micro hydro-electric schemes, wind turbines and photo-voltaic cells saw the Isle of Eigg Heritage Trust named overall UK winner in the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy for 2011.

The new supply was made possible when Muck Community Enterprise Company received a grant of £978,840 last year,  to help introduce the system of wind turbines and solar panels.

The lack of a continuous electricity supply limited the opportunities for business and growth on the island, but the new supply is hoped to improve this, so the tearoom, hotel, and two B&Bs on the island should benefit from increased numbers of visitors who can also be better catered for.

Muck tearoom 2006

Tea Room area – © Dr Julian Paren via geograph

The selected pic actually shows the parking area for the Tea Room, which is not  actually visible, and lies just off to the left in this view. It’s worth noting that there are no cars on Muck, and visitors get around on bicycles, or by tractor. (Our thanks to the photographer.)

I have to admit to being a little intrigued by the mix of renewables as used on Muck: 5 kW of wind plus 30 kW of solar. Considering the usual image of weather conjured up by thoughts of Scottish islands, and having been on one or two myself, I’d have thought the lion’s share would have gone to wind, with solar acting as the backup.

It will be interesting to see if there is a later story, reporting a change, or if this initial division proves to have been correct.

See Muck switches to 24-hour power supply for first time

And Muck celebrates as it gets electricity 24 hours a day for first time | Highlands & Islands | News | STV

Also Muck gets 24hr electricity supply for first time – Heritage – Scotsman.com

March 30, 2013 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | 1 Comment

Ailsa Craig could now be yours for a mere £1.5 million

Yet another island sale making it into the news, this time Ailsa Craig, or Paddy’s Milestone to those who know it better.

It’s actually an old story, but we must have missed the initial sales offer when it appeared in the news almost two years ago, in May 2011.

Back then, a price anywhere up to £3 million was suggested, but the island has failed to attract any prospective buyers in that time, and the price has chopped to a mere £1.5 million.

Owned by the Scottish peer Archibald Angus Charles Kennedy, 8th Marquess of Ailsa, the island is believed to be a volcanic plug over an extinct volcano, and rises to 1,100 feet above sea level.

It is also known as home to one of the largest gannet colonies in the world, hosting some 36,000 breeding pairs which are watched over by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). This also means that there are restrictions in place as regards any development on the island which might interfere with the birds’ breeding habit.

Via Ailsa Craig: Asking price reduced in Irish Sea island sale

The island’s portfolio includes 220 acres and contains a house, lighthouse, ruined castle, three former lighthouse keepers’ cottages, and a quarry which has provided most of the World’s finest curling stones.

The family responsible for the stones lived and worked on the island until a few years ago, but demand fell and they had to leave. However, the stone is still being used, and many blanks and part-worked stones still lie in the quarry. Trips are made to collect these when needed. Known as blue hone granite, stone from the quarry provides as very dense and nonporous form of granite, which resists the penetration of moisture and prevents the formation of pitting of the carved stones as they stand on the ice.

Also Estate agent Knight Frank cuts price of Ailsa Craig to £1.5m | News | Glasgow | STV

See the ad: Property for sale – Ayrshire, KA26 | Knight Frank

Worth the effort of downloading their brochure too, just for the pics: Brochure

This is a rather fine pic of Ailsa Craig found in geograph, taken from about 1.5 km away:

Ailsa Craig

Approaching Ailsa Craig © Phil Catterall via geograph

Ailsa Craig Ltd

Although it does not have a direct relationship with the island (in the sense of ever being located there), you may be interested to read more about this company:

Ailsa Craig Ltd was a successful niche manufacturer of high quality marine engines, which originated in 1891 and finally ceased trading in 1972.

Although the business was ultimately based in England, the company name was originally derived from both the island of Ailsa Craig, which lies off the west coast of Scotland (also known as Paddy’s Milestone), and the name of the original founder, who came from Glasgow, Alistair Edward Stuart Craig, also known as Arthur.
Arthur Craig had started his business in Glasgow, where he established Craig Bicycles, and manufactured his own quality bicycle which had the registered trademark of a man standing on the peak of Ailsa Craig, holding a Craig bicycle at arm’s length, and with the slogan “As strong as the rock of Ailsa Craig”.

Secret Scotland – Ailsa Craig Ltd

March 23, 2013 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Community buyout suggested for Raasay

Island

It seems that island takeovers by their community is becoming a popular option.

While I can’t recall noticing it very often any more than a few years ago, I seem to have been noticing it appear in the news with rather more regularity in recent years.

Most of those noted here have therefore been recent, and some are still being considered, so it’s hard to gather any news as to their success with the passing of time, but maybe in a few years (as in ten or more) it will be worth digging into what will, by then, be old posts in here, and having a look to see how they got on.

Of course, any that hit the news in the passing years will probably be mentioned somewhere in here, hopefully for the better.

The residents of Raasay are to be consulted on whether they would want to take over the running of the island.

The Scottish government has suggested a community buyout as one of three options to resolve the future of how the isle’s sporting rights are managed.

Another option is to offer the islanders the lease to the rights for up to 175 years.

The third is to put the lease out to tender but with conditions that ensure it still benefits islanders.

Environment Minister Paul Wheelhouse said Raasay Crofters’ Association has been given the lease until 1 March to allow time for the consultation to happen.

via BBC News – Community buyout of Raasay suggested.

March 15, 2013 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Another Scottish island (Great Bernera) on offer to the residents

Island

Quite unintentionally, I seem to have become a spotter of Scottish islands being offered for sale, and more often than not these days, they seem to be small islands that the landlord is offering to the residents, so they can be responsible for their own futures.

In this case, it’s the 230 residents of a small Hebridean island named Great Bernera in Lewis who are being given the chance to buy it and become their own landlords.

It has been reported that, until last summer, the small island was owned by a flamboyant aristocrat – Count Robin de le Lanne-Mirrlees (Born: January 13, 1925; Died: June 23, 2012)- who had made it his home since 1962, and died in a nursing home on the island last June. He left the island to his family.

HE became known as a flamboyant Scots aristocrat, well-known for his charitable work and steadfast refusal to raise his tenants’ rent in 50 years.

The  family has decided to sell the island, and solicitors for his German-based grandson, Cyran le Lanne, have written to tell the islanders he does not wish to keep the island and they have been offered first refusal. They have until April 1, 2013, to make up their minds.

There’s no mention of the price, or any conditions in the new story of the sale.

Via Great Bernera residents given opportunity to become landlords | Highlands & Islands | News | STV

The laird with an interesting past

Although the current price does not appear to be mentioned in the news, it is known that towards the end of 2012, the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) turned down an offer by Count Robin de le Lanne-Mirrlees, after he left the Hebridean island to,then estimated to worth more than £1 million, the nation in his will. The conservation charity last week claimed Little Bernera was not ‘significant’ enough to warrant the cost it would take to keep.

It seems this arose from a family feud, which led to the Count disinheriting his only son, Patrick de la Lanne, mayor of Delmenhort in the Lower Saxony region of Germany.

It is also noted in other reports that he Oxford-educated nobleman’s thinly disguised identity was ‘borrowed’ by James Bond in Ian Fleming’s 1963 novel On Her Majesty’s Secret Service.

Back in 2005, he was in the news after suffering a mild stroke, when he was expected his stay in hospital to last no longer than a few weeks.

Instead he was there for 16 months and ran up a £130,000 NHS bill – due not to the stroke, but to the MRSA superbug.

There were more problems in 2009, when the local council claimed it could no longer afford the £97,000 needed to keep open the tiny residential home. similar only to a small bungalow, where the count, then 84, lived with only one other resident.

February 22, 2013 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Unusual job offer on Inchcolm Island in the Firth of Forth

While it might not actually be the most unusual job offer around, it is still far from ordinary.

Historic Scotland is reported to be advertising for a Monument Manger for the site – where the successful candidate will live in a two-bedroom house in the middle of the Forth with one other member of staff for eight months of the year. As the island only has what are referred to as ‘limited services’, there is no rent to pay

The Monument Manger can earn up to £20,373 a year, be in charge of a team of four people – and expect to see some 20,000 people visiting the island each year, plus a number of weddings, which are held in the ruins of Inchcolm Abbey. Other then the accommodation, the abbey is the only other building on the island.

Closing date for applications is Friday, February 15, 2013.

You could try Historic Scotland – the official website for proper details:

Post of Monument Manager with Historic Scotland based at Inchcolm Abbey, Firth of Forth

Inchcolm island

Inchcolm island © James Allan via geograph

Update

If you were interested, it looks as if you were not alone:

Hundreds of people have applied to become the manager of uninhabited Inchcolm Island in the middle of the Forth.

A total of 623 people have applied to Historic Scotland to become the monument manager on the small island off the coast of South Queensferry.

Applications have come in from people from as far away as South Africa and America, who all want to live in the two-bedroom cottage for eight months.

They add now that the cottage has a shower, washing machine, and cooking facilities, plus impure  water and electricity. However, drinking water and food has to be brought over from the mainland. A limited internet connection is mentioned, and while a television is provided, they say passing boats can occasionally affect reception.

Via Hundreds apply to Historic Scotland for Inchcolm Island job | News | Edinburgh | STV

February 5, 2013 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , , | 3 Comments

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