Its current owner, NatureScot, is on the look out for a purchaser for the picturesque Scottish castle. The government agency has stressed, however, that it is not on the open market. Rather, it is looking for a “beneficial owner” for the property and its grounds, a designated national nature reserve.
Built in 1900 for Sir George Bullough, a textile magnate from Lancashire, Kinloch is an enormous red sandstone edifice, all turrets and crenelations. The building replaced a much more humble hunting lodge on the island, which lies south of the Isle of Skye.
Having fallen into disrepair after the first world war, the category A listed property now requires significant conservation work. This includes around £50,000 needed to restore its German-made orchestrion, a barrel organ designed to reproduce the sound of a full orchestra.
Until the pandemic, Kinloch was open for tours between April and October each year.
The Kinloch Castle Friends Association tried to transfer the castle into community ownership in 2019, with the intention of restoring it and opening it as a hostel. The proposal was rejected by NatureScot over concerns of a lack of funding.
A NatureScot spokesperson said: “We feel the castle will best support the community with the right owner, and we have been working towards that goal over the past few years.
“While Kinloch Castle is not currently on the open market for sale we continue to work 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.”