Let Kinloch Castle fall into curated decay – and become the ruin that Scotland needs | Fraser MacDonald

Rather than spending millions more on this monument to wealth and domination, let’s embrace its managed decline Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rum was completed in 1900 as a playground for the wealthy textile heir Sir George Bullough, and now NatureScot – formerly Scottish Natural Heritage – can’t afford the costs of upkeep. That’s hardly surprising. Every detail of this building oozes extravagance: the exterior stonework has crenellations upon crenellations, while the interior was described by John Betjeman as “an undisturbed example of pre-1914 opulence”. NatureScot is caught in an unenviable bind between an obligation to maintain an A-listed building and an inability to justify the profligacy it demands. To resolve this contradiction, a new owner is now being sought, someone with deep pockets who can preserve the castle while minimising its impact on the local environment, and contribute to the sustainability of the Rum community. Related: Scottish island castle, with barrel organ and rot issues, seeks caring new owner Fraser MacDonald is a geographer at the University of Edinburgh Continue reading...

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