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7 bedroom detached house for sale

Shuna Island, Loch Linnhe, Argyll

Offers in Excess of £1,850,000

Property Description

Key features

  • Private Island
  • House - 7 beds, 3 receptions
  • Barn - consent for conversion
  • Trout loch & coastal fishing
  • 2 mainland cottages

Full description

Tenure: Freehold


Shuna Island is located in the southern reaches of Loch Linnhe on Scotland's west coast, to the north of the island of Lismore and north east of the Isle of Mull; the Morvern peninsula lies to the west. Access to the island is by private boat, with a five to 10 minute crossing from Linnhe Marine, which is accessed off the A828 Connel to Ballachulish road. Oban is 19 miles to the south and Fort William 27 miles to the north. Glasgow is 102 miles to the south by road.

Scotland's west coast, and in particular Loch Linnhe, is world famous for its spectacularly scenic sailing waters. Nearby Dunstaffnage Marina and Oban Marina on the Island of Kerrera both have first class facilities and are home to many fine sailing craft. The nearest village on the mainland is Port Appin which has a primary school and a village shop which provides essential provisions. It also has two very well respected seafood restaurants and is the terminal for the ferry to Lismore. Oban offers a good range of shops and professional services as well as secondary schooling and a railway station with regular services to Glasgow and London. A sleeper service runs from Fort William. Oban is also the ferry terminal to the Western Isles. There is a small airport at nearby North Connel and Glasgow International Airport has a wide range of domestic and international services.

Historical Note

The name Shuna is probably derived from the Norse, but may come from the Gaelic sidhean (fairy hill). Archaeologists have found evidence of early hunters being active on the island; antlers, flints, scrapers and shells were discovered in 1958 in a rock shelter on the west coast of the island.

Shuna is recorded in a late 16th century document as belonging to John Stewart, the Laird of Appin, who is believed to have built a tower house, now known as Shuna Castle, at the southern end of the island in the last decade of that century. According to the historian Nigel Tranter it was built on the site of a Norse-Celtic broch. The castle is thought to have been abandoned in the late 18th century and was possibly replaced by the farmhouse, which dates from that period. Opposite Shuna Castle, at the head of Loch Laich, is the island fortress of Castle Stalker, also historically a possession of the Stewarts of Appin. The two castles stand guard at the southern entrance to the sheltered Sound of Shuna.

The land has been cultivated for centuries, and in a document of about 1630 it was described as being both profitable and fertile:

There is a verie prettie toure or Castell in that Countrie of Appin not farr from this stone builded on a rock or craig in the sea. This Castle is called Illand Stalker ... There is another Illand not ane quarter of a myll from the Castle pertaining to the Laird of Appin, which is called IONA (sic). This Illand is scarce ane myle of length and not ane half myll in breadth. It is the most profitable and fertilest in all these Countries, for it is but sex merks lands contenit, and it is verie fertill of Corne and abundance of butter and cheese and milk ; and fish to be slaine in the sea next to this Illand.
(Macfarlane's Geographical Collection Volume II pub. Scottish History Society 1907).


Shuna is an exceptional property which has been in the ownership of the sellers' family for almost 60 years. It offers all the mystique, privacy, tranquillity and charm associated with island life, combined with a comfortable house, an annual income from environmental and agricultural grants and subsidies, currently in the region of £16,000, and a sheep farming enterprise. It is believed that the island also offers further commercial potential in the form of a visitor related business (subject to obtaining the relevant consents).

The island is approximately half a mile wide and a mile and a quarter long and extends to some 387.54 acres in total. Towards the south of the island are the farmhouse, known as The Farm, and the ruins of Castle Shuna.

The landing place and stock handling facilities are to the east. Shuna Loch, in the north west of the island, is an attractive hill loch which has historically been stocked with brown trout and, if stocked again, could provide enjoyable fishing. Towards the north of the island is a table-top hill, Tom an t-Seallaidh, the highest point on the island at 71m, with a dramatic view up Loch Linnhe to the south western flank of Ben Nevis.

The surrounding waters offering wonderful sailing and there is a safe anchorage in the Sound of Shuna, south west of Knap Point. There is a mooring situated within Boathouse Bay and there are also moorings on the mainland side of Loch Linnhe, and at Linnhe Marine.

The island is characterised by its extensive coastline embracing dramatic cliffs, coves and shingle beaches. Unlike many of the islands of the Hebrides, Shuna has a number of conifer plantations which provide shelter for stock, and amenity for wildlife. Planted about 40 years ago, the trees were strategically positioned to create a small driven shoot and, whilst there is no shoot at present, there is potential to develop some entertaining rough shooting.

There is a variety of habitats on the island, including species rich grassland and heathland, and wetland flushes, as well as open grazed grassland, all currently managed to conserve or recreate the ideal habitats for native plants such as wild thyme, sedges, St. John's Wort, Marsh Marigold, Meadowsweet, as well as rare insects including Marsh Fritillary butterflies, Narrowbordered Bee Hawk-moths and Transparent Burnet moths. The island has an abundant bird life and lapwings, curlews, skylarks, twites, oystercatchers, bullfinches, greenfinches and siskins are frequently seen.

The long summer days and the warm current of the Gulf Stream ensure Shuna's seawaters are a rich feeding ground for fish. There is plenty to be caught by anglers of all abilities, both just off-shore and further afield, where mackerel, cod, pollock, coalfish and ling can be found. There are also lobsters, crabs and langoustines off the coast. Porpoises, dolphins and otters are occasionally seen in the waters around Loch Linnhe.

In addition to the island itself, included in the sale are two semi-detached cottages and grazing land on the mainland, at North Dallens, immediately opposite Shuna.


Lot 1 - Shuna Island

Shuna Farmhouse

Shuna Farmhouse is an attractive and substantial Category B listed traditional farmhouse dating from the 1740s. It has a spectacular position at the southern end of the island, facing south and sheltered by rising ground to the north. A hard track runs from the landing place around the southern tip of the
island to the farmhouse. The house enjoys spectacular southerly views over Loch Linnhe towards the island of Lismore and to Morar on the mainland.
Typically Scottish in appearance, it is stone built under a slate roof, with white painted, harled walls and dormer windows to the second floor. The main part of the house is formed over two and a half storeys, with a one and a half storey wing to the east and a single storey sun room to the west. It offers flexible accommodation comprising some 3,419 sq ft in all, including a self contained annexe in the east wing, ideal for a housekeeper, caretaker or dependent relative. The front door of the main house opens to a practical cloakroom with a wc opposite the front door and doors to the sitting room on the left and the annexe on the right. The south facing sitting room has timber panelled walls and ceiling and a large open fire. Doors from the sitting room lead to a double bedroom with en suite bathroom, and to the staircase hall. The substantial dining kitchen has a wood burning stove which
provides the hot water for the house, and country style units. It comfortably accommodates a table that can seat ten or more. Opening off the kitchen is the sun room, which has large windows on three sides, with wonderful views, double doors to the garden and a wood burning stove on a tiled hearth. A rear porch off the kitchen serves as a utility room and gives access to a cloakroom. The ground floor of the annexe has a good sized sitting room, a small kitchen and a larder. A staircase from the sitting room leads to the first floor landing off which is a large bedroom with en suite bathroom.

The staircase from the hallway leads to the first floor, where the master bedroom has an en suite bathroom and there are two further bedrooms and a family bathroom. The staircase continues to the second floor where there is a dormitory style bedroom with an exposed stone wall, a sixth bedroom and a fourth bathroom.

The annexe has a separate access via the secondary reception hall. The ground floor has a good sized sitting room, a small kitchen and a larder. A staircase from the sitting room leads to the first floor landing off which is a large bedroom with en suite bathroom.

The house stands in an enclosed garden, which has been attractively landscaped with stone walling, lawns, spring bulbs and shrub borders. There are a number of trees within the garden, including some Scots pines.

Situated a short distance to the east of the farmhouse is an attractive Category B listed barn which benefits from planning consent (ref: 11/02574/PP) for conversion into a single dwelling. Constructed of stone and under a slate roof, the building measures about 20m x 5.5m and currently houses the
generator which serves the island. Adjoining the barn is a workshop (about 5.6 x 2.7m).

Shuna is managed in-hand and is best suited to sheep production, but could carry cattle or other livestock. The land owes its inherent fertility to the underlying Dalriadan limestone. The island grazings extend to 387 acres in total and currently support some 230 Cheviot ewes and followers. Lambs are generally sold as stores in the autumn. The hill ground is split into two fenced hill parks and there are a number of smaller in-bye enclosures. The stock and farm equipment are moved on and off the island using a privately owned barge which is included in the sale. The farm is registered for IACS purposes and currently benefits from an annual income in the region of £16,000 through various agri-environmental schemes and subsidies. Two useful buildings are situated on the eastern shore. Their approximate dimensions and construction are as follows:

1. Sheep handling shed 14m x 6.5m
The building is of steel frame construction and has a concrete base with profile sheet cladding. Partially covered by the shed are the sheep handling pens which are of timber post and rail

2. Boat shed and adjoining store 9m x 5.5m and 4.5m x 3.5m
The building is of steel frame construction with profile sheet cladding and a roller shutter door.

Lot 2 - Dallens and Lettershuna Cottages
This pair of attractive semi-detached cottages is situated on the mainland opposite the island, in the small hamlet of North Dallens. Constructed of harled stone under a slate roof, the accommodation in each cottage is over a single floor, as shown on the accompanying layout plans. Whilst the cottages retain much of their original character and features such as timber tongue and groove panelled walls and open fireplaces, the accommodation is in need of refurbishment. Subject to obtaining the necessary consents, there may be potential to convert the cottages into one larger dwelling.

Lot 3 - Land at North Dallens 0.89 acres
Lot 3 comprises a pasture field of about 0.89 acres by the shore on the mainland. The field provides useful accommodation land when moving stock on and off the island.


From Glasgow take the A82 northwards along the west side of Loch Lomond to Tyndrum, then turn left on to the A85 through Dalmally and on to Connel. From Connel, take the A828 north, signposted to Fort William, crossing the Connel Bridge, and continue along the north shore of Loch Creran to Portnacroish. Continue for about a mile beyond Portnacroish to Linnhe Marine. The crossing to Shuna Island is by boat from the jetty.

From Glencoe and the north follow the A828 south along the eastern shore of Loch Linnhe. The marina is about 11 miles south of the Ballachulish Bridge.

For those using satellite navigation, the postcode for Linnhe Marine is PA38 4DH.

More information from this agent

Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
23 May 2012


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