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6 bedroom detached house for sale

Isle of Coll, Argyll and Bute, PA78

Offers Over £450,000

Property Description

Key features

  • Fine A listed Georgian Castle
  • Constructed in 1750 for the 12th Chief of Clan Maclean and Laird of Coll
  • Visited by Dr Samuel Johnson and James Boswell on their tour of the Inner Hebrides
  • Rare restoration opportunity in beautiful island setting
  • Wonderful views over the white sandy beaches of Coll

Full description

Tenure: Freehold

A unique opportunity to restore the finest Georgian castle in the Inner Hebrides

Historical Background
Until 1944 Breachacha was the seat of the Lairds of Coll. For some centuries the ‘old’ castle was occupied by the Macleans, who in 1750 constructed the ‘new’ Georgian castle as a modern home in the Palladian taste. When visiting Coll in 1773, Boswell and Johnson clearly found the Georgian building austere, referring to it disparagingly as ‘a mere tradesman’s box.’

The Macleans lived in the ‘new’ castle from 1750 until the sale of Coll to John Lorne Stewart in 1856. By this time Palladian architecture had fallen from fashion and further extensions and alterations were made to meet the new Gothic Baronial style, fashionable at the time. A fourth storey was added to the main house, windows were enlarged, pavilions extended and the appearance altered to include crenelated parapets and turrets. Further internal alterations and external addittions such as the porch were made at the end of the 19th century.

From 1944 to 1968 the property was uninhabited and fell into a state of substantial disrepair, before being sold to a new buyer who sought to use it as a holiday home. Some restoration work was undertaken to the fabric of the building, although work stalled and by 1998 the property was sold again. By this stage it was uninhabitable and the owners spent holidays living in a caravan in the castle grounds. The current owners purchased the building in 2006 and over 10 years have undertaken a great deal of work to secure the future of the building using a team of conservation specialists.

The vendors planned the full restoration of the castle, and have undertaken a great deal of work with an independent conservation specialist who has worked closely with Scottish Heritage and explored options for grant funding. Sadly a change in circumstances necessitates a sale, offering buyers a unique opportunity to restore a very special building in a truly unique setting.


‘We found here a neat new-built gentleman’s house, better than any we had been in since we were at Lord Errol’s. Dr Johnson relished it much.’ Boswell 1773

‘New’ Breachacha Castle is an A Listed building which forms part of a building group with the 15th century ‘old’ castle and the adjacent Breachacha steading which is contemporaneous. The building was first constructed in 1750 as a classical 3 storey square villa linked to a small pair of square pavilions. The house was built as a modern replacement for the 15th century castle which is situated diagonally to the front of the newer building, visible from some windows at a sharp angle to one side.

The building seen today is a hybrid of the original plainer Palladian style and the 19th Century romanticised style favoured by the Victorians, which harked back to the medieval gothic of the older castle. The result is a bright, spacious building with a great deal of period charm and character, which is imposing but remains homely in scale.

Currently the vendors live largely on the top two floors, with accommodation comprising 6 bedrooms (3 ensuite), 2 bathrooms, 1 sitting room and 1 kitchen, all with central heating. The ground floor rooms are charming but are currently little used, whilst the side wings and pavilions are derelict shells, one of which is used as a workshop and store.

The rooms of the main castle are reminiscent of a well-proportioned Georgian manor house, with high ceilings and a number of original plaster mouldings, cornices and period doors and ironmongery. The large sash windows frame the fantastic views over the Atlantic and surrounding beaches and countryside. Of particular note is the view from the original cast iron roll-top bath on the third floor which looks straight out to sea.

Further details, including architectural drawings, can be provided by the agents

Strictly by appointment with the sole selling agents.

PA78 6TB

Energy Performance Certificates

Closing date
A closing date may be set for the receipt of offers and interested parties should note their interest in the property.

Entry will be by mutual agreement.

Useful Information

More information from this agent

Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
26 May 2016

Map & Street View

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