Mystery surrounds disappearance of painting from Kinloch Castle

A 19th-century painting is thought to have been stolen from Kinloch Castle on Rum.

Steam Yacht ‘Rhouma I’ by Charles Dixon (1872–1934) was reported missing in the middle of July following a break-in at the castle.

The castle has been boarded up since 2013 while a new owner is being sought.

In 2021, a box of drinks bottles and glasses went missing from the castle and was later found in a house on Rum along with a sword and wooden snake pole.

Built in 1900 by wealthy industrialist George Bullough, the castle still contains many of his belongings, which hint at the opulent lifestyle of the heir to a textile manufacturing fortune and the high living he enjoyed.

An anticipated sale to millionaire financier Jeremy Hosking fell through in March following an intervention from the Isle of Rum Development Trust and government minister Lorna Slater.

Displayed in the dining room, the missing painting is an oil on canvas which captures ‘Rhouma’ in all her magnificence at the 1896 Cowes Regatta.

It was purchased as part of the Bullough Estate in 1957.

Kinloch Castle Friends Association (KCFA), which previously tried to buy the castle, said the latest incident signalled a ‘lack of care’ at the building.

A spokesperson for NatureScot, which is the current custodian of the castle, said: ‘Following a break-in at Kinloch Castle on Saturday July 15, NatureScot staff carried out a thorough inventory check and established that a painting had been taken.

‘Police are continuing to investigate the matter and we urge any members of the public with information to contact them directly.

‘Police Scotland previously reviewed the building security at Kinloch Castle and as a result additional CCTV was deployed in and around the castle.

‘The building is securely locked at all times when not occupied.’

Police Scotland Highlands and Islands said in a statement: ‘We are appealing for any information in relation to the theft of a painting from Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rum that occurred on the 15th of July 2023.’

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