The campaign to raise the first £10,000 to help prevent a Scots castle from crumbling has been extended for another two weeks.
The Kinloch Castle Friends Association Crowdfunding appeal began on January 14, and has so far raised just 32% of its target, as 58 supporters have have donated £3225.
The online fundraiser is being run by the association, which was formed in 1996 with the aim of preserving te magnificent building and its contents, as well and encouraging people to visit the Isle of Rum.
Built by an immensely wealthy Lancashire industrialist, George Bullough just as the 19th century came to close, but after Sir George died in 1939, the slow decline of the castle began.
After 1957, ownership of the island changed as it was bought by the government as a national nature reserve latterly under the management of Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH). The public could visit and stay, as the castle became a hotel.
However, in 2013, the hostel facility in the castle was closed, although tours of the public rooms and some of the bedrooms continue to be given over the summer months.
With no one living in the castle, it was not heated or aired to the same extent as when it was occupied and problems that had been building over the years continued to affect the structure and magnificent contents.
The association plan to apply for an asset transfer from SNH, to restore the building.
Catherine Duckworth, the KCFA secretary, said: ‘Seen from a distance Kinloch Castle looks like it’s still OK. But it’s suffering from years of roof problems, dry rot, wet rot, too much light on the fabric. KCFA aim to make the castle once more full of visitors staying in the quirky bed and breakfast. First though, we need to raise funds to ‘help pay for ‘lots of upfront costs to get us along the road. We’ve got part way but we need more.
‘The Castle is a very special place – unexpected to find such a building on the very beautiful, mountainous Isle of Rum just south of Skye.
‘Have you heard the Orchestrion play? This fabulous and very rare instrument is fitted under the staircase off the Great Hall. It is one of the biggest versions of a mechanical musical instrument and plays all the instruments of the orchestra using rolls of thick punched paper. The Kinloch Castle Imhof and Mukle Orchestrion has more rolls than any other and they are in better condition, largely because once it was fitted, George Bullough didn’t really like it! Hearing the sound reverberate round the hall is one of the extra special features of any Castle tour but sadly it needs restoration after an attack of woodworm and lack of maintenance over the years.
‘The construction of the castle is unusual and the building is still just recoverable. The photo above shows the unusual tiles of the ceiling, usually covered in plaster. This is only one of the special features of the construction. Once you’ve helped us to achieve asset transfer, we intend offering behind the scenes tours – look out for them later so you too can visit and see what we’re working towards and how special this building is. Be part of something special!
‘Lady Monica’s Drawing Room is magnificent but damp is affecting the wall coverings, light is affecting the fabrics. The Court Room (so called because it overlooks the central courtyard) is suffering from mould, damp – you name it! But once restored this will be one of the bedrooms made available for the first time in many years.
The verandah goes round three sides of the Castle but much of the glazing is broken or missing. Reglazing would help keep the rainwater away from the foundations of the building as it should, as well as making it safe to walk round once more.
‘We want to revitalise the former hostel with new plumbing, electrics, showers etc and reopen as soon as possible helped initially by Scottish Natural Heritage, the current owners, then the real fundraising will begin! We have plans to reopen the bar and bistro, both of which will be open to all and then in due course renovate the other special bedrooms so we can hold a variety of events bringing more people to Rum. How do you fancy a murder mystery weekend in an Agatha Christie type environment? A special place for a wedding? An activity holiday including kayaking, wildlife photography, climbing the Rum Cuillins? So much more is planned. cs, a whole host of related problems.
‘This is an initial target and we will stretch it onwards towards our final goal of achieving restoration of Kinloch Castle on the Isle of Rum so that it has a sustainable and viable future, creating more jobs, and helps support the local economy, giving new opportunities as tourism grows with the extra accommodation.
‘This is part of the final push to get asset transfer. We have inevitably incurred costs such as legal, surveyors, and travel etc and this is towards these.
‘Crowdfunding is a way of raising funds through a specialist website. We are offering rewards for pledges of various amounts. These rewards are all very specific to Kinloch Castle, and include pens, badges, mouse mats, tote bags and a limited edition print. Or you can just donate.
‘Our pledges start as low as £10 through to £250 but if you want to give more, don’t want a ‘reward’, or would like instead to give a small amount regularly, then also consider giving through our MyDonate page. This can automatically sort out Gift Aid too so even £5 a month adds up nicely. We can’t claim Gift Aid on anything for which you are offered a reward.’
Click HERE to support the fundraiser.