Kinloch Castle – Isle of Rum, Scotland - Atlas Obscura

Kinloch Castle

Isle of Rum, Scotland

This once-majestic, now-abandoned Victorian castle has seen better days.  

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Construction on Kinloch castle began in 1897, and was completed in 1900. It was originally constructed by Sir George Bullough, a textile tycoon from Lancashire whose father purchased the Isle of Rum, a small Isles off the west coast of Scotland, as his summer residence and shooting estate. At the time of construction, money was no object to Bullough and this is demonstrated by the design of the building and collection of artifacts inside.

Bullough commissioned a London firm of architects, Leeming & Leeming, to design the mansion. A team of 300 men from Eigg island and mainland Lancashire, were employed to assist in construction. The cost of the build was £250,000, a massive amount back in those days. Formal and informal gardens, including a water and Japanese garden. There were even alligators housed on the property. 

While living in the castle, Bullough stationed his yacht Rhouma in the bay out front. For a period of time, Rhouma acted as a hospital ship, bringing wounded soldiers back to Kinloch Castle. Bullough was knighted in 1901 for his work in aiding the soldiers. While not his main residence, Kinloch Castle was occupied by Bullough and his hunting buddies during the shooting season. After World War I, Bullough’s wealth plummeted and the estate fell into neglect.

The castle has been used as a wedding venue and a bunkhouse but is now generally uninhabited. The local trust runs tours of the castle, which coincide with arrivals of the daily ferry. The building is in need of some tender loving care, with several damp patches beginning to appear on the walls.

Despite this, the castle contains some amazing and very random artifacts from around the world. These include a large collection of stuffed animals, including a stuffed fish. There are also examples of pottery and a host of other items from around the world.

Know Before You Go

Tours are timed to between boats from April – October. These take approximately 45 minutes and start promptly from the front door. These cost £9 for adults and £4.50 for children. It's probably best to email in advance before visiting to confirm they are open at kinlochcastle@nature.scot.