Visit of Duke and Duchess of Rothesay to Kinloch Castle
On Thursday, 1st June 2006, the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay, as the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall are known in Scotland, paid an official visit to Kinloch Castle, Isle of Rum. They arrived by helicopter just after midday for a scheduled two hour visit.
On arrival they were greeted by the Lord Lieutenant of Inverness-shire, Donald Cameron of Locheil. The Duke and Duchess went into the great hall of the castle where they were shown proposals for the Phoenix Trust for the restoration of the castle. After that they had a conducted tour of the main apartments of the castle. Following that they met and talked with invited guests in the castle dining room. The invited guests consisted of the entire Rum Community; David McLennan, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) Area Manager Stornoway; Tom Cane SNH Property Manager; and Douglas King, Secretary of the Kinloch Castle Friends Association. Both the Duke and Duchess were very impressed, and said that it was a lovely property. They were very keen to see it restored, and hoped that funding for this would be available very soon. The Duke said that he would continue to monitor progress on the restoration proposals. he first became interested in the castle when he saw it appear on the BBC Restoration programme, but this was the first time he'd had the opportunity to visit it. The Duke and Duchess left after 2 hours 20 minutes on the island.
The proposals for the castle, which are still being developed, propose that there will be major restoration, maintenance and repair works carried out. This will include the majority of the contents. The front of the house rooms will be converted with minimal alterations to the fabric into a lodge type hotel with 6 or 7 en suite letting rooms. There will be limited public access to the prinicpal ground floor rooms with tours timed to fit in with visiting ferries and cruise ships, roughly similar to that at present. At the back of house, rooms currently occupied by the hostel, 8 apartments are proposed ranging from 1 - 6 bedrooms. They will be used for short term holiday lets. Before work can commence, a new hostel and education centre will have to be built. It will be on the site of, and cover the same footplate as the former greenhouses at the north east corner of the walled garden. Work on the castle will not commence until the new hostel is open. That is likely to take at least two years before the new hostel goes through the planning process and is built. The design of this building has not yet been finalised.
Estimated costs of the works are £8,000,000 in total, £6,000,000 for building work and £2,000,000 for restoration of the contents.
Updates on the above information will be issued as soon as they become available.
Douglas King, Honorary Secretary, Kinloch Castle Friends Association, June 2006