6665 sq ft(619.2 sq m)
Offers over £395,000

Breachacha CastleIsle of Coll, PA78 6TB

  • Sold

Key features

  • Sold in November 2017
  • Set in an idyllic island location
  • 6 bedrooms
  • 4 reception rooms
  • Stunning views over the beaches of Coll
  • Built in 1750 for the 12th Chief of Clan Maclean

Fine ‘A' listed Georgian castle in an idyllic island location

About this property

  • '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 three 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 six bedrooms (three en suite), two bathrooms, a sitting room and kitchen, all with central heating. The ground floor rooms are charming but are currently little used, while 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, whilst the Treshnish Isles and Staffa, with Fingals cave, are visible in the East.

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

    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 style. 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 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 trend, fashionable at the time. A fourth storey was added to the main house, windows were enlarged, pavilions extended and the appearance altered to include crenulated parapets and turrets.

    Further internal alterations and external additions 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.

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Local information

  • Situation
  • Breachacha Castle is an A Listed building situated at the southern end of the Isle of Coll. The island, which forms part of the Inner Hebrides, is some 13 miles long and 3 miles wide and is well known for numerous white sandy beaches and beautiful turquoise water. The island has a number of historic sites, rare wildlife and a diverse plant life. In the summer the ‘Machair' (Gaelic term for flat grassy land behind sand dunes) is home to an abundance of species including orchids, thyme and wild pansies.
  • Traditional farming methods and the enriching effects of wind-blown sand also sustain a wide variety of insects and birds including corncrakes. The castle is well situated to take advantage of the island's wildlife as it adjoins an RSPB owned nature reserve on which wildfowl, otters and brown hare are abundant. To the front of the castle, basking sharks are frequently seen in the bay, while minke whales, porpoises and dolphins are also occasionally seen.

Additional information

  • Directions: Location and Travel The Isle of Coll is a small Hebridean island some four miles west of Mull. The Isle of Tiree is to the south west while the small Isles of Eigg, Muck, Rum and Canna all lie to the north. Travel to and from the island is either via car ferry from Oban, or via Hebridean flights from Oban Airport to the Isle of Coll Aerodrome which lies to the north of the castle. Tiree is only a short flight to the west and offers regular direct flights to Glasgow.
  • EPC Rating = D