was built by George Bullough, a Harrow-educated cavalry officer and a
member of one of the wealthiest, self-made, English mill-owning families,
after his father had bought Rum in the later half of the 19th century.
Big spender George wanted a summer palace on the island and in 1897 he
commissioned cronies and industrial mill architects to design Kinloch
Castle. The golden age of lavish summer parties lasted for 13 years until
the onset of World War I. After the war, Bullough’s money was running
out and his visits became rarer and rarer. He died in 1939 and his wife,
Lady Monica Bullough, a beautiful divorcee said to have had numerous affairs
within London society, sold the house to what is now Scottish Natural
Heritage in 1957.
Originally, the money-squandering
Bullough wanted the house to be as long as his yacht, but he was thwarted
by two streams running parallel on either side of the site. Instead George
filled the castle with as many gadgets as possible. Central heating, hydroelectric
power for his electric lighting, and the Orchestrion – the Bang
and Olufsen of its day (only six were ever made, and is thought to be
the only surviving model). In the garden he had heated pools with alligators
and tropical turtles and the conservatory (now gone) was filled with hummingbirds.
It was also the first house of its kind with a telephone. Hundreds were
employed in the building of the castle, and the eccentric Bullough paid
extra if they wore kilts, no doubt fuelling the gossip surrounding his
‘all male’ parties. All in all, the project cost him £250,000
- £15m in today’s terms. It is pseudo-baronial, magnificent
in its throw-money-at-it extravagance."
"The Isle of Rum
is to be found in the Inner Hebrides and it holds evidence of some of the
earliest human settlement in Scotland - some 9,000 years of continuous habitation
until 1826, when the island lost its 450 inhabitants through one of the
most complete of the highland clearances. Its history has been one of sadness,
scandal and myth. It is known throughout the Hebrides as ‘the forbidden
For further information on Kinloch castle and the Island of Rum, visit the Rum Community website.
|If you would like to visit Rum, but would prefer to be based on the mainland, why not stay at Ach na skia Croft, just outside Arisaig, where you will have views right across the sea to the imposing island.
summer trips to Rum can be taken from Arisaig on the Sheerwater, with time ashore to visit
Kinloch castle and explore the island. CalMac also make regular sailings to Rum from Mallaig.