If you have ever wondered about the size of the task we’re facing here at Dunans, well, here’s a clue – the indicative costs for Castle and Bridge.


We knew the budget would be big, but not even I was prepared for some of these figures, though they are very rough. They’re based on pounds per metre squared, rule-of-thumb calculations on professional fees, and the type of VAT chargeable. We don’t yet have an accurate survey of the castle – still too dangerous inside I am afraid – but as soon as we do, I am expecting the detail on these figures to resolve.

Obviously with regard to the castle we’re looking at the Accommodation & Event option as our favoured route as this is the most sustainable. Frankly I am gobsmacked at the Victorian Restoration (Like-for-like) price – although this does include lime plaster with horse hair and lath and no plasterboard. You can see where that’s going. Consolidation as a Ruin is the cheapest option, but unfortunately, there’s little or no way of sustaining the borrowing on a roofless shell – albeit a very beautiful one.

The cost for the repair of the bridge is also significant, but at least with the prospect of funding via Historic Scotland, Heritage Lottery and others this might be achievable in the relatively short-term – particularly with the bicentenary coming up next year.

Does this leave you wanting to know more? Well the Conservation Plan for Dunans will be published very shortly (ISBN 978-1-910326-01-5), and you’ll be able to read a great deal more about the site, its history and our plans then… in the meantime, I am going off to write a business plan or three!

8 thoughts on “If you have ever wondered about the size of the task we’re facing here at Dunans, well, here’s a clue – the indicative costs for Castle and Bridge.”

  1. Wow! Well, if a thing is worth doing, it’s worth doing right!
    Makes you wonder how on earth these castles were built so (relatively) cheaply all those years ago! I suppose the lack of building regulations and not forgetting the absence of the HSE might have kept costs down.

    1. I think you are right Brian, that and the fact that labour, even highly skilled labour, was proportionately so much cheaper.

  2. And there was little old me thinking you had to do it ALL! … Consolidate wobbly bits, horse hair it together again and hold huge parties with a new bridge to ship in the revellers. Phew!

    1. Phew indeedy Ray 😉 – always it’s the money which defines the critical path in these things, and Dunans with only rise if we can manage it sustainably … And also get the support of some imaginative finance people!

  3. Wow! That is quite a lot of money Charles. It would be great to see the castle utilsed for events and or accommodation but I’m guessing quite a few more Lairds & Ladies will have to be involved in this project before this can become a reality. I’ve added 4 to your cause…..I guess if every current member invited at least 4 or 5 of their friends to the project you probably could get this moving sooner rather than later.

  4. Given the costs I’m now wondering whether the ‘consolidated ruin’ may in fact be the best route? Its an astronomical amount of money to spend Charles. I suppose the Dunans Trust would be in the best position to know what funds they have and what funds they can acquire for such a project. You would have to sell a lot of souvenir land plots to make options 2. and 3. viable where as option 1. seems attainable I think.

    1. Ah, well, this is the nub of the equation Andrew. We think the Accommodation and Events use is viable because the income from those uses will help fund the borrowing to complete the restoration. The Scottish Laird Scheme will have in effect ensured that we are a credible proposition to the financiers (in whatever form they take) … it will all be laid out in a business plan I am presently drafting!

  5. Well best of luck Laird Charles…..sounds like a potential holiday venue for me and my good Lady and two daughters in the future. Would love to see the castle in its former glory. We are only 4 hours drive away so perhaps it will be a reality one day.

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