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Bargaining Britain’s Northernmost Castle

Bargaining Britain’s Northernmost Castle – £130,000 for Muness Castle, Unst, Shetland Isles, Scotland, ZE2 9DL, United Kingdom – Grade A listed freehold Scottish castle with cottages, barony title, gold and copper reserves and 240 acres of land goes to auction for just £130,000 just as plans for a space centre are announced in the vicinity – To be sold by Future Property Auctions of Glasgow on 23rd April 2021.

Grade A listed freehold Scottish castle with cottages, barony title, gold and copper reserves and 240 acres of land goes to auction for just £130,000 just as plans for a space centre are announced in the vicinity

Our November 2018 article on an Irish castle on a private island that was for sale for just £80,000 ($111,000, €93,000 or درهم409,000) continues to attract numerous hits each week to this day and now we’ve found something equally ‘cheap’ in Scotland that we imagine will prove equally popular.


Situated on Unst, the northernmost of the inhabited isles of Great Britain, 15th century Muness Castle is to be sold at auction on 23rd April with a guide price of just £130,000 ($181,000, €151,000 or درهم665,000). It comes with 240 acres and thus comes in at an astonishingly low price equivalent of just £542 per acre ($755, €629 or درهم2,800 per acre).


Given farmland in Oxfordshire is currently valued at around £10,300 per acre ($14,400, €12,000 or درهم52,700 per acre), this apparent bargain does, however, come with a number of catches. The “number of crofter’s cottages” that come as part of the property are “mainly in derelict condition,” according to auctioneers Future Property Auctions of Glasgow, and the most definitely presently anything but inhabitable 73-foot by 26-foot, Grade A listed castle itself is currently “run as museum by Historic Scotland” on a “free of charge basis.”


Currently owned by one Gavin Farquhar of the Ecclesgreig Estate in Kincardineshire, the property offered was listed as having a “consideration” value of £65,000 ($91,000, €75,000 or درهم333,000) in August 2006 and aside from a number of “burdens” to various parties, includes part-diviso rights to “gold and copper reserves discovered in a recently commissioned geological survey.”


For a buyer wanting a barony title, seclusion and to own land on a “superb section of coastline” rich in flora, fauna and sea life where dolphins, otters, puffins, seals and whales are spotted regularly, here is a bargain piece of paradise. Unst covers an area of 46 square miles, has a population of 632 and is accessible primarily by ferry since its airport was mothballed in 1996.


The island of Unst is bizarrely internationally famous for a bus shelter known as ‘Bobby’s Bus Shelter.’ The stop and shelter was saved by a then 7-year-old boy named Bobby Macaulay in 1996 after he wrote to the local council asking them not to remove it because it was where he kept his bike whilst at school. The council relented and furnished it with a sofa and television and periodically give it themed additions which have included tributes to Nelson Mandela, sheep, puffins and women’s suffrage in the United Kingdom.
Another attraction on the island was the Valhalla Brewery, the northernmost brewery in the United Kingdom. Named after the Norse god Odin, Valhalla produced dark ales from malt, hops and bere barley, but after the owners fell ill, it ultimately closed permanently. In March this year, plans to reuse the brewery site for the construction of the Shetland Space Centre were announced and should they go ahead around 140 new jobs would be created on Unst as a result.
An aerial view of the castle shows how thick its walls are and thus provides evidence as to why it has lasted over 423 years in spite of the harsh climate of its situation.
The structure retains many original architectural details.
Though the building is currently simply a tourist attraction, perhaps – subject to any planning processes – it could be returned to residential usage. The cost and dealing with bureaucrats might, however, be prohibitive and request by ‘The Steeple Times’ to selling auctioneers Future Property Auctioneers about such had not been answered at time of publication.
The setting of the castle with views to the North Sea beyond and a cottage adjoining.
The original floor plan of the building (before French pirate enemies of the then owner burnt the place down in 1627). As a result, now, the castle now has only two of its original three stories remaining. The building was used from 1713 by the Dutch East India Company as a storage space for goods the Company managed to salvage from the wreck of one of their vessels, but was then recorded as roofless and abandoned in 1775.
This map shows the true isolation of the location.
The coastline of Unst is truly epically spectacular.
This 2018 video shows Muness Castle with scaffolding around it – indication that good care has been taken of what remains of the structure.
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