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Coll historic buildings recognised

16 July 2008

Coll’s Breachacha Castle has been recognised as nationally important by Historic Scotland, listing it at category A like it’s older counterpart.

The two castles were studied as part of a recent survey of the island’s historic buildings.

Malcolm Cooper, Chief Inspector, said: “Coll has some fantastic buildings. The design and grouping of the two castles and old farm steading at Breachacha, in particular, are very sophisticated and reflect changing architectural fashions across the centuries.”

The earliest parts of the old castle date from the 15th century with additions and alterations following in the 16th and 17th centuries. The new castle was built in 1750 and the steading in around 1798. All of the buildings have been restored over the years.

In total five new buildings on Coll were listed, though three of these had previously  been recorded as non statutory category C listings.

There are now eight listings in total for Coll – both castles (cat A); Maclean of Coll Burial Ground (cat B); Breachacha Steading and Farmhouse (cat B); former Breachacha Estate Walled Garden (cat C(s)); Coll Parish Church (cat C(s)); Grishipoll House (cat C(s)) and Sorisdale Cottage (cat C(s)).

The new, more detailed, list descriptions will help owners and planners understand the particular interest of each property and ensure that any changes can be made in a sympathetic manner.

Dr Deborah Mays, Head of the Listing Team, added: “Our work on Coll has turned up several interesting discoveries. The new list descriptions give a fuller account of each building. These should assist Argyll and Bute Council to make well-informed planning decisions relating to these buildings in future and ensure Coll’s historic buildings continue in use.

In the course of the survey of the Island, it was decided that two category B cottages be removed from the list due to the level of deterioration.

Notes for editors

About Coll Buildings
  • In 1750 the new castle (originally designed as a house) was built in the fashionable Palladian style. It was built with three storeys and had small service wings attached by quadrant walls. At this time there was a growing interest and pride in Scottish history. Instead of being demolished the old castle was kept as a reminder of the past and the new house was carefully positioned so that the castle would be visible from it.

  • 2.By the beginning of the 20th century the old castle had decayed and become ruinous. It was saved in the 1960s by the owners and restored using the best building conservation techniques of the period. Much of the original fabric was retained and the old castle is an important example of mid 20th century building conservation philosophy in addition to its architectural merit.


About Historic Scotland

  • Listed buildings are divided into three categories:
    • A – Buildings of national or international importance – either architectural or historic – or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or type.
    • B – Buildings of regional or more than local importance, major examples of a particular period, style or type that may have been altered.
    • C(S) – Buildings of local importance, lesser examples of any period, style or type as originally constructed or altered. Simple traditional buildings that group well with others in categories A and B are part of a planned group as an estate or an estate or an industrial complex.

  • The list is compiled by Historic Scotland on behalf of The Scottish Ministers. A dedicated team within the Historic Scotland Inspectorate undertakes the compilation, administration and maintenance of the list.

  • The list is constantly under review and buildings can be added to the list by three main methods:
    • By comprehensive re-survey of geographic areas
    • By thematic study looking at one particular building type (e.g. hospitals)
    • By individual proposals for buildings to be added to the list.

  • Historic Scotland is an executive agency of the Scottish Government charged with safeguarding the nation’s historic environment. The agency is fully accountable to Scottish Ministers and through them to the Scottish Parliament.



For further information


Lesley Brown
Communications and Media Officer
Communications and Media
0131 668 8603 or 07788 923873
lesley.brown@scotland.gsi.gov.uk