Boleskine House is a Grade B Listed Building that has suffered devastating fire damage as of 2015, and it has since been placed on the Buildings at Risk Register for Scotland. In addition, and perhaps due to its eclectic history, it has also been subject to a great deal of illegal trespassing and other unlawful activities such as looting and vandalism.
We feel that we have a duty to save the property from further destruction by all means available to us. We believe that Boleskine House is an important piece of Scottish heritage, and that it has the potential to bring business into the local economy and to provide outlets for educational resources on Scottish history and heritage. Furthermore, we consider that Boleskine House can be transformed from an abandoned and unmaintained plot of land into a place that can serve both local and international communities who share an interest in the house.
In the following section, we wish to provide clear information so that interested parties will understand the components for the project.
According to a recent estimated budget works survey that was carried out in April 2019, a complete restoration of the fire-damaged Boleskine House will cost in the region of £730,000. This estimate uses the BCIS re-building rates, and is broken down into percentages for the different building components, adapting these rates to suit the specific situation at Boleskine House.
Combined with the purchase of the land (£220,000) and the legal fees incurred for the purchase (approximately £2,000), this preliminary overall cost figure hovers around £1,000,000. This figure does not include the money spent by two individuals to generously acquire the adjacent plots personally (being Lots 2 and 3 which were advertised for sale), so as to be able to secure these sites from development by others. Furthermore, we also hope to restore the original Georgian gardens of the estate and to repair the driveway and gates, all of which will require further funds and volunteers. We are also at early stages of considering the potential conversion of the coach house into a space which can be used for private events, retreats and also ceremonies such as weddings.
We have had verbal confirmation from local estate agents that, even after being fully restored to an inhabitable house, the market value on the house and its estate (being Lot 1 which was advertised for sale) would be roughly £450,000–£600,000. We are currently putting together initial estimates for a new roof and the cost of scaffolding to help secure the structure in the interim and protect it from any further damage due to exposure to the elements.
However, it is safe to say that the restoration of Boleskine House will be what is known as a conservation deficit, meaning that it is a loss-making endeavour. It is for this reason that we will seek whatever assistance we can through publicly accessible grants and crowdfunding campaigns.
The project will include the complete restoration of Boleskine House and its surrounding gardens. It is our wish to ensure the result of the work is favourable to the house’s historical legacy with Jacobean and Georgian features while bringing it up to modern standards. One of our volunteers is a specialist in the restoration of listed buildings and has over 20 years experience in this field.
It is currently difficult to say how long this project will take, and it will vary depending on the amount of financial assistance we can secure. We hope to restore the house and open it to the public by spring 2021. There will be various opportunities to visit us in the meantime and please follow us on our various social media channels to get up-to-date information on upcoming volunteer events.