About the church, history, our plans
From 1840 to 1987: History of the church (pdf)
See this book, Lauchlan MacLean Watt is buried next to the church: Lauchlan Maclean Watt book
A History of the Church Continues…
Formally known as the Lochcarron Parish Church, the building was completed in 1840 and is grade B listed. It was able to contain 700 to 800 people. In 1987, The Church of Scotland put it in the hands of the council who only hosted funerals.
It was de-consecrated and turned over to private hands in 2005. His vision was to cover it all with plywood and paint his own Sistine Chapel. He gutted the pews, organ, wall coverings etc. and burnt them in a terrific bonfire on the golf course, which was reported as being so fierce that the nearest neighbours feared their houses would burn as well. Luckily, he gave up on his vision, some say for health reasons. Unluckily, he did nothing to renovate the church and left it sitting in disrepair for 13 years.
Now, 2018 onwards
We are mostly off grid with the exception of electric. No phone line, no water mains. We have a UV filtration system for drinking water that’s collected from the roof. We use our brown water for laundry and watering plants. We have a composting toilet system. Later, we hope to have solar panels and air source heat pumps to become truly off grid. Currently, a lot is in progress but we are waiting on the council to move forward.
Help! We have nail sickness!
Unfortunately, the roof has not been repaired for a very long time indeed. (Reportedly 30 years). The nails are all going rusty, as we are so close to the salt-water loch. Therefore, our tiles are all slipping off. We got the first, most critical corner started this year, which was £5,000. The whole roof will be £58k upwards. Our roofer, Lenn Urquhart, said the wood was like “mush” and he couldn’t understand how the roof was staying up. One more winter, and it would have been beyond repair. We are applying for grants that are designated for listed buildings, and we have crowdfunding online to prove that we have community interest in preserving this building.
We want to keep the building as it is and return it to a presentable, non-leaking, condition. Aside from being our residence, we would like to hold community events, exhibitions and rent it out for filming and photography. It is a public space, and we want to keep it that way. This building was designed to be used! It would be a waste not to.
We also want to embrace sustainability and are working on that. Currently we have rainwater harvesting, brown water management and re-use and a composting toilet. On the radar is solar, heat pumps etc.
The building is not up and running yet for all this, but we hope it will be soon. Enquiries most welcome. We’re open to any offers.
What can it be for now?
- Tourist attraction
- Mini-museum of the church history
- Filming and photography venue
- Exhibition space
- Event space
- Community venue
- A very small part is our home (while we renovate it)
- Any ideas you may have!
In the Ross-Shire Journal newspaper: