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Scottish Laird: Laird of Dunans Castle and Chaol Ghleann

Photograph of Dunans Castle. I took this photo...
Image via Wikipedia

Price: £24+
Title: Laird, Lord or Lady of Dunans Castle and Chaol Ghleann
Website: and
Payment: Paypal and Google Checkout

Dunans Castle is a castle, a ruined one, but a castle nevertheless and the owners, the Dixon-Spains, are selling lairdships as a way of helping with the restoration. As you can see from the photo left, this is an impressive ruin, and the photography on the site shows what this extraordinary building looked like before a fire gutted it.

This gives the whole concept of purchasing a lairdship a new twist. Other schemes make vague promises about conserving the environment, but this is much more focussed, and looks to restore both the grounds of the castle and the castle itself – there’s also an A listed bridge somewhere in there too. Not only are the aims of the project stated, but there’s a report on what has been achieved so far.

But that’s not all, with their more expensive packages Scottish Laird plants trees, offers personalised stationary, membership of the specially set up lairds’ website as well as international priority delivery by Fedex. It feels like every permutation has been considered.

We like the idea of community that the ScottishLaird project is creating, as the section ‘Progress at Dunans’ says,

“Everyone’s interest and support has been a real boost to this project. Visits and phonecalls from several of our new friends have been a real positive for us and helped us create a community of folk around a shared enjoyment of Dunans Castle and bridge.”

This might not be to everyone’s taste, after all many will like the idea of exclusivity in their new title, but for others, the idea of contributing to a project will be very welcome as will personal contact with the owners.

We also had a look at the Lairds’ site and intriguingly there’s a FaceBook project in the offing, they have theatre in the grounds and there’s an affiliate programme for Lairds and Ladies.

A photograph of the bridge leading to Dunans C...
Image via Wikipedia

It should be said that there are a couple of odd omissions on an otherwise comprehensive website, a pack shot and a photo of the lairds’ plots are both missing. The location of the lairds’ area is also missing, but it looks as if the graphic has fallen over rather than that it doesn’t exist. With these three items in place the Scottish Laird would be a rival for Lochaber Highland Estates, especially so if the laird package is as well designed as the website, but until the website carries these Scottish Laird deserves …

Editor’s Note 6th November 08: This website performed superbly in our email test and was awarded equal status with Lochaber on that basis.

OSF rating: 4.5 stars

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  1. Ranulf Bennet

    What I would like to know is whether one of these lairdships can be used to establish residency in Scotland/The U.K. for citizenship purposes and for opening a bank account in a U.K. bank. Has this been tested in the courts? Cheers, Ranulf

    Posted on 11-Jul-10 at 1:44 am | Permalink
  2. Charlilu

    Hiya, im going to buy one for my mum (she is half scot, as were both her parents, but we rib her about it … since she wasnt born or raised in Scotland, she is as english as the rest of us!) but i digress … there are one or two websites/forums that badmouth these schemes! i include a quote below.

    i know that these schemes are mostly for the benefit of conservation, but i want to know the exact entitlements before i buy!
    personally i hope it doesnt go to her head enough to legally register it or anything!


    ————-Scottish feudal titles are no longer tied to the land on which the original Crown Charter was based, and all transfers must be passed via the Lord Lyon.


    The first Scottish Executive was committed to abolishing the anachronism of the feudal system.On 28th November 2004 Scotland’s feudal system came to an end. On that day the Abolition of Feudal Tenure etc. (Scotland) Act 2000 came into full force and effect. Section 63(1) of the Act, preserves the dignity of Baron and the heraldic rights of barons. The abolition of the feudal system, then, has had no adverse effect on barony titles themselves, but the titles are now feudal heritage, that are, incorporeal hereditament, and not attached to the land.
    The transfer of the title must be agreed by the Lord Lyon – the Crown’s officer responsible for Scottish noble and peerage titles, and heraldry. The beneficiary must be armigerous, that is, entitled to arms – or be prepared to petition the Lord Lyon for a grant of arms. The prospective purchaser of a Scottish barony should seek specialist Scots legal advice______

    In any case a Lairdship is purely a local title afforded to the landowner by his tenants. The proper address for a Scotish feudal Baron would be:

    MacTavish of McTavish, or in somecases MacTavish of that Ilk
    MacTavish of Brennoch
    or more formerly
    MacTavish of Brennoch, 6th Baron of Brennoch——————

    Posted on 28-Aug-10 at 1:34 am | Permalink
  3. helen lenton

    Due to the generosity of a pen friend of 40years I have been granted an area of Scottish real estate.
    With my Scottish heritage (nee Macdonald)it makes me proud to be a lady of the estate raising funds to restore the Castle to its former glory.

    I will be interested to learn of the progress in the future.

    I am a widow,84yrs young,and a keen gardener. I conduct a Choir of 20 senior residents in the Retirement Village where I live.

    It has always been my dream to visit your country, but now the dream is fading.

    I wish you a succesful fund raising project. Good health and good fortune for 2012.. Helen

    Posted on 27-Dec-11 at 6:37 am | Permalink
  4. Admin

    Lovely to hear from you Helen and hope the Scottishlaird folks have looked after you?

    Posted on 09-Feb-12 at 10:56 am | Permalink
  5. Admin

    Thanks for this info. The laird and lady laird titles are informal …. Nothing more. All we’d recommend is looking at the conservation effort to see whether it is real or not. We think the big indicator is whether or not the business is owned by a company based in Scitland.

    Posted on 09-Feb-12 at 11:04 am | Permalink
  6. Admin

    The quick answer is no. This is an informal designation associated with the ownership of land. Any claim otherwise is not to be trusted.

    Posted on 09-Feb-12 at 11:06 am | Permalink

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  1. […] one square foot Lairds, Ladies, Lords and Titles in Scotland « Scottish Laird: Laird of Dunans Castle and Chaol Ghleann […]

  2. […] 1. Scottish Laird answered in 31 minutes. It’s evident that the owner Charles Dixon-Spain was at his computer when the email came in and he replied immediately. We like what he says, and he’s volunteered to meet Mitchell Warrington when and if he comes on site. This is big plus point as none of the other schemes offered this — looking at his address it is because he lives on site. It follows up what they say on their website, and frankly Mitchell can’t wait to go! The interesting thing here was his answer to (1): he doesn’t sidestep the issue the estate getting sold (and in fact he adds in the issue of when he dies). Apparently, there’s a Charitable Trust which will administer the ScottishLaird project once he’s gone. This is very reassuring and gives the project he is running a feeling of longevity and competence. Reviewed here. […]