Dunans Rising is Registered!

We’re delighted to announce that our tartan, Dunans Rising, is registered with the Register of tartans, here.

As the tartan is meant for ” … only for the use of those who have aided the restoration of Dunans Castle … ” all Lairds and Ladies qualify.

In celebration we have changed the background of this site to the tartan!


Tours have started …

and we have already welcomed some wonderful folks to Dunans. Lairds and Ladies from Finland, Denmark, the US and Australia (among many other countries) have taken their free tour, and brought lots of their friends too. Stand-out among them all was Laird Jesper, a gentleman I was privileged to take on a tour mid-April. Laird Jesper’s parents brought him along, and I had a lovely time introducing him to his plot on the Lairds’ Island.

The Big Clearance

We’ve just posted the complete photosets of two days of tree clearance by Tim Stobart on the Lairds’ and Ladies’ website. The work was funded by the ScottishLaird.com Project and will ensure that the paths are opened this year.

Here’s a taster of four of the photos of Tim’s work:

Dunans goes Amber!

We’re delighted to announce that we have recently moved onto the second stage of our application to SRDP by having our Statement of Intent given an amber rating. This means that we can proceed to a full application to the fund for our project.

The funding will help us clear and consolidate the castle ready to earn its keep and fund the ongoing restoration. We’ll be upgrading drive and parking as well as the paths around the grounds. We’re thrilled with this step forward, and with the capacity that the Scottish Laird project provides we’ll be able to submit the full application in the next three months.

There’s much more information on our website for Lairds and Ladies, although you have to be a member of the scheme to access it!


The Elements have Created Havoc at Dunans!

We’ve had wind and we’ve had rain. Both have created havoc with the grounds, toppling trees, eroding the drive and swamping lawn and field alike. So, the first order of business this year for the Lairds’ project is to remedy these.

At the end of February Tim Stobart is going to spend three days dealing with the fallen trees and mashed boardwalk. Here’s a video of some of the damage:


and as for the huge amounts of rainwater run off, well, that will mean hiring a minidigger and spending some days creating drainage dykes and runoffs (work that I really enjoy)!


Some improvements on LairdofDunansCastle.com

As you’ll know if you have been keeping pace with us over the last few months, we don’t hang around at Dunans Castle, and today I am glad to announce some improvements to the LairdofDunansCastle.com website.

First is that we have changed the registration system for new lairds and ladies. Why? Well, because we were having problems with the accounts and wanted to place the ability to register entirely in the hands of our new entitled. Instead of having a username and password allocated to you, you can choose your own. Once you register we ensure your details are correct and then approve the registration. Much better all around I think you will agree.

Second we have made registration of emails of the type yourname@lairdofdunanscastle.com and yourname@ladyofdunanscastle.com automatic. Simply login and click on ‘Email for Lairds’ or ‘Email for Ladies’ and follow the onscreen instructions.

Finally, we have rejigged the menu system on the website to ensure that only those who are logged in see the various members’-only pages.

And we haven’t finished yet.We still have to style the email element of the job, and there’s a further even more ambitious update in the pipeline.

All a sweetly twitter my Laird!

Well, given that we are using a state-of-the-art blogging system, and that we keep our website updated on a regular basis, it seemed natural to tweet as well. The micro-blogging service is an excellent way of updating friends as well as colleagues. You can find Charles’ tweet at Twitter.com/DixonSpain and news of Argyll, the location of ScottishLaird’s scheme, at Twitter.com/ForArgyll.

Additionally, Charles’ tweets carry news from the Dunans Charitable Trust and summaries of the latest over at LairdofDunansCastle.com.

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Our First Six Months

The Scottish Laird project has now been running for over six months and in that time we have had a lot of fun getting to know our new Lairds and Ladies of Dunans Castle and of Chaol Ghleann. 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 first period has been one of consolidation and partnership. The purchase of so many titles has enabled work to move on with a couple of projects in the grounds which were faltering. Paths down into the ravine, funded by the Scottish Forestry, have with the help of our lairds and ladies, been consolidated and by the end of the autumn will have been extended and improved greatly.

We have also been able to set up an extensive tree-planting operation above and beyond that which is directly funded by each laird, and we hope by the end of the year to have planted significant replacement trees for ones that have been felled or have died off.

Most excitingly we are now able to go ahead with a feasibility pilot on a method for clearing the castle proper. Using wood won on site, and know-how developed through the renovation of Dunans House, we plan to create a mini-project of Grant’s Cottage. This area of around 5m by 3m and three stories high will be the prototype for an innovative low-impact clearing method in which we construct a series of heavy-duty wooden structures within the existing stone structure. These structures will provide safe areas to clear from, platforms to work on, and eventually give us access to the wall tops, enabling very necessary wall-capping. The idea is that when complete these boxes will make the entirety of the castle a safe place to work in and on without the concomitant spend on scaffolding hire or purchase which often goes with the massive building renovation schemes.