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Case Studies > Drimnin Estate

Morvern Penninsula, Argyll


Case Study Drimnin Estate Morvern Penninsula, Argyll www.helpingithappen.co.uk
Case Study Drimnin Estate Drimin Estate is found at the tip of the little-known Morvern peninsula, with a fascinating history reflected in its buildings and ruins.

Challenged primarily by geography (it lies around an hour’s drive along mainly single-track roads from the Corran Ferry Crossing), the Lewis family have consistently innovated and invested in the estate, its infrastructure and the enterprises and livelihoods which it supports. The passion and drive of the family has seen a range of projects realised on the estate, some of which are typical of Highland estates such as the conversion of unused estate properties for holiday lets, but others which are more innovative and make not only a contribution to the rural economy, but also to the cultural heritage of the local area.

This is most ably illustrated by the 4-year restoration of St Columba's Chapel, which lies on the shores of the Sound of Mull. The estate restored the chapel to its original form in 2008-12, with the addition of important modern conveniences such as electricity and heating. This included repairs to the stonework, a new slate roof, and the replacement of the stone render with traditional Scottish lime harling.

A second-hand bell, cast in London in 1862, was installed to replace the one removed when the Chapel was taken out of use during WW2. The restoration was completed in 2012 with funds raised by St.Columba's Drimnin Trust, and the chapel hosted its first wedding in 128 years, in September 2010.

In recent years, the Estate has undergone extensive restoration. Achleanan, the old lodge, and the former housekeeper's residence have been brought back into use as dwellings for holiday lets. The Hermitage, Ach na Criche, The Mains (home farm), the boat house and Drimnin House have been restored; cattle farming has been expanded; new woodlands have been planted and conservation of the ancient woodlands continued.

Today the Estate is a busy farm, offering stalking, fishing, cycling and hiking activities, has a growing variety of holiday accommodation, is home to a resident wildlife and landscape artist, and can host weddings and musical events in the recently restored chapel.

The latest addition to the estate, a new small distillery for single malt Scotch whisky, was completed in March 2017, and now occupies the historic farm buildings adjacent to Drimnin House, producing a premium single malt using renewable energy from wood chip harvested in the Estate forests and creating high quality employment opportunities for local residents.

Not content to sit back and take satisfaction from what has been achieved in the past 15 years, the estate also hopes to generate renewable electricity as well as heat through a run-of-the-river hydro scheme in the upper reaches of the Mungosdail River.
Scottish Land & Estates
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