Rocky island finds new owner

Insh Island and its cave. Photograph: Tony Hardley.

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Romantics from as far as America and across Europe have been vying to become the new owner of a tiny uninhabited island off Oban.

Insh island, one of the Slate islands and just 15 acres of rough grassland and emptiness, is now under offer.

It remains to be seen whether the late owner’s wish that it should ‘stay untouched as nature intended’ is fulfilled.

The island, in the Firth of Lorne estuary close to Seil, Easdale and Luing, went on the market for £125,000 and Dawsons estate agents in Oban was inundated with enquiries.

The closing date for offers was on October 15 and the bids have now been handed over to the seller’s solicitor.

There are no services on it, only the ruins of two croft cottages as well as a cave, which according to free encyclopedia Wikipedia previous private owner David Brearley lived in at the north end between 1973 and 2003.

Estate agent Neil Fraser, who described it as ‘a rocky outcrop with nothing on it’ said there was just so many enquiries that the office was inundated.

‘Everyone has a romantic notion about owning their own island. What the new owner will do with Insh, no one knows yet. We didn’t make any planning enquiries because it was the late owner’s wish that it should remain untouched as nature intended.’

Back on the mainland, two-bedroom flats in Oban are asking for offers of more  than £100,000 with a one third of an acre plot of land overlooking Glencruitten Golf Course bearing a guided price tag of £99,500.

Earlier this year another of Argyll’s islands went up for sale, asking £1.4 million and soon sold.

Tales of smugglers and violent Vikings associated with Inchmarnock,  just off the west coast near the island of Bute,  roused lots of interest too. It was also used as a D-day training ground and in the 1960s the remains of a bronze age woman was found. The Queen of the Inch was found in a stone cist wearing a black lignite necklace and carrying a flint dagger.