‘Murder’ island is put up for sale for £325k

Little Ross Island
Little Ross Island

If you have always fancied owning your very own island hideaway, Little Ross Island, off the coast of the Stewartry, has just been put up for sale.

Little Ross certainly has a lot of history attached to it. In 1960 it hit the headlines after it was central to a murder case, when a lighthouse keeper was killed by a colleague there.

The 29-acre private island is currently owned by St Mary’s Isle Estate and has come on the open market at an asking price of £325,000.

Little Ross is still home to a working lighthouse tower which was designed and built by Alan Stevenson and first lit on 1 January 1843. The light, along with Buchan Ness and the Rhinns of Islay, was hailed by William Thomson (later Lord Kelvin) as being ‘undoubtedly the three best revolving lights in the world’.

The lighthouse was manned until the murder, but has been automated since 1961

The operational lighthouse tower and separate sighting tower are not included in the sale. They are still owned and managed by the Commissioner for Northern Lighthouses however, since automation in 1961 the lighthouse tower no longer requires fulltime staff with few discreet site visits made by the local harbour master throughout the year.

The sale includes the original six-bedroom lighthouse keeper’s cottage – last updated in the mid-1980s, the property and its services are in need of refurbishment.

There are also three B-listed ruinous barns, with development potential.

The island is only accessible by private boat or helicopter. There are sheltered moorings on the north and more modern slipway on the north-west of the island, both accessible at high tide, with a substantial marina in Kirkcudbright for longer term mooring.

David Corrie, Senior Associate at property consultants Galbraith, of Castle Douglas, said: “Back in the 1900’s, the island was home to the head lighthouse keeper, underkeeper and their families, extending to 16 people, with a small dairy and piggery to provide subsistence for this family community.

“With a bit of TLC, the properties on the island could be turned into something truly stunning, with the island once again being the perfect retreat for future generations to enjoy.

“Private islands rarely come up for sale at an affordable price and particularly one with a habitable house and additional properties. Given the exciting prospect Little Ross Island presents, we expect a lot of interest from all over the UK as well as abroad.”