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Jimmy Savile's Glen Coe getaway to be demolished

November 10 2023

Jimmy Savile's Glen Coe getaway to be demolished

A Highland holiday home once owned by disgraced television presenter Jimmy Savile is to be demolished under plans to start afresh and remove a source of blight on a major tourist attraction.

Allt-Na-Reigh near Ballachullish has been subjected to continued vandalism despite also being the home of mountaineer Hamish MacInnes at one point, prompting the decision to wipe the slate clean.

Citing the beauty and the beast tension between the dramatic landscape and the dark history of a former resident Frullani wrote: "This conflict between the location and the connection to one of the previous owners was highlighted when VisitScotland used an image of the property with the ‘Three Sisters of Glencoe’ in the background to promote the area, only to have to remove the image admitting it had been posted in error due to the negative reaction it received from the public."

In a bid to move on the current owners have commissioned a contemporary home that emphasises seclusion, building the house directly into an extended stone wall to give the appearance of a natural cliff face.

Principal living spaces stand apart to maximise views of the Three Sisters within a contemporary design of stone columns and a zinc roof. A more reserved bedroom wing takes a more traditional approach of white render and dark timber, with the space between both filled by a flat-roofed glazed structure.

Outhouses and workshops used by MacInnes to develop mountaineering equipment will be retained as ancillary accommodation. 


#1 Posted by Hmm on 10 Nov 2023 at 11:30 AM
Design looks interesting but good luck trying to pretend to be secluded as trucks roll and motorbikes whizz by meters away from your living and bedroom walls…
Gandalf the Grey
#2 Posted by Gandalf the Grey on 10 Nov 2023 at 12:37 PM
Yes, all the same, the views are incredible, and there is only a stone wall and some clerestory windows (probably triple glazed) facing the road, and they have played the levels to be higher than the old building and well above the reach of any crashing juggernaut. Looks a good effort, enhances the setting, pity the rear wing looks a bit ordinary.
#3 Posted by Ed on 10 Nov 2023 at 12:50 PM
Demolish completely and a small memorial to victims - the place has rather a history of that. Like Boleskine house, who needs another re-hashed Scottish blot on the landscape with bad associations.
Frank Turner
#4 Posted by Frank Turner on 10 Nov 2023 at 15:58 PM
It should have been demolished years ago. Total eyesore.
Nairn's Bairn
#5 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 10 Nov 2023 at 16:56 PM
Sigh. Do people have no respect for the locale these days? They couldn't simply build a new similarly-sized house that blended into the landscape could they? No, let’s try and stick another storey on it, and cap it off with a steep, shiny zinc roof. This is Glen Coe for goodness’ sake, get some Ballachulish slate on that.

The existing cottage is predominantly a single-storey Highland cottage with an unsympathetic extension. Due to lack of maintenance and the reputation of a previous owner, it has to go. But have a heart, this is one of the most beautiful spots in Scotland, do we really need a generic ‘contemporary’ box on it? At least take the first floor off.

It’s just not very Glen Coe.
Nairn's Bairn
#6 Posted by Nairn's Bairn on 10 Nov 2023 at 17:38 PM
PS I know traditional design is frowned upon and anywhere else yes, bring on the 'contemporary', but this is actually quite a selfish house. It’s "look at my house" rather than "look at Glen Coe".

The original cottage nestles down in that nook behind the outcrop to avoid the weather, cocooned in the landscape. This proposal jacks it up by a storey (presumably to 'get the view') so dominates the landscape rather than being subservient to it.

Given its history you'd think the last thing they wanted to do would be interfere with the surroundings.
#7 Posted by Lovely on 11 Nov 2023 at 19:31 PM
Before we even discuss the questionable aesthetics it is just plain odd that this is being rebuilt at all.
Showbiz Sam
#8 Posted by Showbiz Sam on 12 Nov 2023 at 07:47 AM
Agree with 7, the site should be returned to nature. That is the memorial. Surely this is a case of sui generis if ever there was one.
Agree with 5,6. If the owners really have to re-build (for no other reason than they legally can), the design as illustrated is a blight on what is one of Scotland's most precious landscapes.
#9 Posted by philip on 14 Nov 2023 at 16:22 PM
Has distinct road-side toilet/ cliched rural design feel about it...but who cares, there shouldn't be any building here.
Have some respect for the victims and the stunning and unique landscape...

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