Lismore family prepares to sell home after 1,500 years
IT IS claimed to be Britain’s oldest aristocratic title and church office – older than the Archbishop of Canterbury, dating back to a Celtic saint who founded a monastery on the Isle of Lismore in the Dark Ages – and the only title, besides the Queen’s, granted ‘ by the grace of God’.
Now one chapter in the 1,500- year history of the Baron of Bachuil and ‘heir’ or Coarb of St Moluag is closing, as another may be beginning.
Niall Livingstone of Bachuil, chief of ‘Argyll’s oldest clan’ Livingstone/ Mclean and Hereditable Keeper of the Pictish saint’s Great Staff or Bachuil Mor, is leaving his ancestral seat of Bachuil House on lands owned by his family since the sixth century – and he hopes to sell it as part of a community buy- out as an island hub.
The 63-year- old Abbot of Lismore said: ‘ It is a very hard decision after 1,500 years.
‘ If this dream can be realised, I think it could be the best thing to happen to the island since the arrival of St Moluag in 562.’
The Baron, who runs Bachuil Country House as an AA four- star guesthouse with his wife Baroness Anita, put the grade-B Victorian seat, plus barn, shed, garage, garden and nearby Hawthorn House on the market for a guide price of £910,000, but then withdrew them to give Lismore Community Trust time to investigate the possibility of launching a buy- out.
Trust chairman Sebastian Tombs said its annual general meeting at Lismore Public Hall endorsed an exploration of the opportunities.
Niall Livingstone of Bachuil with the Great Staff of St Moluag.