Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages



At Ailsa Craig Island

Derelict Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages For Sale


Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages.

Photo Copyright 2002 Argyll Group plc

Lighthouse Compound. Owner: Mr Mukhtar Singh Sandhu

Price Paid – 6th February 2001: £85,000

First Endeavour Auction Guide – 13th June 2018: £175,000 (here).

Failed to sell at June auction. Now guided at £165,000 for 31st July 2018 (here). 

As of June 2018, the lighthouse keepers’ accommodation on Ailsa Craig Island has come back up for sale. This should be a good thing as the present owner, Mr Sandhu has (along with several people who have contacted this website with concerns) seen the buildings deteriorate significantly since he bought them on 6th February 2001…

Ailsa Craig Former Keepers’ Cottages. GRIM STATE. Photo Taken In 2017

More Alcatraz Than Ailsa Craig

It is now high time the former lighthouse keepers’ homes were renovated before South Ayrshire Council and/or the Northern Lighthouse Board start considering a Compulsory Purchase Order.


Mr Sandhu has chosen Future Property Auctions to sell the lighthouse compound. There is no getting around the fact that this particular auction house has an unfavourable “reputation”.

Given the plethora of complaints that have arisen about the auction house in question, we would NOT buy Ailsa Craig Island through them. We recommend our readers to exercise caution – and also read the full narrative on this page before sticking your hand in the air at the auction venue.

Buyers should also read ALL the available online reviews about sending ANY money to this auction house before engaging in an effort to bid/buy Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Station. Particularly where buyers have lost their deposits. Can you afford to lose £19,500 if the seller fails to prove good title? Below is evidence that good title for what the auctioneers mark as being available for sale may not be possible.

Trustpilot give Future Property Auctions 3 stars out of 5 (60% satisfied), with some adverse experiences quoted…

Click Here To Read Some Poor Experiences From FPA Customers


To Bid Or Not To Bid? Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Cottages.

Photo of Ailsa Craig. Please Note, The Island Is NOT For Sale

It is only the old keepers’ cottages that are being sold at this time. Here is another problem with Future Property Auctions. This is a photograph from their website. It describes what they say they are selling. It is WRONG. Spectacularly so…

Future Property Auctions Have Published A Highly Misleading Title Boundary.

Neither Future Property Auctions (FPA), nor Mukhtar Sandhu have any right to sell the Engine House, nor any related buildings that are still OWNED by the Northern Lighthouse Board.

Here is what the Northern Lighthouse Board retain and own…

In essence, we have red lined what Future Property Auctions have misdescribed as being included in their sale. Please be cautious as you may well be in for a nasty surprise if you send Future Property Auctions your £17,500 deposit + £2,000 auction stiff-you fee in order that they then “allow” you to make an offer.

Future Property Auctions have a disturbing system whereby you are not allowed to make an offer without first paying/being liable for 10%. They take your credit/debit card and security code. Then suck 10% out of your account.

As with many other buyers, we chose NOT to do business this way. Far better to negotiate first, then at the point when a price has been agreed in principal, might a deposit be paid.

As to the buildings Future Property Auctions are trying to flog, but their client doesn’t own! It is easy to demarcate between what the Northern Lighthouse Board and Mukhtar Sandhu own. The former are in high grade condition with a very bright, fresh and specialised paint coating. Mr Sandhu’s part are the derelict buildings, way behind the tower.

Spot the difference…

A Very Sad & Derelict Lighthouse Building

Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Building For Aucton (Right Hand Side): Open + Insecure

Parts Have Been Vandalised Though Years of Neglect

Spot The Difference? Left Side Sad & Derelict. Right Side Pristine.

This is much more accurate and is what FPA SHOULD have red lined for buyers/bidders in their efforts.


Renovations of The Derelict Buildings

We estimate minimum £400,000 to renovate the derelict property.

This is in addition to the £175,000 purchase price.

The right hand side of this compound is NOT for sale contrary to FPA picture advertised on their website (excerpt reproduced above).

The Northern Lighthouse Board own approximately half of this compound and their part is extremely well maintained. We know, the NLB/TRAC team that work on our lighthouse buildings; they are the very same team who recently overhauled and repainted the GLA Ailsa Craig Lighthouse Tower and Engine House. These guys eye-witnessed the appalling state of the island’s former keepers’ houses.

The Front Part Is Still Owned By The Northern Lighthouse Board


Setting aside the legally serious misdescription and misleading content of Future Property Auctions in their online brochure, we return to a particularly relevant issue: the auctioneers battered and tattered reputation. Also, given FPA propensity to try and flog buildings they do not own, you may be in line to lose tens of thousands of pounds when the title defect/material misdescription becomes apparent, AFTER you have paid a whacking great non-refundable deposit.

On reading many reviews about Future Property Auctions, when you bid to buy the lighthouse keepers’ buildings and FPA/Mr Sandhu cannot supply a valid title for the Engine House etc., (as they don’t own it), don’t expect to get your £19,500 deposit back without a major fight. Read the experiences of several others who have been left (allegedly) out of pocket by Future Property Auctions.

We do NOT recommend anyone takes a risk with bidding on Ailsa Craig Island Lighthouse Compound until the auctioneer sorts out their dreadful reputation across so many customer-satisfaction-review websites. Also, as we owned the buildings on Ailsa Craig prior to Mr Mukhtar Sandhu, we will give our readers the same advice he got 17 years ago prior to buying…

The Ailsa Craig lighthouse buildings will require a special skillset to get the builders and materials onto the island. The pier needs work (neglect over 17 years means likely rebuilding of the pier) and the whole lighthouse keepers’ property project will cost between £400,000 and £750,000 to renovate and complete (in today’s money and dependent upon completed specification). 

We do not present this £400,000 renovation figure lightly. The subscribers of this website have owned FIVE lighthouse compounds and bought/negotiated 6 more for friends/colleagues in recent years. During the past 35 years this figure covers a significant percentage of the entire GLA lighthouse stock. From hard won experience, we know a thing or two about lighthouse renovation costs. Direct and indirect. The latter for example may impact a small fortune on the eventual owner’s budget…

Indirect costs as a case in hand at Ailsa Craig include rebuilding the old pier. This is the ONLY practical way of landing building materials onto the island and removing builder detritus…

Ailsa Craig Island Pier. De Facto Danger As Per Sign.

Two problems with the old pier…

1] It needs replacing or major repairs.

2] It is exceedingly difficult to land items and nigh impossible to berth a boat at this pier for a full day or two as there is virtually NO shelter from weather. Even the calm tides can present 6 foot rolling swells which make in incredibly challenging to bring cargo across.

So it isn’t just the cost of renovation + materials + labour that will dent all but the most handsome bank balance. Actually landing your team + tools + building materials needs factoring into a project manager’s budget.


Still Unhappy At The Choice of Auctioneer?

We return to the auctioneer’s public-domain reputation as this worries us profoundly. We have concerns that someone will bid on this property without knowing the additional pitfalls that previous FPA customers have fallen into.

It isn’t just one auction/estate-agency review website and one rogue review from an unhappy FPA customer. Following on from “Trustpilot” mentioned a few paragraphs ago, we also  have “All-The-Agents” trust and reference service. This gives Future Property Auctions 2.7 out of 5. A measly 54% of FPA customers are happy with the service…

Click Here To Read Some More Howlers From FPA Customers 

The most worrisome complaint is Future Property Auction’s tactic of demanding a hefty deposit + auction fee upfront before they will even entertain an offer. This may be ultra vires in that estate agents and auctioneers are duty bound to present offers wherever and however they come in. This isn’t an isolated problem as Craig Gibson narrates…

The list goes on and on. There is even a debate in the Daily Mirror newspaper:-

Future Property Auctions Sell A Condemned Flat: Click Here.

When it gets to the stage of featuring an auctioneer in the national press – and you are considering sending that self same auctioneer in question £17,500 deposit + £2,000 of your hard earnt cash – in fees upfront just to allow you to submit an offer on some derelict lighthouses – whilst the auctioneer is subject to serious allegations in major newspapers relating to their conduct; all on a “chance” you might get a good title, you are in a very risky place indeed.

So, dear reader of Lighthouses For Sale & Rent – what to make of this unfortunate situation?

Our considered view is to give this Ailsa Craig lot a wide berth. For now anyways. We recommend you do NOT bid, and certainly take nothing to do with Future Property Auctions whilst they operate the dubious grab-a-deposit-before-you-bid policy.

Not just because the bona fides of this auction house are a tad compromised with many unhappy FPA customers taking to the internet to vent their anger, but there is also a question mark over renovation costs. Plus dubiety of a valid title when the auctioneer misdescribes what is for sale to such a reckless degree as to include buildings owned by the Northern Lighthouse Board that are NOT for sale and NOT owned by their client/vendor.



After all of the above, if you would still like to study the Future Property Auction brochure…

Click Here For Ailsa Craig Derelict Lighthouse Cottages

Former Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages, Ailsa Craig Island, South Ayrshire, KA26 9DF.

Ailsa Craig Island: Location (c) Google Maps

We went to considerable effort to obtain a quote from Future Property Auctions to clarify the title deeds/deposit issues, in order to balance the narrative on this page and give Future Property Auction a right of reply.

No reply has been forthcoming.

One of our volunteers even tried submitting a nominal offer to Future Property Auctions for the Ailsa Craig property as he thought “surely they would reply to an offer”.

Several days later we are still waiting for a reply. It seems not even a written offer will extract a reply from Future Property Auctions (our volunteer was evacuating his bowels a little at the prospect he might accidentally buy this lot).

A couple of years ago, on an entirely different property under review, the subscribers of this website did managed to eventually get through to someone at Future Property Auctions. They were asked about their poor reviews on the internet. FPA just didn’t seem to think it matters that much. A shame as one thing positive about Future Property Auctions is they do have a very large selection of properties. It seems a shame that they can manage to secure a lot of buildings in their sales, but the systemic problems with taking money off people before an offer can be made and a lacklustre approach to accurate property descriptions is letting them down badly.


Access To Ailsa Craig Island

If you are determined to travel across and view the derelict lighthouse buildings, there is a small passenger boat service…

Mark McCrindle – Ailsa Craig Island Ferryman 



Ailsa Craig Island – In Better Times

Olden Days Narrative

Archived For Reference

It is important to note that there are currently THREE elements to Ailsa Craig – each being owned by different people/organisations…

1] The Island, & Miscellaneous Buildings (Click Here For New Owner).

2] The Lighthouse Keepers’ Cottages.

3] The Lighthouse Tower & Engine Room.

As the former owner of one of these parts of Ailsa Craig Island, we would recommend anyone with an interest – stakeholders, island visitors, prospective bidders, would be lighthouse building owners etc., revisit this page and the two other Ailsa Craig pages during the course of 2018/2019. All three pages relating to Ailsa Craig will be regularly reviewed. Plus a lot of new, and pertinent information made available.

Very best regards,


Lighthouses For Sale or Rent Team


Lighthouses For Sale – Contact Page – Click Here