THE US firm developing Taymouth Castle into an exclusive resort is facing questions after a listed monument on the grounds of the estate was smashed.

“The Monument”, a stone urn thought to date from the 1700s, was photographed in pieces in an image obtained by the Protect Loch Tay (PLT) campaign group and dated October 2022.

A second image, dated July 2022, shows the urn intact. It is unclear exactly when the damage happened.

The National:

Historic Environment Scotland has the urn as a grade-B listed monument.

Its website states: “The Monument, listed category B, is an urn on a square pedestal and is thought to date from the 18th century. It is marked on the 1st edition OS of 1862.”

An Ordnance Survey map on the National Libraries of Scotland website (below), surveyed in 1862 and first printed in 1867, shows the “monument” just south of the River Tay, north of the dairy on the Taymouth Castle estate.

The National:

Discovery Land Company (DLC) – the firm behind the renovation of Taymouth Castle and various other local properties into a resort aimed at the mega-rich – did not respond to The National’s requests for comment.

Perth and Kinross Council (PKC) said it was aware of the damage to the monument, and that DLC had “indicated that the listed structure was subject to suspected vandalism”.

DLC did not respond to requests for details about when the “suspected vandalism” was noticed or if it was reported to the police.

Police Scotland said they could not check their system for a report of vandalism without knowing more specifics about the dates.

HES said it had “recently” been made aware of the damage, but that any investigation was primarily for the council.

READ MORE: Taymouth Castle developers in breach of planning rules, satellite images reveal

Perth and Kinross Heritage Trust, a charity which conserves the region’s historic environment, confirmed the damage to the urn had not been reported to them.

The trust added: “We are content that the matter is being dealt with by HES and conservation and planning officers at PKC through the planning process.”

A spokesperson from the Protect Loch Tay group said: “The damage to this historic artefact is so very disappointing. We have been informed that DLC believe it may have been vandalised. If this is the case, it is very disturbing in a small community where crimes of this nature are virtually unheard of.

“What is more surprising, is that even with DLC’s high levels of security, they were unable to protect this historic monument.

“When were DLC first aware of this destruction? Why do they suspect vandalism? Did they immediately report it to the police, considering it to be a serious crime? If they did so, when was it reported? Do they have CCTV footage of what took place?

“If DLC were sincere in previous statements about protecting the castle and grounds and how much Scotland's heritage means to them, they must make it a priority to find out what took place and provide answers to the above questions.”

READ MORE: 'Complete shock': Taymouth Castle developers acquire more land in Perthshire

A PKC spokesperson said: “The planning authority is aware of the damage to ‘The Monument’. The developer indicated that the listed structure was subject to suspected vandalism and had to be removed from the site to enable repairs. It is currently safely stored in a container on the site pending survey and repair works.

“Perth and Kinross Council remains in dialogue with the developer’s agent regarding this to ensure all correct permissions are in place for this.”

A spokesperson for HES said: “We recently received reports of this incident, and have ensured the relevant planning officers in Perth and Kinross Council are aware.

“We understand they are assessing the situation, as unauthorised works to a listed structure are primarily investigated by the planning authority while we are on hand to advise.”

The National: Taymouth Castle on the banks of Loch Tay is owned by Discovery Land Company (DLC)

The news comes after The National reported that DLC has breached planning rules in its Taymouth Castle development.

Satellite images showed that work on a “foul water treatment plant” with drainage into the River Tay had begun – despite concerns being raised by the Scottish Government’s environment agency, NatureScot, and no permission having yet been granted.

DLC currently owns Taymouth Castle estate, the neighbouring Glenlyon Estate, Moness Resort, Kenmore Hotel, Kenmore post office and shop, Taymouth Trading, Brae Cottages, Am Fasgadh and Gatehouse, Paper Boat, Police House, and the Boathouse cottages, among other properties.

They also operate some 35 other exclusive resorts across the world, where law breaches have been reported and deep concerns raised about the environmental impact.