Feed on

I think a word of warning is necessary before you read this article because it’s not going to leave you any happier, in fact I think when you’re done reading you are probably just as upset as I am. Why, you might wonder? What can be so terrible on this Jura Blog to upset you. After all, the Island is a wee bit of heaven, its inhabitants are friendly, the landscape is breathtaking, it’s quiet, there are beautiful unspoilt beaches, thousands of red deer live here, George Orwell wrote his book, the island produces superb malt whiskies and Golden Eagles frequent the skies…. What in heaven’s name can be wrong?

Well, one of the problems on Jura is the garden. As you probably know Jura House Garden was an important asset for Jura and it was highly appreciated by its many annual visitors. You noticed the word was… well that’s the problem, it was an important asset and the way things look now the temporary closure seems to become a permanent one, all orchestrated, I assume, by the new owner Mr. Greg Coffey who by the way has only visited his property twice since he bought it in November 2010.

The first signal I received about a permanent closure was an alarming picture of the welcome sign of the garden which stood proudly besides the only road on the island near the entrance. That very welcome sign ended up last November in the annual Jura Bonfire at the hotel on Nov 5th (first picture). Now that was not a good sign (excuse the pun) but there is more bad news.

Recently I received information from someone, who likes to stay anonymous, that the word on the island is that the gardens will now remain permanently closed. No announcement has been made, but the sources are reliable. Also, the signs on the road outside the gardens have all been removed, and the gate to the path through the woods leading to the garden has been removed and a new stone wall has been built (see picture).

Needless to say that this is a terrible blow for the island. On the one hand many people are doing so much to try and attract people to Jura and on the other hand a major tourist attraction has been shut down which will have a bad effect on the already fragile island economy. Please leave your (constructive) comments, possible suggestions for the future and good memories of the beautiful gardens below.

5 Responses to “The Sad Story of Jura House Garden”

  1. Jenny says:

    That is really sad news. I visited 11 years ago & I have very fond memories of the flower meadow & a superb piece of Victoria sponge.
    How sad that the owner doesn’t see to understand the impact it will have on the community. I will keep my fingers crossed that he reconsiders.

  2. Am very sad to hear this.
    Nearly every visitor to the island passes the garden and will probably visit it either way to or from the ferry.
    I have purchased many exotic seeds there which flourish in the Cumbrian climate and taken many fantastic photographs of the garden.
    I too hope the new owner can find a suitable compromise and realise the folly of his decision

  3. Ian Welsh says:

    This seems very short-sighted on the part of the owner of Jura House, and very sad that he has not taken on the traditional responsibilities of ownership.

    My family and I have been visiting the gardens at Jura House for over 20 years, and they have always been an essential part of a visit to the island.

    Hopefully he will reconsider when he reflects on the negative impact this decision will have on the other tourist-dependant businesses on the island.

  4. Dave says:

    I may be wrong (hope so) but I fear the hopes that Mr Coffey might reconsider his decision are likely to be in vain. Having initially stated that he would re-open the gardens this year, he has now changed his mind. Which seems to be quite a considered decision.

    So why has he changed his mind? Is it to protect his privacy? Hardly – he’s so busy making money that so far he has only found time to visit his property twice! I can only assume that he’s simply waving two fingers at the protesters. Not that Jura’s residents have been complaining – they have been admirably restrained about it, publicly at least.

    It is indeed a sad story :-(

  5. Daibhidh says:

    I think you’ll find that stopping up the gate in the wall and preventing access to the non-curtilage sections of the gardens is illegal under the Land Reform (Scotland) Act…if you’ve got concerns, contact Argyll & Bute Council’s Access Officer. It may be that if he’s forcedto allow access into certain sections of the gardens, he’ll see the sense in opening it all up……