THE remote Scottish island that inspired cult horror movie The Wicker Man has had more than half a million pounds knocked off its asking price.
Three years ago the tiny 1.2 square mile isle of Tanera Mòr in the Inner Hebrides was put on the market for a staggering £2.6m.
The island is widely acknowledged as the inspiration for the setting of the 1973 film which saw Edward Woodward playing a mainland cop – who arrives on a backwards island to investigate a missing child.
But the its cinematic ties do not seem to have enticed any star-struck buyers – and now estate agents have been forced to drop the asking price down to £1.95m.
They have also made it available to divide into three separate lots, in a bid to make it more attractive to buyers.
The Wicker Man was in fact shot in Dumfries and Galloway, but it is set on the fictional island of “Summerisle”.
The fictional island is widely assumed to be based on Tanera Mòr – given their shared size and location off Scotland’s west coast.
Tanera Mòr is also the largest island in a group known as the Summer Isles – and is the only one which has been inhabited by humans.
As such cinephiles have widely agreed that Tanera Mòr is the inspiration behind the thriller movie, which also stars Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland.
The movie sees Edward Woodward arrive on the island to investigate a missing child, but he gradually becomes embroiled in a deeper mystery over the island’s cultish behaviour and habit for human sacrifice.
The movie has been generally regarded as a classic since its release – and in 2008 it was voted as number nine in Britain’s top ten horror movies of all time.
It also inspired an extremely questionable 2006 remake starring Nicolas Cage.
But the real-life 1.2 mile wide by 1.6 mile long island has a somewhat less disturbing history.
In 1881 it had just 118 residents, but as of 2014 the last inhabitants and owners of the island moved to the mainland.
The population of the island still swells in the summer, self-catering holiday homes open, as well as a post office, cafe and sailing school.
Around 5,000 still visit the island every year to enjoy the staggering views from its sprawling coastline.
It’s sale description reads: “Tanera Mòr has a coastline of approximately seven miles encompassing numerous cliffs, coves and beaches; innumerable perfect picnic spots interspersed with fresh water lochans; and wonderful waters in which to swim, sail and fish.”
The island was originally put up for sale in 2013 – but it has yet to attract any buyers since – and now it is available for the knock-off price of £1.95m.
It was originally offered to a local community buy-out organisation, but they can still not afford the steep asking price or the resources needed to manage it.
Iain Muir – chairman of the local Coigach Community Development Company – said: “It’s a little bit of a difficult sale.
“Living on it is challenging, because of the weather. It’s typical west coast weather – mild, wet and windy.
But, he said:“It is a fantastic place with spectacular scenery and light.
“We hope that someone who will buy the island will come and live here. We’d rather it didn’t become a holiday estate.”
John Bound – partner at CKD Galbraith, who are managing the island’s sale – said: “Buying an island like that is, I think, to a large extent a lifestyle choice.
“And there is always a bit of luck needed with selling properties like these, that there is someone out there who has sold a business, or changing their lifestyle and fancies a change.”