Scottish Airbnb castle becomes 'mini-Glastonbury' as wild guests 'lob buckfast bottles and sing sectarian songs'

A LUXURY turreted castle rented out on Airbnb is being 'turned into a mini-Glastonbury Festival' by unruly guests - who have been accused of sectarian singing and lobbing Buckfast bottles.

Neighbours have called police 12 times to report bad behaviour from guests at Invergare Castle, in Rhu, near Helensburgh, Argyll and Bute.

The ten-bed mansion, built in Baronial style and dating from 1855, can be rented out on Airbnb for £1,750 a night.

The grand building was home to scandalous Victorian socialite Madeleine Smith, who went on trial accused of murdering her older lover by poisoning him with arsenic - and became the first person in Scotland to be let off on a 'not proven' verdict.

Invergare Castle, in Rhu, has been described as a 'mini-Glastonbury' due to unruly guests picture: Airbnb

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Despite neighbours claiming that stag and hen parties are causing chaos, Mr Gardner insisted he does not allow stag or hen parties to stay in the castle.

Outraged residents nearby have claimed previous guests have set out 'a very loud, Glastonbury-style outdoor sound system', and tossed bottles of tonic wine across the lawn.

Revellers have been seen scaling the parapets of the property and singing offensive sectarian songs, a meeting of Rhu and Shandon Community Council was told.

Images of inside Invergare Castle, in Rhu picture: Airbnb

"The antisocial behaviour extends to the climbing of parapets on the property, singing sectarian songs and the tossing of empty Buckfast bottles onto the lawns - all unsupervised as the owners spend quiet evenings at home. Their response is that guests will lose their deposit, which makes the enterprise even more profitable.

"The house is advertised as an Airbnb property and the owners offer it for rent for occasions like hen and stag parties.

"Our contention is that it is being run as a commercial business, not as an Airbnb, where the owners live in the property and rent it out. It is not unusual for them to have a very loud, Glastonbury-style outdoor sound system that can go on until 2am or 3am.

Images of inside luxury Invergare Castle, in Rhu picture: Airbnb

"Within the last year, we have called police on 12 separate occasions to try and quieten them down but it does not seem to do any good. The owners' response has been well short of what we feel a responsible owner should do."

"No loud music after 10pm. No external/third party speaker systems, guests may use the Sonos speaker system provided only."

Another neighbour, Mike Thornley, welcomed proposals from the Scottish Government to regulate Airbnb properties.

He said: "The new powers, if adopted by local authorities, should provide additional safeguards, particularly if licenses are revoked when conditions or standards are regularly breached.

"This would be a great improvement on what happens at present, where the owners of Invergare, living in Glasgow, are not able to ensure that the conditions they place on unsupervised guests are adhered to.

"Our own preference is for Invergare to be occupied by the owners as family houses, as has always been the case in the past, when total occupation since the 1970s has never exceeded more than ten persons - compared with 30 as now occurs."

He said: "As far as we are aware, there has not been any anti-social behaviour beyond guests talking on the patio late at night.

"The police were asked to attend and fed back to us there was nothing of concern. We do ask our guests to respect our neighbours, keep noise outside to a minimum after 10pm, and if we were aware of any anti-social behaviour we would want to resolve it as quickly as possible.

"It's important to note that we do not allow stag and hen parties as we prefer family gatherings. When we purchased Invergare it was a wreck and we have invested a huge amount of our own money restoring this important historic building sympathetically and to a high standard. The feedback we've had from guests on Invergare, the local area and the welcome they've received has been extraordinary."

A spokesman for Argyll and Bute Council said: "We are looking into the situation and an enforcement file has been opened."