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The ‘ghost village’ of Polphail

17 May 2017 | Part of the Lost Scotland series

Built for an oil boom that never arrived, the purpose-built settlement of Polphail on the Cowal Peninsula cuts an eerie figure. Never occupied, the village has become a canvas for artists and graffiti writers. The site was bought for redevelopment in 2012, meaning that the ’ghost village’ will soon be no more.

The discovery of North Sea oil promised a prosperous future for Scotland.

As rigs began to appear off the north east coast of Scotland, similar attempts were made off in Argyll and Bute.

Polphail’s natural, sheltered harbour combined with available land made it a natural choice.

With a golden future to look forward to, housing for 500 workers was built.

However, significant issues with the drilling platforms available at the time meant that Polphail's days as a Scottish Klondike failed to materialise.

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