Laurieston Hall Housing Co-operative Ltd.

Castle Douglas, Scotland, United Kingdom

  • Last updated: January 4, 2016 (1 year ago)
  • Listing created on: December 31, 1999

Mission Statement


Community Description

This co-operative of around 18 people adults is now embarking on its fifth decade. We live in and around a huge Edwardian main house, with its walled garden, stables and cottages, surrounded by 135 acres of beautiful woods, pastures and marshland which stretch to a loch in the north. Trees we planted are now being coppiced. Living spaces use wood for heating and cooking. A hydro supplies much of our electricity.

In 2016 from Easter to October we run a programme of events (music, self-help, creative, gay, etc.), called The People Centre, which brings up to 70 extra people a week. We grow as much fruit and vegetables as we can, keep cows, pigs, hens and bees, and do most of our own maintenance. All of us pay a large portion of our rent in unwaged labour for the co-op. This means ideally spending about two and a half days a week doing what we call “workshare”.

Issues that affect everybody come to a weekly co-op meeting in which decisions are made by consensus. Co-operation is our common ideology; under that umbrella we lean this way and that, are generally better at dealing with tomorrow than next year, are supportive of each other as individuals as well as co-op members… and we try to have a good time!

There are several ways of visiting us. You can book on a People Centre event; you can come on a Maintenance Week, (there are only three per year, so book early to avoid disappointment!).

Information and booking on either is via the newsletter – see below if you would like an e-copy.

You can also come as a working visitor. For a maximum of two weeks the first time, but longer once we know you. If you’re interested, email us at [email protected]

For any other enquiries, or for an e-copy of our newsletter (which comes out in early January), please email [email protected]

We are not actively seeking new members, but are not closed to them either. Joining this community can be a long process.

  • Status: Established (At least 4+ adults, 2+ years)
  • Started Planning: 1972
  • Start Living Together: 1972
  • Visitors accepted: Yes, rarely
  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Please read the details in Membership below before contacting this community. Send Message
  • Contact Name: LHHC
  • Community Address:
    Laurieston Hall
    Castle Douglas, Scotland, DG7-2NB
    United Kingdom
  • Location


  • Type(s): Ecovillage (organized around ecology and sustainability), Cohousing (individual homes within group owned property), Shared Housing, Cohouseholding, or Coliving (multiple individuals sharing a dwelling)
  • Location: Rural


  • Status: We have land we have developed on
  • Area: 135 acres
  • Current Residence Types: Single-family homes, Room(s) in a house or building, Tiny house
  • Housing Provided: Included in Membership
  • Land owned by: The entire community membership


  • Adult Members: 18
  • Percent Women: 41-49%
  • Percent Men: 51-60%
  • Percent Transgender: 0%
  • Visitors accepted: Yes, rarely
  • Visitor Process:

    Write a bit about yourself. Write to us giving your preferred dates, and preferred length of stay – usually one week to three months. Be prepared to contribute labour, and money. You are likely to be kitchen-sharing. Please give us a couple of months notice.

  • Open to new Members: Yes
  • Membership Process:

    Writing in winter 2016, we’re not currently prepared for new members. Application for membership usually follows several visits, and then a long stay visit of several months, after which a joining period may be requested. Joining periods are usually 3- 6 months long, and prospectives members are expected to participate as fully as possible in the life of the community. At least half the community must agree to the joining period, and the applicant is assigned two residents acting as”guardian angels” to oversee the process.


  • Decision Making: Consensus (everyone agrees)
  • Identified Leader: No
  • Leadership Core Group: No


  • Join Fee: $3
  • Dues, Fees, or Shared Expenses: Yes
  • Regular Fee per Month: $70
  • Shared Income: None
  • Required Labor Contribution per Week: 22
  • Additional Comments:

    monthly rent

Sustainability Practices

  • Energy Infrastructure: We use both systems.
  • Current renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Energy sources: Solar, Hydro-Electric, Biomass
  • Planned renewable energy generation: Almost All, around 90%
  • Current food produced: From 50-75%
  • Planned food produced: Almost All, around 90%
  • Food produced locally: Up to 25%


  • Common Facilities: Common House, Garden(s), Greenhouse(s), Vehicle Share, Library, Workshop, Outbuilding(s), Swimming pond or pool, Large Scale Kitchen, Tractor & Farm Equipment, Stage or Auditorium, Fire pit, Swingsets & play areas, Waterfront access, Internet, sauna cabin, laundry facilities, re-cycling facility,
  • Internet Available: Yes, both the community and individuals provide it
  • Internet Fast?: Yes, it’s fine.
  • Cell Phone Service: Not good for most people.
  • Shared meals: 1-3 times per month
  • Dietary Practice: Omnivorous (plants and animals), Local (food sourced within 150 miles), Organic (no pesticides or synthetic fertilizers), GMO Free (only non-genetically modified organisms), Mostly Vegetarian, Mostly Vegan, Opportunivore (dumpster diving, nature harvesting, etc.), Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free
  • Dietary Choice or Restrictions: No – people may eat however they wish.
  • Special Diets OK: Yes
  • Alcohol Use: Yes, used occasionally.
  • Tobacco Use: Yes, used seldomly, or ceremoniously.
  • Common Spiritual Practice(s): Not a particularly spiritual or religious community
  • Education Style(s): Public Schooling
  • Healthcare Options: Up to each family or individual
  • Additional Comments:

    We use the National Health Service.

Community Network or Organization Affiliations

The Fellowship for Intentional Community (FIC), Diggers and Dreamers – a Guide to Collective Living (mainly UK)

Fair Housing Laws

This community acknowledges that their listing does not include any potential violations of the Fair Housing Law, or that they do not provide housing. For any questions about this topic please see our Content Policies and contact FIC with any questions or concerns: [email protected].