The Cabinet Secretary for Culture is being asked to intervene to save a former school that is believed to have been visited by famous Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson.
And it has been suggested that it could be turned into a tourist attraction if it was sympathetically restored and marketed using the Stevenson link.
A Highland estate has applied for planning permission to demolish the old school and schoolhouse at Camusnacroise, Kingairloch, in Ardgour and replace it with a modern house.
But local people have pointed out that the property – in a picturesque setting on the shores of Loch Linnhe – is of historical and cultural importance and they are desperate to stop consent being given.
It is mentioned in Stevenson’s adventure novel Kidnapped and it is believed that he stayed there while researching the book, which was published in 1886.
It is also a feature of the Stevenson Way long-distance walking route.
The property, which is thought to have been built as early as 1770, is on the 16,000-acre Kingairloch Estate owned by wealthy Angela Yeoman, whose quarrying company Foster Yeoman was sold for £150million in 2006.
Her daughter, Susan Larson, who is a partner in the estate, described it as “just a wee but ’n’ ben” and said it was beyond repair.
Local historian Iain Thornber was angered by her comments and said the building, which started life as a manse and has also been used as a popular ceilidh place, was “an important architectural and cultural landmark”.
He added that he would be writing to the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Fiona Hyslop, asking her to become involved before this important historic building was lost.
He has also been in touch with the Robert Louis Stevenson Club.
Mr Thornber pointed out that there would have been huge international interest in the property if Shakespeare, Burns, Mary Queen of Scots or Bonnie Prince Charlie had stayed there and suggested that the Stevenson connection could attract similar interest.
He said: “It should be fully restored and put to work.”
The closing date for objections to the planning application is Tuesday September 9 and Mr Thornber is urging anyone who is interested in saving the property to write to Highland Council’s planning department as soon as possible.