Heritage and Highland Flings

The Lowlands of Scotland may lack the rugged grandeur of the Highlands, but they are still hillier than most of England and, perhaps more importantly, support nearly all of Scotland?s industry as well as two thirds of her population. The accumulated wealth of centuries is reflected in the splendid country houses built by Lowlanders, of which Pittormie, near St Andrews, in north east Fife, is a striking example.

Pittormie has been an important land holding since it was granted to Ludovic, Duke of Lennox, by James VI in 1593; the Blaeu?s map of Fife of 1654 shows a house on the site, although the present one dates from 1764. In the mid 19th century, Pittormie was owned by the Meldrum family, who in 1867 commissioned the architect John Milne to ?baronialise? the mansion; its distinctive crow stepped and turreted roof dates from this period.

Now refurbished and restored by its current owners, Pittormie is for sale through CKD Galbraith (01738 451111) and Knight Frank (0131?222 9600) at a guide price of £2.5 million. Victorian lavishness and Georgian understatement are combined in Pittormie?s grand reception rooms and seven luxurious bedroom suites. Twenty first century tastes are reflected in the former farmstead, now a state-of-the-art indoor pool and leisure complex complete with cinema.

Meanwhile 19.85 acres of gardens, grounds, arboretum and paddocks form a lush and colourful backdrop to the stately castellated mansion, which overlooks the Eden valley. ?Only very rarely is a place of this quality offered for sale north of the border,? comments selling agent William Jackson of CKD Galbraith, who is hard pressed to satisfy growing demand from English, European and even American buyers for a permanent home in Scotland.

The scenery is no less spectacular in dreamy Dumfries and Galloway, in the west of the Lowlands a land of red deer, black Galloway cattle, golden eagles and wild, curlyhorned goats. Knight Frank are seeking ?offers in excess of £600,000? for Kildrochet House near Stranraer, a gem of an early Georgian dower house with five reception rooms, seven bedrooms, stabling and 5.5 acres of wooded gardens and paddocks.

This article was originally published in Country Life magazine, August 18, 2005. To subscribe click here.