Country houses for sale

A Scottish country home near St Andrews that once bred championship winning sheep

Inner Gellie House has a lively history behind its elegant façades, and is looking for a new owner to take it into the 21st century.

Category A-listed Inner Gellie House is a handsome stone country house with a gate lodge, former stable block and walled garden set in 35 acres overlooking the Fife coast, 1½ miles from the fishing village of Anstruther, 10 miles from St Andrews and 49 miles from Edinburgh. Strutt and Parker have set a guide price of £1.85m for the house, once part of an estate granted in the 15th century to Archbishop James Kennedy, the founder of St Salvator’s College, University of St Andrews.

One of the very elegant reception rooms.

After the reformation, the estate was first rented and later bought by the Lumsdaine family, an association that was to last for almost 500 years. When William Lumsdaine, an officer in the East India Company, died unmarried in 1830, the estate passed to his sister, Mary, who had married the Revd Edwin Sandys, a scion of the Sandys family of Cumberland.

The original tower can still be seen.

Part of the land was split off from the mansion house in 1923 and, in 1970, the Sandys-Lumsdaine family sold the house with the remaining land to Sir Donald MacLean Skiffington, a director of shipbuilders James Brown & Co, who built the first Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth at Clydebank. Sir Donald died in 1963, after which Lady Skiffington lived on at Inner Gellie until her death, aged 93, in 2004. The house was acquired by the present owner the following year.

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As tree-lined drives go — not bad, not bad at all.

Re-fronted in 1740 around a 15th- or 16th-century tower house, with the tower itself, cellars and stone spiral staircase — designed to enable a right-handed owner to wield his sword when advancing or retiring — atmospheric Inner Gellie House is in need of updating. More than 7,400sq ft of accommodation, over three floors, translates to three main reception rooms, a snug, kitchen, upstairs sitting room, five double bedrooms and three bathrooms.

Things we love at Country Life: galleried living areas with big wooden doors.

The house retains a wealth of period features, both inside and out, including delightful plasterwork, Corinthian columns and elegant mullioned windows. The surrounding landscape and grounds are a particular highlight, not least the tree-lined drive leading to the home, from which you can see the North Sea beyond. The formal gardens extend to the east and the south of the property, while an attractive walled garden to the west includes four ‘vaulted cellars and fragments of 17th century sculpted animals’, another nod to the property’s artistic past.

Other things we love at Country Life: four-poster beds.

In recent years, the current owners have bred championship wining sheep at Inner Gellie, and the ground is suitable for many uses, including other livestock and equestrian entertainment.

Inner Gellie House is for sale with Strutt and Parker for offers over £1.85 million. For more information and pictures, click here

Additional reporting by James Fisher

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