Dod Mill offers a flexible opportunity for a rural business, or plenty of space for family and friends, finds Kirsty McLuckie
But you don’t usually get the chance to snap up every part of the settlement.
Dod Mill, in the Scottish Borders, offers just that.
Situated 30 miles – yet a world away – from Edinburgh, it comprises a group of buildings, some already converted, some just awaiting the finishing touches, plus a scattering of wild and wonderful bothies, all set in almost five acres which together offer a real lifestyle opportunity.
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For the next owner, the possibilities are endless. Apart from the principal property, Dod Mill House, where owners Amanda Phillips and Alyn Smith live with their daughter Rae, 15 and son Theo,13, there is the Old Mill and Dod Mill Cottage – once a pigsty and cart shed – both of which have been imaginatively converted by the couple into beautiful homes.
The Kiln House, once used for storing and toasting the grain, has been re-roofed and is ready to be turned into another exciting space.
On one side of the Boondreigh Burn which runs through Dod Mill is the River Hut which is currently a gym, the Stilt House which is used as Amanda’s studio and the Cabin, a six-berth caravan.
On the other side of the water is the Fishing Hut, a charming half-caravan, half-timber house and the Straw Bale House. There is also a large carport with workshop and machine store.
In the seven years they have lived at Dod Mill the couple, who are both architects, have thrown not just their professional energies into the project, but also a considerable amount of back-breaking effort into converting and upgrading the buildings in turn.
The result is a sizeable three-bedroomed main family house with a dining room, sitting room and dining kitchen plus utility on the ground floor. The master bedroom is ensuite and there is a family bathroom as well as the other two bedrooms upstairs.
The kitchen has an Aga and there are woodburning stoves in the dining and sitting rooms, so while this is a characterful older home, it has all the advantages and warmth of a new build.
Both Dod Mill Cottage and the Old Mill have been finished to a similar standard. In fact the family lived in the Old Mill for two years while working on upgrading the main house.
Both have a large single bedroom – the Old Mill’s is on a stunning mezzanine level – plus open-plan living spaces with double-height ceilings and exposed beams.
The whole package offers a huge amount of potential, either for letting out properties to other full-time residents or extended family, or for running a holiday business. Such quirky properties would certainly fit into the current trend for characterful weekend breaks.
Amanda says: “Apart from the obvious holiday lets in the mill and the cottage, the Kiln House could be turned into an office, a practice, gallery, shop or cafe.
“The main house and the two cottages are ready to go, in fact the cottages are brand new, their kitchens and bathrooms have never been used.
“We just wanted to finish the project properly and to a high standard before selling, but a new owner could move in and accept guests in the cottages immediately.”
The property, which is essentially a mini estate, would also work well for someone wanting to run a retreat or, in the single-storey cottage, have room for an elderly relative to live independently.
It offers the chance to try self-sufficiency too. There is plenty of room for livestock – the family keep geese, ducks, sheep and pygmy goats, there is fishing in the burn and room for ponies. The water wheel, fed by the mill race, has been connected to a state-of-the-art cylinder which provides enough power to heat and light the Old Mill.
Amanda, who is also an artist, is also proud of their orchard and nuttery planted beside the dredged pond which are now bearing fruit.
The quarry, which the couple emptied of landfill that had accumulated over the years, now supplies stone for dry stane dykes and there are enough trees to keep all the various woodburning stoves alight.
The family is moving closer to Edinburgh for the children’s schools but in Dod Mill they have created the most amazing lifestyle property for the next owners.
Amanda says: “We have adored living here and it will always be a very special place to us.
“For now, it is time for others to enjoy it.”
Offers over £820,000, contact Rettie & Co on 01896 824074.