SCOTLAND’S most expensive country estate has been bought for almost £10 million by the former chairman of Scottish Enterprise.
Businessman Crawford Gillies has snapped up the sprawling Kinnaird Estate, near Dunkeld in Perthshire, after it was put up for sale last year for £9.6 million.
It boasts 6,235 acres of land, an eight-bedroom Victorian house and a clutch of holiday homes. Dating from the 1600s, it was sold by the Ward family to Mr Gillies, a director at both Barclays and SSE, in May.
As well as pheasant and partridge shooting, red deer stalking and fishing on the River Tay, Kinnaird also has two farmhouses and three cottages used as holiday lets.
The centrepiece of the estate is the 10-bedroom Kinnaird House, which was run as a five-star hotel by the late American heiress Constance Ward, where guests included Madonna, Sir Sean Connery and former US president Bill Clinton.
Mrs Ward was married to the late Reginald Ward, son of Sir John and Lady Ward who bought Kinnaird in 1927 and used it as a sporting estate and lodge.
Mr Gillies, 60, has told of his delight at his new purchase.
He said: “It is a beautiful part of the country. It is a wonderful estate with huge potential.
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It is one of the landmark estates to have sold in Scotland in the last 10 years.Ran Morgan, Head of Scotland residential protfolio, Kight Frank.
“There is also a business opportunity to sell the shooting and fishing that can be done on Kinnaird.
“The location is terrific. It is what I consider to be Highland Perthshire and my wife and I feel at home here.”
Mr Gillies’ new home has had only seven owners in its history, the most recent of which, the Wards, purchased it in 1927. Kinnaird House trades as a high-end bed and breakfast and was named best small hotel in the world in 2002 by The Gallivanter’s Guide.
The estate is one of only a few in Scotland where it is possible to take a “Macnab” — a salmon, stag and brace of grouse that must be bagged within one day.
Mr Gillies already owns a property in Edinburgh and a seven-bedroom Edwardian country house in Perthshire, Coupar Grange. The latter is on the market for offers of more than £1.2 million and has a tennis court and an arboretum.
Ran Morgan, head of Scotland residential at estate agents Knight Frank, which handled the Kinnaird sale, said that the estate had received worldwide interest.
“It is one of the landmark estates to have sold in Scotland in the last 10 years.
“It delivers a really beautiful residential portfolio, one of the finest beats on a world-class river and a great house in a really central location. We received more than one offer on the property. They came from Scotland, England and various countries overseas.”
The estate also played a little-known but highly significant role in the romance between Prince Charles and his wife Camilla.
In 1988, when the Prince’s marriage to Diana was collapsing, he was invited to enjoy a fishing trip at Balmacneil House, a home on a country estate owned by his close friend Gerald Ward.
Camilla and her then-husband, Andrew Parker Bowles, were also invited, but he was unable to make it so she travelled to the house alone.
She had known Prince Charles in the past and their romance blossomed. In 1996 he divorced Diana, and married Camilla in 2005.