£5 million Monarch of the Glen estate sold

A Highland estate that starred in the BBC hit show Monarch of the Glen has been sold.

The buyer of Balavil Estate, which had been on the market for £5.25million, has not yet been revealed.

The main Georgian building on the 6,800-acre property near Kingussie, which was built by Scottish neoclassical architect Robert Adam, became known as “Kilwillie Castle” as it was home to the fictitious laird Killwillie in the popular TV drama.

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Allan MacPherson-Fletcher, who inherited Belavil from an aunt 40 years ago, said: “We’re delighted that it’s going to be in good hands and will get the degree of restoration that neighbouring estate have had in recent times.

“It’s been a long time in coming. We’re happy with the new owner. I think he’s going to do a good job here and restore it to its former glory.”

Mr MacPherson-Fletcher has planning permission to build a new home for him and his wife Marjorie within the estate.

He declined to reveal the identity of the new owner or the price it was sold for.

The Balavil Estate had been on the market since 2013, initially with an asking price of £7million. This dropped to £5.25million recently.

Selling agents Strutt and Parker described Balavil as a “jewel in the crown of Scottish sporting estate”.

The selling brochure states that it offers the rare opportunity to stalk red deer, shoot grouse and go salmon fishing in the same place.
It added: “Situated at the core of the estate amid finely landscaped parkland is the Georgian house.

“Occupying an elevated setting with a southerly outlook across the upper Spey Valley, Balavil House is the centrepiece of the estate.”

The mansion is home to a ‘kindly and well meaning’ ghost called Sarah - a maid who fell for the butler above her station then through herself from a bridge.

The brochure added: “The estate has a wonderful combination of sportings to include red deer, roe deer and sika deer stalking, driven and walked-up grouse shooting, driven pheasant shooting and rough shooting.

“It also includes circa 2.7 miles of single bank salmon and trout fishing on the River Spey.”

The estate also has eight houses and cottages, a hill farm with a suckler cow herd and a flock of sheep and 600 acres of forestry. Most of the tenants are syaing on.

Balavil had been owner by the family of Mr Macpherson-Fletcher since 1790.

When the property went on the market, he said: “We are getting long in the tooth. We have put our heart and soul into this place, and now it is time to cash in on that.”

He is currently working closely with other neighbouring estate to build a windfarm. The Scottish Government is still considering the controversial 31-turbine Allt Duine scheme.

The name Balavil derived from the former French spelling of the word Belle ville - beautiful town - which James Macpherson, with his connections to the French Court, adopted as the name of the estate in 1790.

The old Gaelic name for the estate was Bail’-a’-Bhile meaning the town on the brae top. The original name of the estate was Raitts and it is listed as this in the 1776 road map of Scotland.
Given appropriate conditions combined with a measure of luck, Balavil is among the elite selection of Scottish estates where it is possible to achieve a “Macnab” of shooting a brace of grouse, stalking a stag and catching a salmon all on the same day.