Elegant regency home with gate lodge, stables, walled garden and 85 acres hits the market in the Scottish borders

This nineteenth century regency gem offers stunning architecture coupled with modern comfort, reports Kirsty McLuckie

This nineteenth century regency gem offers stunning architecture coupled with modern comfort, reports Kirsty McLuckie

Described by John Gifford as a “deliciously smart country house villa” in his seminal book on Dumfries and Galloway in the Buildings of Scotland series, Barwhinnock, in Twynholm near Kirkcudbright is something of an architectural gem on a domestic scale.

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That isn’t to say that it is small. The elegant regency house has seven bedrooms and comes with a gate lodge, outbuildings with stables, an oval walled garden and grazing and woodland of over 80 acres.

For the owner, Serena Haszard, a friend’s description of the house as “a baby grand” is very apt.

She bought Barwhinnock with her husband 30 years ago.

She says: “We were looking for an architecturally interesting house with woods, water and land. It was love at first sight.”

It is a very striking house. Built in 1830, it has all the beautiful symmetry of the regency style on the approach.

Picture: Knight Frank

The central bay of three has the front door surrounded by a broad Tuscan columned portico while the flanking bays have Venetian windows and matching wings extend out from either side.

It is equally breathtaking inside as the tall entrance hall has a striking double staircase with castiron balusters decorated with acanthus leaves and eagles’ heads, lit from a cupola above.

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Picture: Knight Frank

The architect is unknown and the house was built by a Major James Irving of the Bengal Cavalry, although the land at Barwhinnock was gifted to his family by James VII and II two centuries earlier.

The Haszards bought it in the 1980s from the philosopher, Michael Oakeshott, and Serena says that since then the task has been to maintain the property in perfect condition and to redecorate when necessary.

Picture: Knight Frank

The house, for its age, is remarkably well laid out to suit modern living. Left of the entrance hall is the dining room, handsomely decorated with an ornate cornice and a black marble chimney piece.

On the other side is the drawing room with a bow wall at both ends and a Tuscan columned white and grey fossil marble chimney piece. The window overlooks the lawns at the front.

Picture: Knight Frank

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The study, a beautiful room leading off the back of the main hall, overlooks the back garden and the waterfall.

Three bedrooms and two bathrooms are in one ground floor wing. In the other, the morning room is next to the kitchen which has practical storerooms, a boot room and a wine cellar.

Picture: Knight Frank

Upstairs, there are three more bedrooms, two bathrooms and a games room. The master bedroom overlooks the garden and has a dressing room and ensuite.

Picture: Knight Frank

It is a very light and peaceful house.Serena says one of her favourite parts of the day is: “Walking down the front stairs with the early morning sun streaming in or sitting in kitchen watching the red squirrels chasing each other round the crab apple tree.”

Picture: Knight Frank

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However, with all the public space, it is also a party house and has hosted many gatherings over the years.

The garden is an absolute highlight and the extensive planting which the Hanszards have undertaken over their years at Barwhinnock has added to the mature trees and unusual specimen shrubs that have been here for decades.

Picture: Knight Frank

Serena says: “I like to walk through the woodland garden from early spring to see the build up to the crescendo of rhododendron colours in May.

The scent of the roses in the beautiful oval walled garden in June is amazing and we get vegetables for the kitchen from the walled garden too.”

Picture: Knight Frank

The snowdrops in February are spectacular and the grounds have been open, by appointment, as part of Scotland’s Garden Scheme.

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The wider acreage is let out for the summer months, so the paddocks and grazing provide all the privacy you would require without the need to maintain it.

Venture further out of the formal areas of the garden and it is the wildlife that Serena loves.

Picture: Knight Frank

She says: “Walking round the woodland paths with my cocker spaniels we see roe deer and hares, while mallards and teal are nesting at the moment on the lochan.

Picture: Knight Frank

“It is nice place to sit with a glass of wine, or we have lunch by the waterfall on a hot summer’s day.”

Picture: Knight Frank

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Barwhinnock house is on the market for offers over £1.2 million with Knight Frank.