Prestige property: Enjoy epitome of Edwardian style
Directly opposite the front of the property is a small park while at the back, over a stone wall, lies the gentle expanses of the village’s nine-hole golf course.
Current owner Michael Longstaffe, who bought the house with his wife, Sally, in 2008, says it has an interesting history: “I’ve just been going over the paperwork, and the deeds for the land go back to 1764, it has been a central part of the village for some time, with high-profile owners.
“The house itself dates back to 1904 and was built by a local-born man called Lawrence Donaldson, who apparently had been a bit of a no-hoper when he lived in Scotland. But he emigrated to the US in the late-1800s, where he and his brother opened a shop in Minnesota.”
By the turn of the century, Donaldson owned a string of department stores, and he returned to Milnathort to build a home for his two sisters, Mary and Betsy.
Michael continues: “We know that the original name of the house was Minnehaha, and he also gifted the land opposite to the community, to be made into Donaldson’s Park – which meant it could not be built on so protected the view.”
The house is the epitome of Edwardian style, with a beautiful recessed porch, tall chimneys and a spectacular circular turret. Inside, deep bay windows ensure that it is bright throughout and the master bedroom has a charming semi circular balcony.
Much of the woodwork is original, and details such as cornicing, picture rails and light fittings ensure that the interior architecture is equal to the splendid exterior.
It was Sally who first fell in love with the house, long before it was even on the market. Michael recalls: “Our three daughters attended swimming club with the daughter of the previous owner, and Sally had always thought the house was lovely.
“We spent years on rebuilding a wreck of a house in Auchtermuchty, and when we decided to sell that, we were invited to come and look at Kinellan. I think the owner wanted an off-market sale, and fortunately we were in a position to buy it.”
Initially, there was not much work needed but Michael and Sally saw potential in an under-used basement. They created a utility room, snug and office, which Sally uses for her retail business.
Michael says: “It is a usable space now with French doors, and we removed a dilapidated greenhouse on the side of the house and built a solid structure in its place, which we use a boot room.”
A bigger challenge was then detected at the top of the house. Michael explains: “A couple of storms uncovered the problem, which led to the whole of the roof having to be stripped, to have the sarking replaced. We were able to reuse the slates, but it was a complicated job because of the different angles and shapes involved.”
Sally has transformed the garden, and the pretty, enclosed space with terracing, lawns and shrubbery is a testament to her hard work.
Michael and his youngest daughter rebuilt the playhouse as a lockdown project, and the summer house was installed to mark Michael and Sally’s 25th wedding anniversary. He says: “That corner of the garden is a fabulous sun trap, and Sally uses it through the day as a place to have a coffee and read a book.”
Michael is semi-retired now from his role running a paper packaging firm in Kirkcaldy. The couple’s three daughters are all living lives elsewhere and the time has come for another family to move in, as Sally and Michael look to downsize and travel more.
Kinellan House, Milnathort, Kinross, is priced at offers over £850,000.
For more information, contact Rettie & Co. on 0131-220 4160.