Prestige property: Former Fife farmhouse cultivates interest

Todhall House is a delightful, stone-built former farmhouse near the village of Dairsie in north-east Fife.

Todhall House, near Cupar, Fife.

Believed to date from the 1700s, the property was extended in the 1850s when its double-bay front was added. The house boasts two south-facing, bow-ended rooms, and – while retaining many attractive period features – it is comfortable and practical for modern use.

The property has been refurbished in the past 12 years with a new kitchen and bathrooms, and it has been fully redecorated.

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Owners Will and Anita Crocker bought Todhall House in 2010 on returning after 20 years living in the US. Will recalls: “When we came back, we decided to split our time between Scotland and South Africa.” Now retired, he worked as an executive for a Stateside firm.

Todhall House, near Cupar, Fife. Image: DTXimages

Will explains how Todhall has evolved over the centuries. “We think it was three homes. The back of the house was the dairy, for milking. After being a working farmhouse, it was reconfigured to face the road with its new Georgian front.”

Records show that the farmhouse was once part of the Dairsie Estate, owned by the Earl of Elgin. The name seems to come from owner David Todd, who bought it in 1805. It was B-listed in 1984.

Will continues: “In the 1990s, it was a bed and breakfast, but the owners before us turned it back into a home. During our refurbishment, we restored the shutters, took all the carpets up and asked a local company in Cupar to sand the floors.

“We found the original slate in the hall – which is nine inches thick – which was dressed and finished.”

Todhall House, near Cupar, Fife. Image: DTXimages

The kitchen was replaced with a handmade and hand-painted Murray and Murray bespoke design. Will says: “We found a beautiful picture of a bull on the farm and tasked Tiles of Stow to recreate it in painted tiles for the kitchen mural in the space above the Aga.”

The resulting artwork is a lovely feature, and one which ties the interior design to the view outside, which is filled in the foreground with cows, sheep and horses before the eyes are drawn to the more distant hills and the sea.

The Crockers also upgraded Todhall’s heating, adding electric under-floor heating in the bathrooms and kitchen, and had the windows refurbished throughout, weatherproofing it for the future.

The garden is spectacular, and has benefited from two years of Will and Anita’s hard toil. He explains: “We decided to sell in South Africa just before lockdown, and we were fortunate to be here for that period, just working in the garden.”

Todhall House, near Cupar, Fife. Image: DTXimages

The couple put in a vegetable and fruit garden, as well as a greenhouse, which produce most of the Crocker’s requirements. Will says: “The rhubarb, we think, might have been in place for 50 years.”

One feature the couple didn’t retain was an outdoor swimming pool, which dated back to Todhall’s time as a B&B. Will explains: “I’m not sure if anyone used it, it had been filled in, but we lifted the slabs and made it into a rose garden.”

The Crockers are often asked for the name of their interior designer, but the decor is the work of Anita. One of the bedrooms is her quilting room – a hobby she took up on retiring as a software engineer.

The couple are now moving south back to Will’s roots, developing an old carpenter’s workshop in Devon, but they will not just miss the house, but the area which has afforded such a perfect retirement.

Todhall House, near Cupar, Fife. Image: DTXimages

Will says: “We take the dogs to Tentsmuir Sands, which is just a phenomenal asset for everyone who lives nearby. And we are both golfers – when you are in north-east Fife it is definitely the thing to do. We’ve definitely indulged that love of golf in our time here too.”

Todhall House, near Cupar, Fife, is price at offers over £1.2m.

For more information, contact the selling agent, Savills, by telephoning 0131-247 3738.

Todhall House, near Cupar, Fife. Image: DTXimages
Todhall House, near Cupar, Fife. Image: DTXimages
Todhall House, near Cupar, Fife. Image: DTXimages
Todhall House, near Cupar, Fife. Image: DTXimages
Todhall House, near Cupar, Fife. Image: DTXimages