Prestige property: oasis of charm offers northern rural refuge
The former U-shaped farm building dates from the 1880s and was first converted into residential use in 1983, but it has only recently been transformed into a unique and charming four-bedroom home suited to modern family living.
It was in 2013 that Graham and Edel McNeil bought the home and moved in with their three daughters. It had been unoccupied for five years and in need of a lot of work.
“My wife is Norwegian and has never lived in a stone house before, so she really liked the idea of living in one,” he recalls. “It had always been wooden houses she lived in, as we were also moving from New Zealand back to Scotland.”
The house, which benefits from more than 4,700sq ft of space set over two floors, has been sensitively modernised while retaining its original 19th-Century charm.
“We started knocking down walls immediately to expand the kitchen which was two rooms,” Graham remembers. “The whole place was covered with ivy, and we couldn’t see out of our windows, so we got rid of all of that.”
They hired Fortrose-based Wyvis Homes to carry out the joinery work, and builders Jack & Patience.
A seven-strong team from AB Masonry, of nearby Avoch, spent three months repointing the stone work, which has become a prominent feature throughout the home, particularly in the vaulted, open-plan sitting and dining room.
This presents a truly impressive space to the rear of the property, with beautiful exposed ceiling beams, large arched windows, a fireplace, and steps to a mezzanine above.
The steading’s traditional style kitchen benefits from a generously-sized island with inset sinks, Aga range, and wood-burning stove.
Three of the bedrooms lie on the first floor, including the principal suite, which includes the mezzanine, and a balcony overlooking the lawn.
The family bathroom has been decorated to the highest standard, and boasts a free-standing tub.
Treeton Steading is ideal for equestrians, as the McNeils have installed stables on the ground floor of the property.
Graham says: “We got them built by Monarch Equestrian, which is a high-end stable building company based in England, and then we put them in ourselves.
“My daughter was riding ponies for a while when she was a bit younger, so we also have a little ménage.”
The steading’s 1.84-acre grounds boast immaculately-maintained lawns, solar panels, and views over the delightful surrounding countryside.
In its courtyard, which Edel has grown into a stunning garden over the years, stone arches form walkways through the many thriving plants, to a patio seating area and pergola.
“The outdoor space in the summer is fantastic,” Graham enthuses. “It is such a suntrap in the courtyard – the wind can be blowing outside, but it can feel like 35 degrees there. And the garden, my wife has done a very good job of that, so it is a very special place in the summer.”
The couple are now hoping to sell in order to buy a farm for their children, who are following in their parents’ footsteps, working in agriculture.
Treeton Steading is the perfect home for lovers of the great outdoors who can enjoy all the attractions and great transport links of the Highland Capital just 20 minutes away.
The former fishing village of Ardersier is within easy walking distance and is home to a primary school, some shops, as well as a country pub and hotel.
Treeton Steading, Ardersier, Inverness is priced at offers over £950,000.
For more information, contact Strutt and Parker on 01463 723 599.