Prestige property: Stunner invites love at first sight
Allermuir was designed in 1880 by Robert Rowand Anderson, one of the most famous architects of his day, as his personal residence.
His other notable works include the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the University of Edinburgh’s Old College and McEwan Hall, Glasgow Central Station Hotel, and Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute.
Considering the exuberance of Anderson’s public work, Allermuir is quite understated.
Canmore, the catalogue of Scottish architecture and buildings, describes the home being in “a restrained Baronial style using crowstepped gables, oriels and bays, but no turrets or bartizans.”
A photo on the Canmore website, dating from 1890, shows a gardener tending to the grounds at Allermuir, and takes in the south-facing view of the property which looks remarkably similar today.
The current owner, who doesn’t wish to be named, says it was this side of Allermuir that convinced his family to buy it when they were looking to relocate to Edinburgh from London a decade ago.
He recalls: “We bought it in 2013 and whilst we weren’t necessarily looking in Colinton, we had four children and wanted a big family house.
“But things like this don’t come up too often and we just fell in love with it. It is incredibly handsome and, as soon as we were taken on to the lawn to see the front aspect, which you don’t see from the road, I remember my jaw dropping.”
To the side, is a more unassuming modern extension, set back a little and in no way detracting from the original house. It was added by the previous-again owner and houses a chic modern kitchen, dining and sitting room, opening out on to its own terrace with a stepped water feature and architectural planting.
The stone used for Allermuir’s extension was sourced from the same quarry in Newcastle as the original house, but the material has been smooth rather than rough cut, and so designed to look different but to compliment the older parts.
Changes to the A-listed home in the current owner’s time have included internal reconfiguration of the sleeping quarters, making one bedroom a larger ensuite to the master and adding a second ensuite.
On the top floor the layout was altered to form four separate bedrooms, as previously they were interconnected.
On the ground floor, an old laundry was converted to create a gym and bathroom with a glass roof to illuminate the space from above.
Fine original wood panelling can be found in the hallway and landing, and in the principal rooms, giving Allermuir a real sense of grandeur. The intricate plaster ceilings retained in the hall and the first-floor drawing room are equally impressive.
The current owner says: “Because it was Rowand Anderson’s own home, he clearly used the best craftsman of the day. And it is so well built that, even for a house of its age, there is virtually no creaking floorboards anywhere.
“Even the smallest features are really notable. The key for the original safe, built to keep his architectural drawings, is the most extraordinary key I’ve ever seen, and every single window in the house is different.
“To him, clearly, this house was his pride and joy and it has been a real privilege to be able to live in it.
“We have had some amazing times here – you feel when you are in the garden that you are a million miles from anywhere, with Allermuir Hill in the background.”
Allermuir, Colinton, Edinburgh, is priced at offers over £2.95m.
For more information, contact Rettie & Co. on 0131-220 4160.