Prestige viewing: An extensive Aberdeenshire mansion with expansive grounds

Straloch House is an impressive Aberdeenshire pile, splendidly set in its own 250-acre estate encompassing woodland and grazing, a gate lodge, a walled garden and lochan, and even a secluded chapel in the woods.

Straloch House, near Newmachar
Straloch House, near Newmachar

Just ten miles from Aberdeen, and five from the airport at Dyce, the property offers a real opportunity for buyers to become laird or lady of a private estate, especially if – like the current owners – you are keen on multi-generational living.

The mansion has a fine pedigree. It replaced a 13th-Century castle which was later home to Robert Gordon the famed cartographer of Scotland in the 17th Century. His grandson was the Robert Gordon after whom the school and university in Aberdeen are named.

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Straloch House was built in 1780 and is A-listed, but had become dilapidated when Allan and Jackie Duguid bought it 12 years ago.

Straloch House, near Newmachar

Allan recalls: “It had a damp problem, mainly because the roof had multiple leaks and there was no central heating, just open fires.

“But we fell in love with it, and so we first refurbished one wing of the house and moved in, starting a project of restoration throughout the rest of the house, which ended up taking five years.”

It is difficult to overstate the amount of work that went into the refurbishment. Partly, this was due to the scale of the project. The main house presents 13,000 sq ft of living area and there are two corresponding wings, both set over three floors with four bedrooms.

Straloch was largely reroofed, a new central heating system was installed, and custom-made timber windows were fitted – all under the house’s A-listed restrictions.

Straloch House, near Newmachar

Allan says: “We did have a budget, but obviously it is a case with old houses that you take off a bit of plaster and find that there is no insulation behind it, so the job grows arms and legs. It was more important to do it right in a house as splendid as this, so we did go over.”

After the bare bones of the building were secured, a complete redecoration of the interior ensued. Jackie is the designer in the partnership and her attention to detail resulted in elegant public rooms, a hand-crafted kitchen, luxury bathrooms, spectacular open fires and Italian marble floors.

With so much space, it made sense to utilise the two wings as separate homes for the Duguid’s two adult daughters and their families. The wings are self-contained but each has a connecting door, so the five grandchildren – with another on the way – can pop through any time.

Allan retired from his role in retail after selling his business three years ago. Since then, he has taken over managing Straloch’s garden, which takes a lot of mowing.

Straloch House, near Newmachar

Of the almost 250 acres, 120 is arable and the rest is woodland and gardens. The farmland has been let for grazing and haymaking, and the woods are criss-crossed with paths and points of interest.

The Duguids have kept horses, and still have a couple of Shetland ponies for the grandchildren.

There is a two-acre garden with impressive high stone walls giving shelter to trees, shrubs and hedging, and the charming lochan attracts a wide range of wildlife.

Straloch’s private chapel is quite the unique feature – it dates back to 1908 and has a quaint appearance, with granite walls and slate roof, covered in ivy. Inside, there is a vaulted ceiling and original parquet flooring. It is the sort of enchanting extra which might tempt a buyer to reimagine the property as an exclusive wedding venue and hotel, and Allan confirms interest has come from that direction.

Straloch House, near Newmachar

He adds: “It would also work as a large holiday let, with a resident family able to stay in a wing.

“But it has worked so well for us, as three joined-up but separate houses. I can see another family buying it for the same reason.”

Checklist

Area Newmacher village is two miles away with shops and a thriving community. Aberdeen is ten miles away.

Schools Newmacher Primary School and Dyce Academy. Private schools in Aberdeen include Robert Gordon’s College, St Margaret’s School for Girls, Albyn School and the International School Aberdeen.

Interior Eight bedrooms in the main house plus three grand reception rooms and a dining-kitchen. At basement level there is a gym, office, playroom, beauty room and wine cellar. Two self-contained four-bedroomed wings with lounges and dining kitchens, plus a detached two-bedroomed gate lodge.

Straloch House, near Newmachar

Exterior Almost 250 acres of grounds split between arable fields and woodland, plus gardens. A two-acre walled garden, pretty lochan, waterfall and outbuildings, such as a laundry cottage and dog run. The chapel is in its own grounds in the woods and dates from 1908.

Straloch House, near Newmachar Offers is priced at over £2.95 million. For more information, contact selling agents Galbraith on 01224-860 710.

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Straloch House, near Newmachar
Straloch House, near Newmachar
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