Many properties claim to have the best of old and new but Locherlour Mill on the Ochtertyre Estate, two miles from Crieff, has a unique mix of traditional character and modern comforts.
The house is B-listed and flanked by two other similar converted estate properties, but retains its own privacy. It has a pleasing symmetrical façade but the real wow factor happens on entry.
Colin Crorkin, a British diplomat, bought the mill nine years ago as a base for his family who remained in the UK when he accepted a posting in Afghanistan.
He explains: “The children were in Strathallan School, so we wanted to buy in the area. My wife, Joanne, moved in here so they had a base for weekends and holidays.”
Colin is now retired, but Joanne, who also works for the foreign office, is currently in Malaysia. The Crorkins have also lived in Nigeria, Libya, Iraq and the Philippines.
Colin says: “Schools in these places are good, but there comes a point when you have to stop chopping and changing for the kids’ education.”
Buying the mill meant that mum was able to participate in activities at the school and the kids were able to bring friends home.
The mill had been transformed from a ruin by award-winning building firm Corryard, but there were still some tweaks that the family wanted to make after they moved in.
Colin explains: “Three of the existing ten bedrooms were separate, so we converted that annex into a five-star holiday letting cottage which we have run ever since. It would also make an excellent granny annexe.
“In the main house, we replaced the geothermal heat pump to make it bigger to better serve the size of the house.”
As it is a listed building, the exterior hasn’t changed but the original features are incorporated into the new design. Four huge apertures, which would have been cart entrances, have been made into vast picture windows which run the length of the main living space.
Character has also been retained with the mill’s interior stone walls intact, and upstairs the bedrooms have coved ceilings and quirky windows at floor level.
Another stunning feature is the original mill wheel fixed high on the interior wall which Colin says will stay in the property.
But amid the eccentricities are chic modern features, such as the glass panels on the staircase and upper level and the stainless steel bannister. Five of the seven bedrooms are ensuite and the master has a beautiful freestanding bath in front of a picture window.
Original architectural aspects, such as the stone walls, are both practical and picturesque.
The outside space is also a great mix. There is a walled garden at the front which is overlooked by a stunning orangery inside, with double-height glass. The outside wall has a battlement feel, which affords privacy yet still allows a view out to the countryside. The rear features a bigger tiered garden with the mill lade running through it.
Colin understands that when the mill was first converted it was let as a large holiday home, so building regulations demanded a level exit from the upper floor. The resulting wrought-iron decorative bridge is a far cry from a purely functional fire escape and is a lovely feature.
Colin goes on to say that the open-plan kitchen and living area has always been a “vibrant and fun” place to be, especially when the house is hosting the Crorkin’s daughter, Annette, and son, Shay, and their friends.
Colin concludes: “The house has served us well – exactly as we had hoped – and been a pleasure to live in. There is plenty of wow factor but most of all it is a family home.”
For more information and to view the mill, telephone Asset Properties on 01764 654767.