But now, after eight years of extensive restoration by owners Peter and Rosie Macnab, the mansion and its grounds are back to their luxurious best.
The B-listed property lies just outside the beautiful, sleepy village of Kirkmichael, approximately 10 miles south of Ayr. 55 acres of leafy parkland and a 5 acre natural loch with a pontoon surround the Scots baronial-style mansion, and the Macnabs enjoy exclusive trout and salmon fishing rights on the River Girvan.
Kirkmichael House can trace its origins back to the 1600s. It was extended a century later, adding a turreted keep and wings. A schoolhouse, added in 1920, supplements the main building.
The restored interior, tastefully decorated and furnished by its owners, boasts four spacious floors, and includes a games room, a grand hall, a sun room, a drawing room with decked balcony, and ten bedrooms. On the lower ground there is a sewing room, a wine cellar and plenty of extra storage rooms.
When the McNabs first moved in to Kirkmichael House in 2008, the property was a shadow of its former self. There were holes in the floors and ceilings, and the place was generally looking a bit of a state. A team of 16 tradesmen were enlisted to carry out the extensive repairs.
The result is just stunning, which makes it all the harder for the Macnabs to leave - the couple will soon be moving down to London for work reasons.
Kirkmichael House is on the market for offers over £1.95 million.