Glentruim House and cottages, near Laggan in Inverness-shire, offers a beautifully secluded and luxurious retreat in the heart of Scotland.
The history of the estate is bound up with the fortunes of Clan Macpherson and in recent times was the subject of A Strange and Wild Place, a book by Sandra Macpherson which is an account of her family’s time at Glentruim.
Current owners Gordon and Sydney Ingram bought it in 2008.
Gordon, who works in property, says the main house, which dates from 1840, had largely been left as it had been in the Macphersons’ tenure, but the intervening owners had taken on the task of reroofing. “As such, the building was sound, but the interior was due some upgrading,” he says.
“We fell in love with the spectacular setting and the real sense of traditional Scottish elegance in the house.
“The views are spectacular – in one direction we overlook the Cairngorms, in the other, the Monadhliath mountains. From the Macpherson cemetery in the grounds you overlook the River Spey.”
The estate encompasses 55 acres of gardens, woodland and footpaths, as well as a drive measuring a quarter of a mile which ensures privacy.
The Ingrams are based in Dorset but bought Glentruim to use as a holiday home for them and their four children with a view to making it earn its keep.
As a grade B listed building, any renovations had to be sensitively carried out, but they worked with the planning department and Historic Scotland to agree on their idea of a luxurious, efficient home, which does not detract from its historical importance.
Gordon says: “We started by letting out the cottages, and building up that side of the business before renovations on the main house. They are now booked for 40 weeks a year and run by an estate manager.”
In 2013 consent was granted for the work on Glentruim House, and they used a trusted builder from Dorset, who moved his family on site to complete the work with local tradespeople.
The project took 15 months. Gordon says: “We started every room from scratch, many of the timber lintels were rotten but were replaced one by one.
“We were also keen to make it energy efficient, we wanted a warm house so it was important to get it right thermally.”
As well as installing a biomass boiler they added a high degree of insulation and double glazing, making this a rare beast, a large rural period home that is as comfortable in winter as in summer.
The addition of a conservatory with beautiful garden views was planned with an eye on the exclusive wedding market, and it adds to the house’s air of romance.
Sydney is an interior designer and took on the fit-out of Glentruim after the building work. In practice this meant three months of researching finishes and fabrics remotely and working with a team to source them in Scotland.
“We have taken great care to blend traditional details with contemporary comfort and luxury,” says Gordon.
The work was completed in 2015 and since then the house has been a retreat for the family and earned its keep as a wedding venue and large let.
Glentruim has a smoking room, library, beauty spa, sauna, gym, games room and home cinema as well as the eight bedrooms and the spectacular public rooms.
While the finish is high quality, it has lost none of its period charm.
There is still Macpherson furniture in the house, such as the dining room chairs, sideboard and mahogany table which seats 18 people which were made or bought for the house and will be sold with it.
Gordon says: “They will remain in place. It would be wrong to remove them.”
The successful business is also something which new owners may want to take on.
“It absolutely makes sense to run it as we have done, although it would also make a comfortable, and very private, full time family home”.
For the Ingrams, with their children now reaching adulthood, they have found that they aren’t using it as much as they would like.
Gordon says: “We would like it to go to a younger family, as our family has so much enjoyed our time here.”
Offers over £3 million. Contact Strutt & Parker on 01463 719171.