Look inside ‘magical’ Ayrshire country house

Ladyton House
Ladyton House
Have your say

Ladyton is an elegant country house overlooking Ladyton Loch and the surrounding Ayrshire countryside near Galston.

It is a beautiful spot and one which keeps a hold over anyone who has lived there it would seem.

Some years ago it was owned by Des Browne, the Labour politician and former defence secretary, who chose the title Lord Browne of Ladyton when he took his seat in the House of Lords.

Current owner Susie Cowan can understand the affection for the place.

She says: “Ladyton has a magic about which I can very much believe would stay with you long after you have left.”

Susie and her husband Douglas bought the property ten years ago, when they were looking to be midway between family in South Ayrshire and their careers as solicitors in Glasgow.

The couple were moving from a cottage in Houston, Renfrewshire, but wanted something which felt more rural.

Susie says: “The location was perfect, it is 20 minutes into Newton Mearns but feels as if you are deep into the country.”

The house, by the time they bought it, needed work but they were happy to take it on as a project.

They also had a few ideas on how to improve the layout and perhaps even add to the magic.

Surprisingly, Ladyton House is no great age. It was built in the 1960s to replace a mansion house which stood on the spot. The converted stables is its only neighbour.

The house was designed to look old however and has features such as crow stepped gables and sash and case Georgian style windows. This was one of the attractions, says Susie.

“We liked the idea of an older looking house with plenty of character, but with none of the problems of a period property.

“Whoever designed it did a good job, because it really is the best of both worlds, with plenty of character but the benefits of a modern house.”

That is not to say work wasn’t needed. The 29 windows, which were single glazed, have all been replaced with their modern double glazed equivalent and they have upgraded the three bathrooms.

The ongoing project, which was carried out over several years, also saw the creation of a south facing sun room.

Susie says: “It leads off from what was a bedroom, which is now a games room and library, which had the best views over the hills to Arran. “By putting in the sun room, with glazed walls but a proper roof, we made the most of the views in a room that we use all year.”

When the couple moved in the kitchen was small, but taking down a wall to a play room next door has created a much bigger sunny spot for family dining.

In fact, the Aga in the kitchen is just about all that is left from the original fit out, Susie says.

“It is as old as the house and makes for a very cosy kitchen.”

Cream units match the Aga and are topped with granite and oak worktops and there is a separate utility with its own electric oven and hob.

The large drawing room has an open fire while the smaller sitting room has a wood-burning stove.

There is a ground floor bedroom with adjacent shower room and four bedrooms upstairs; the master has a dressing room leading to the ensuite bathroom.

The family bathroom is particularly lovely, with a roll top bath with countryside views, a separate shower and double wash hand basins.

Outside the gardens are mainly lawn, kept that way for the convenience of the couple’s children, Charlie, ten, Katie,eight, and Eva, four.

The grass is bordered by shrubs and mature trees and there are two sheltered patios to catch the sun all day long.

There is a large double garage and wood store and the neighbouring house faces in a different direction making it very private.

A change in family circumstances now means the couple have to move, but Susie says if it were possible, she would take the house with them.

“As a farmer’s daughter I was taught that things should be passed on in a better state than when you found them, and I am absolutely satisfied that we have done that with Ladyton.”

Ladyton House is priced at offers over

£465,000, contact CKD Galbraith on

01292 292319.