For sale: £1m home with more than enough room to swing a dead cat

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Witch-repelling walls and a weather-predicting well may not be standard selling points for an East Lothian property.

But for the buyer who insists on original period features and has £1 million to spend, Monkton House may be a perfect purchase.

The Grade A-listed 15th- century fortified tower mansion, set within three acres of land at Old Craighall in East Lothian, is on the market for offers over £995,000.

Included in the price is the main house, original tower and a B-listed cottage – compete with a wealth of arcane features.

Embedded in the tower’s 4ft-thick stone walls are oyster shells, said to ward off witches, while in the centre of the courtyard entrance sits a “Routing Well”, which, according to folklore, rumbles to warn residents of coming storms.

Property agent David Alves, from Edinburgh-based Sturrock, Armstrong & Thomson said: “It really needs somebody with individuality, flair and a sense of history. People have little idea of the architectural richness in East Lothian.”

The property’s current owner, early technology restorer and dealer Michael Bennett Levy, bought Monkton House in the late 1970s.

He said: “I think my wife Zoe and I have endured enough Scottish winters, so we are retiring to better weather in France.

“We moved in in 1978 and have got to the stage where we’ve done everything to it that we want to do, really.

“It’s a fantastic family home; small enough to be a family home but with space to do things and no parking problems. And even with the wind rattling round it last week, you wouldn’t know there was any wind from inside.

“We also have a chunk of bluestone rock which acts as a ‘one-way filter’ for witches … if any witches do get in, they’ll get trapped in the bluestone.

“And I’ve never seen any witches since I’ve been here, so these things must work.”

Monkton’s tower was built in the late 15th century and the main house dates from around 1600. It was originally built as a safe house for the monks of Newbattle Abbey.

The property also boasts an original medieval kitchen and period features salvaged from historic transatlantic liners. Also to be handed over is a mummified cat whose remains were discovered in the tower.

Mr Alves said: “It’s just the most interesting house. The medieval kitchen is practically unmessed-about-with.”

Other gems in the East Lothian treasure trove include a marble-and-ormolu fireplace – a gold-coloured alloy of copper – from the French liner, L’Atlantique.

Oak panelling which lines the reception hall in Monkton House was rescued from the Cunard liner Franconia, which was used as Winston Churchill’s headquarters ship during the 1945 Yalta peace conference.