Scotland’s most expensive house on sale for £29m

HE was a friend of the Queen Mother with a fleet of Rolls Royces which he never drove. Now the late Sir James Cayzer’s Scottish estate is for sale at the price of £29 million, the most valuable ever to come on to the open market.

Kinpurney Estate, the most expensive ever to go on the market in Scotland. Picture: Contributed
Kinpurney Estate, the most expensive ever to go on the market in Scotland. Picture: Contributed

Kinpurnie, near Blairgowrie, is described as one of the finest agricultural, residential and sporting estates in the country.

It is the first time in a century that it will change hands, following the death of Sir James in February last year. His nephew, Nigel Cayzer, who inherits, has spoken of the “wrench” the family will feel in selling the estate.

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The price is explained by the diversity of aspects the estate offers. Within its 5,400 acres, there is a range of property, extensive farmland and woodland, six privately owned lochs and exceptional field sports facilities.

The properties include an impressive Scots Baronial castle, Kinpurnie, in which Sir James lived, and Thriepley House, which is the home of his nephew’s family, set in the midst of an orangery and surrounded by walled Italianate gardens.

The estate also has eight luxury holiday homes and a further 18 estate cottages.

The various lots range in value from Thriepley House at £6m and Kinpurnie Castle at £2.5m, down to an estate bothy on offer for £155,000, but it is hoped that a buyer will be found for the whole estate.

The late Sir James inherited a shipping fortune made in India by his great grandfather.

He had a reputation as a bon viveur and an incredibly generous host, holding annual New Year’s Day lunches at Gleneagles Hotel and decamping to St Petersburg for a season, or Claridges in London, where he maintained a suite.

But home was Kinpurnie. The tenants and staff of the estate were important to him and he was respected as the laird.

Nigel Cayzer said: “It is with considerable sadness that we are placing Kinpurnie on the market.

“While it will be a great wrench for me and for my family, the sale will, I hope, enable it to be kept together as a unit with the benefits that brings to our employees, everyone connected with the estate and the local community.

“Their friendship and loyalty to my family over so many years is something that will be an abiding and very happy memory to me.”

Wattie Barbour, who is marketing the property for CKD Galbraith, says that the price is justified because Kinpurnie simply eclipses other Scottish estates.

“It is unusual because it has two main residences, the land, and the other properties are exceptional too,” he said. “The location is ideal, because it is only a quarter of an hour away from Dundee airport.”

But while he points to the practicalities of the location, value of the acreage and the opportunities for a return on investment, some of the value of Kinpurnie is intangible, he says. “It really is a very pretty place.”

Justin Marking, head of residential at Savills said: “An estate with any one of these assets would be special, but to find one with all of them, including exceptional sporting facilities is almost unheard of.”

The previous record valuation was held by the Spott Estate in East Lothian, which was put on the market in 2010.

Valued at £25m and owned by Danish industrialist Lars Foghsgaard, the estate, however, was not sold as a whole.


Buying Big

If Kinpurnie Estate sells as a whole, it will easily be the most valuable estate to have done so in Scotland.

According to Savills, 15 Scottish estates valued at more than £4 million have changed hands privately north of the Border since 2007.

The most expensive complete estate that has sold on the open market is Cherrytrees, near Yetholm in the Scottish Borders, which sold for £8m in


Leys Castle Estate, Inverness, sold in 2010 for £7m, as did Findynate in Tayside and Fasque in Aberdeenshire, both in 2007.


Country house for sale for £1.1m – complete with swan

A SCOTTISH country house has been put up for sale for £1.1 million – with resident swan included.

The Howpasley Estate, an eight-bedroom house situated in 270 acres of land near Hawick in the Scottish Borders, is being marketed by estate agent Strutt and Parker as coming complete with its own swan – which lives in a small loch to the front of the property.

“Water is a feature of the views from the house, including a pond with decking area and a lochan extending to 0.75 acre, with brown trout up to 1lb in weight and a swan,” Strutt and Parker’s marketing literature says.

The property, which also features an orangery, bedroom suite, studio and summer kitchen, is said to be home to many “rare species” of wildlife that have been cultivated by the present owner – as well as seventy-seven different types of wild flowers and visits from otters and red squirrels.

Unmarked swans in the UK are technically owned by the Queen. However, Buckingham Palace’s website explains that the monarch does not exercise her right to the creatures outside of London.