Balbegno Castle, Fettercairn, Kincardineshire, AB30 1YD | Property for sale | Savills
772.12 sq m(8,311 sq ft)
Offers over £780,000($918,528)

Balbegno CastleFettercairn, Kincardineshire, AB30 1YD

  • Under offer

Key features

  • Utterly charming, steeped in history and architecturally fascinating
  • Historic tower with later and refurbished Georgian wing
  • Lovely gardens, paddock, in all 20.4 acres
  • Three bedroom cottage and former stable block
  • Home Report valuation - £850,000
  • Viewing video available online

16th century Baronial castle, with Georgian wing.

About this property

  • With an historic tower dating from the 16th century and a later Georgian wing, added in 1795-6, Balbegno Castle is a delight. The original part is four storeys with a re-entrant tower, and is lime rendered, with a stone slate roof with a turret and crow-stepped gables. The Georgian wing is a pretty two storey addition with a slate roof and a single storey Venetian entrance hall. Sitting within its own policies, with views south over agricultural land, it is most imposing. The Georgian wing and the Great Hall have been refurbished and imaginatively redecorated in recent years, yet the house retains many of its original features with panelled doors and lovely brass door furniture, and cornices in the principal rooms and bedrooms, along with many having picture and / or dado rails and window shutters.

    A wooden entrance door with glazed overlight opens to the hall. An inner hall has a staircase to the first floor and connects to the downstairs accommodation. The fine dining room has an ornate cornice, shelved press, balancing door, fireplace with Adam style wooden mantel and a wooden floor. A vaulted room is currently used as a games room, while the fully fitted kitchen has wooden wall and floor units with tiled splashbacks, double porcelain sink, clothes pulley, shelved cupboard and a further walk in cupboard. There is ample space for informal dining. Appliances include a Bosch dishwasher, Belling range cooker with five gas burners, two ovens and grill, together with an undercounter Lamona fridge and freezer. There is a rear lobby with back stairs and a rear entrance door. The laundry room has fitted wall and floor units, sink, clothes pulley and a Hotpoint washing machine and dryer. Bedroom one has a fireplace with wooden mantel and wooden floor. The useful downstairs shower room has a pedestal washbasin and WC, while bedroom two has a wooden mantel.

    The first floor landing has a centre rose. Off the landing is a splendid drawing room with ornate cornice, fireplace with Adam style wooden mantel and wooden floor. Bedroom three has a fireplace with carved wooden mantel and wooden floor. The bathroom has a freestanding bath with shower, pedestal washbasin and WC. Bedroom four has a walk in cupboard while steps lead down to bedroom five which has a walk in cupboard. The back stairs lead to bedroom six which has a built in cupboard and wooden floor.

    Stairs from the hall give access to the original part of the castle, and its magnificent Great Hall with its fine ceiling, along with a fireplace and storage cupboards. The stone spiral stairs continue up into the tower where there are a series of rooms over a further three levels, many with original fireplaces. These are in need of renovation.

    The two cellars are accessed from the outside and have vaulted ceilings and stone flag floor. There is an outside Firebird Enviromax Heatpac C44KW boiler.

    Surrounding the castle are lovely gardens, enclosed by walls, with lawns and borders and some fine trees. Beyond is a grass field extending to some 17 acres, with some mature trees and a 17th century doo'cot (dovecot) with crow stepped gables and a stone slate roof.

    Hollies Cottage lies to the west of the castle and is reached by a separate drive which runs to the rear. An attractive stone built cottage which faces south, it has a harled extension to the rear. The accommodation includes a living room with a tiled fireplace and shelved recess, three bedrooms (one with a tiled fireplace), bathroom with bath with shower, washbasin and WC, together with a shower room, entrance lobby and a kitchen with space for dining. It has an outside boiler and an enclosed garden. Situated to the rear is the former stable block. This is very handsome and stone built, and has considerable potential for a number of uses, subject to obtaining any necessary planning consents, but is currently used for storage.

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“This historic property combines Georgian elegance and contemporary comforts with the exciting further development potential of the castle upper levels along with the stables. A much-loved family property, while the future possibilities for Balbegno Castle make it a very attractive prospect.”

Ruaraidh OgilvieProperty agent

Local information

  • Balbegno Castle is situated just to the southwest of the charming small village of Fettercairn in Kincardineshire on the east coast of Scotland, in an area known as ‘The Howe of the Mearns'. Fettercairn lies at the foot of the hills, and in 1864 The Royal Arch was built to commemorate a visit by Queen Victoria, on her way to Balmoral. The local distillery was established in 1824.
  • Fettercairn has a primary school, village shop and a café. Further shopping is found in Laurencekirk, along with secondary schooling and leisure facilities at the new Mearns Community Campus. Private schooling is found locally at Lathallan in Johnshaven and at many schools in Aberdeen.
  • There are railway stations at Montrose and Laurencekirk, offering east coast mainline services to Aberdeen and the south. Aberdeen Airport provides a range of domestic and European flights and there are services from Dundee to Heathrow. Edinburgh Airport has a wide range of services and is also easily reached, while journey times to Aberdeen and its airport have been much reduced by the Western Peripheral Route.
  • The area is well known for its wide range of outdoor pursuits. There is a renowned 18 hole golf course at Edzell and a country club within the Glenesk Hotel. To the north lie Royal Aberdeen and Trump International at Mennie, both well regarded links courses, while to the south are the courses at Carnoustie and St Andrews, which have both hosted the Open. Other local courses include Montrose, Brechin and Auchenblae. Salmon and sea trout fishing can be taken on the nearby North and South Esks, while the River Dee and Deeside are easily accessible over the scenic Cairn o'Mount road (B974). Beaches close by include Lunan Bay, Montrose and St Cyrus, which is a nature reserve. The nearby glens offer some of the finest hill walking in eastern Scotland.

Additional information

  • Balbegno Castle is utterly charming, steeped in history and architecturally fascinating. The Pevsner Architectural Guide, The Buildings of Scotland, Aberdeenshire South (Yale University Press 2015) describes it as being a “fine building…on a longstanding strategic site. James IV granted the land in 1488… an L plan tower house in sixteenth century… grand remodelling in 1569, including the insertion of the new stair tower… At the same time the Great Hall was constructed with a fine stone vault, and a parapet added that was studded with sculpture. Both are rare features and a very high quality… In 1795-6 Walter Ogilvie (de jure 8th Earl of Airlie) built an addition to the east. Sir John Gladstone, 1st Baronet of Fasque purchased Balbegno in 1846 and his grandson Sir John Robert Gladstone (3rd Baronet) carried out restorations in 1899-1901.”
  • Jane Geddes in Deeside and The Mearns, an illustrated architectural guide (Rutland Press 2001) describes how a “lively roofline of crowsteps and cap-house contains numerous sculptured plaques including heads in roundels…vaulted hall…extensively covered in heraldic paintings related to the ruling families of Scotland… The painted ceiling represents the arms of the earls onto the removed Regent Morton in 1581… preserves a crucial moment in Scottish history. The pleasant 18th century farmhouse, added by the Ogilvy family as a more practical domestic wing… Its stately setting includes a terraced garden and a doo'cot”.
  • Balbegno Castle is A Listed and full of tangible historic architectural details, including splayed gunloops and circular gun loops. While the original tower above the great hall is in need of renovation, the Georgian wing is exquisite. Balbegno was originally the centrepiece of the Fasque Estate, which was bought by Sir John Gladstone in 1829. One of his sons was William Gladstone, four times British Prime Minister.
  • Environmental Stipulations
  • Balbegno Castle, the garden, terrace and gate piers, along with the doo'cot are Listed Category A. The Stable Block is Listed Category B.
  • Directions: From the south on the A90 at Northwaterbridge (on the county border between Angus and Aberdeenshire) some 1.7 miles north of Stracathro Hospital, take the turning signposted Fettercairn. Then turn immediately right, signposted Fettercairn. Continue for some 4.2 miles to Fettercairn and at the T junction, by the Royal Arch, turn left. After 0.7 miles turn right, signposted Balbegno Farm, and the castle will be seen on the left. Bear left at Balbegno Farm. Alternatively, if coming from the north on the A90, some 3.5 miles south of Laurencekirk turn right on to the B974, signposted Luthermuir and Fettercairn. Continue for 3 miles and at the T junction, turn right and proceed into Fettercairn. At the T junction, by the Royal Arch, turn left and proceed as above.
  • EPC Rating: F
  • Tenure: Freehold
  • Council Tax Band: TBC