SPECTACULAR COASTAL ESTATE WITH HISTORIC CASTLE IN DRAMATIC SCOTTISH SETTING
Dunbeath Estate is a diverse all round estate of uncompromising quality, in a spectacular coastal location. The principal house is Dunbeath Castle, a magnificent castle on a cliff top setting above the north sea. The earliest parts of this Category A Listed castle date from the 15th century but it was extensively remodelled in the 1860s in the grand Baronial style when the grounds were also transformed.
Comprising 28,597 acres of truly spectacular topography, 12.5 miles of river flowing from source to mouth, four hill lochs and lochans and about four miles of rugged coastline, the estate represents an unparalleled combination of historic architecture, a unique landscape recognised globally and one of Scotland's great coastal wildernesses.
Dunbeath offers an excellent variety of sport. The hill provides exhilarating walked up grouse shooting over pointers and challenging stalking for red deer. The steep sided Dunbeath Strath presents first class driven pheasant and partridge. Most unusually the estate also encompasses a full river system from catchment to ocean. The Dunbeath Water is a wild and beautiful river offering salmon and sea trout fishing. With this variety of wild sport, the months of August and September offer the rare privilege and challenge of obtaining a Macnab (bagging a salmon, stag and brace of grouse within one day between dawn and dusk from a single estate).
In all weathers Dunbeath is a paradise of moorland, riverside and coastline; a place to relish the absolute personal remoteness and to create unforgettable childhood memories of water sports and swimming in the crystal clear waters, catching fish or enjoying a picnic with family and friends in one of the three lunch huts or bothies across the estate.
As well as the superb sport it has to offer, the estate is a rich environmental and ecological habitat supporting a fascinating array of birdlife, wildlife and flora. It is therefore of significant conservation value with considerable potential for a variety of conservation or peatland restoration projects. These rich natural assets may provide exciting opportunities for income generation and capital growth.
In total there are 21 houses and cottages throughout the low ground of the estate, providing accommodation for employees, holiday cottages or long term lets. The style, construction and condition of the properties is relatively consistent, with the majority being of traditional stone construction. They also provide an additional income stream to the estate.
Dunbeath is currently under the same family ownership as the neighbouring Glutt Estate to the west. The Glutt Estate is also available separately on the market. When combined, these two magnificent but contrasting estates extend to about 35,900 acres in total, ranging from dramatic coastline and designed policies to the rugged wilderness of the Flow Country in the west. Details of The Glutt Estate can be obtained through the selling agents.
Dunbeath Castle dates from 1620 and occupies an ancient defensive site on a cliff-top promontory. In the mid 19th century David Bryce was commissioned to remodel the ancient castle and bring it up to date in the grand Baronial style of the time. His visionary landscaping idea of making the northern front of the castle symmetrical and approaching it down a ¾ mile long arrow straight drive in a classic "cut and fill" approach is a true masterpiece.
As one enters the gates past the lodge house one sees a glimpse of the front door of the castle some ¾ mile away, approaching via a steeply sloping 'keyhole' drive. The view gradually unfolds as two progressively higher banks topped with over hanging sycamores extend either side of the drive towards the castle, with the sea as a constant backdrop. The sea's horizon slowly changes the perspective along the way, making this the most dramatic of approaches. The Castle's cliff top location commands views far along the Caithness coast and across the North Sea and it stands as a striking architectural beacon, enhanced by the clarity of the pure northern coastal light.
The castle has a symmetrical northeast front defined by two matching bow stair turrets with corbelled bases. At the corners, on the upper floor, two angle bartizans with conical roofs add further character to this magnificent 'fairytale' castle. The walls, reaching five feet in thickness, are harled and whitewashed beneath a series of pitched slate roofs and crowstepped gables. Ornate dormers project above the wallheads. There are numerous gunloops and a square tower with a crenallated parapet in keeping with the castle's defensive origins. Bryce's work also includes an extensive crenellated retaining terrace wall, with occasional bartizans and round terminal piers, forming a large gravelled forecourt and U-shaped enclosure to the castle.
Behind its grand exterior, Dunbeath Castle is a much cherished family home offering ample space for entertaining and accommodating guests in great comfort. The internal layout is extremely well appointed, with all the usual rooms one would expect of a house of this scale and period. All of the reception rooms sit on the eastern side the castle to take full advantage of the magnificent sea views and feature large windows flooding the rooms with natural light. In all there are 13 bedrooms, eight of which could be regarded as principal bedrooms and all bear the names of great naval battles above the doors.
An ornately carved turnpike staircase rises from the ground floor up to the second floor where there are two reception galleries (Lower and Upper Gallery) which are at the heart of their respective levels. A second service staircase leads from the basement all the way up to the attic floor. In keeping with Bryce's work, there are a number of spiral staircases hidden within the many turrets and enormously thick walls.
Dunbeath Castle sits within a Designed Landscape which itself is regarded as a work of art with its skilfully contrived and dramatic approach and setting. The beautifully designed gardens and grounds are truly outstanding and form a wonderful contrast to the exposed and rugged natural surroundings. The centrepiece of the policies are a matching pair of walled gardens, one on either side of the sunken drive each extending to around an acre.
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Dunbeath offers a unique opportunity to purchase one of the most coveted and dramatic castles and estates in the British Isles. It offers a rare combination of sport, fishing, farming, significant environmental and green energy opportunities.Evelyn ChanningProperty agent