Iconic Motorcycle Legacy. Scottish home of the Davidsons of Harley-Davidson®.
Davidson Cottage, which was formerly known as Netherton Cottage, dates from the 1720s. Alexander Davidson (or Sandy) and his wife Margaret, lived in the cottage and he worked for the local estate at the neighbouring blacksmiths. They lived in the cottage with their six children, along with two other workers. In 1858, aged 52, he and his family emigrated to the United States, and one of their sons died of a ship fever shortly after their arrival, but they settled in Milwaukee, where the family prospered. The middle son, William C Davidson (1846-1923), who was born in Scotland, at Netherton, followed his father into the railroad industry as a cabinet maker, and had a fascination for all things mechanical. His three sons, Arthur, Walter and William A, saw the early stages of the motorised world, and powered cycles. They thought they could do better and with Arthur's friend, Bill Harley, started the legend that was to become Harley Davidson. Their father, William C, built their first workshop, now affectionately known as The Shed where the iconic motorcycle was born, in 1903.
By 2008 the cottage was a crumbling ruin, although part of it had continued to be occupied until 2002. It was acquired by the sellers, who were Harley Davidson enthusiasts and set about an ambitious restoration programme to restore the house, back to how it would have looked in 1858, when the Davidsons emigrated. They also set up the Davidson Legacy and the Netherton Cottage Development Co. The renovations were completed in 2012.
Having saved the cottage the sellers have, through their companies, sought to preserve and enhance it as a destination for enthusiasts, initially through selling
merchandise, but also from 2019 by doing holiday lets offering the experience of staying in an authentic 19th century cottage. In 2012 the Amenity Block was built to service the original cottage, and this includes an open plan kitchen and living room, together with two wet rooms and stores. Visitors, mainly Harley Davidson enthusiasts, have come from around the world, and there is a website www.thedavidsonlegacy.com.
Davidson Cottage is a charming 18th century cottage, which has been fully restored to its mid 19th century incarnation. The cottage stands within its own grounds. It is stone built, with a Carmyllie stone slate roof. The renovations were substantial. The cottage was stripped back to the walls and it was completely re-roofed. Lime mortar was used, so as to be authentic and in keeping. Internally new floors were laid and wiring installed but again to be authentic there are hidden power sockets, and the light fittings are built into the wall panelling. There is no water or drainage.
A wooden front door opens to a hallway with a wall light and stone flag flooring, timber lined walls and a beamed ceiling. The downstairs bedroom has a Parkhouse range with mantel, wooden box bed and two wall lights, while the sitting room has a Hob Grate fire with mantel, two wall lights and a wooden floor. To the rear is a stone shelved larder. Wooden steps lead up to two attic bedrooms, both with two wall lights, under eaves cupboards and wooden floors.
The Amenity Block is in effect a moveable building, which was erected in two principal sections. It is ancillary to the cottage and was put up to provide services to the original building, and is used as such by visitors and guests to the property. It is cedar clad with a Metrotile roof and double glazing.
It has steps and a ramp up to wooden decking. A partially glazed entrance door opens to a hallway which has a timber lined ceiling and two walk in stores, one with a sink. Off this is the living room / kitchen. The kitchen area has fitted units with self closing drawers and appliances include a Zanussi oven and ceramic hob with extractor, Panasonic microwave, Logik fridge and a sink. The living area has full length windows to make the most of the panoramic views and a timber lined ceiling. Off this is the boiler room which has a Gledhill hot water tank and a Heatrae Sadia Amptec boiler. Also off the hallway are two wet rooms / changing rooms with showers with wet walling and separate WCs with washbasins.
Adjacent is a cedar clad double garage (5.1 m x 4.45 m (approx.) which has a concrete floor and Metrotile roofing.
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"A truly unique proposition, Davidson Cottage has already gathered quite some following from Harley-Davidson® aficionados around the world, as a place of pilgrimage and an intriguing holiday rental destination. It has been a real labour of love by the sellers who have re-created an entirely authentic early Victorian rural dwelling. The new service block provides the modern comforts required without jeopardising the historic nature of the original cottage and together they make a fascinating addition to the market".Ruaraidh Ogilvie