Enjoy a large slice of the good life
ADISTANT benefactor … a much-loved library whose books have travelled around the globe … a stone chapel, hidden away in the grounds – the story of Auchinellan could have come straight out of a book.
It is real, however, this stunning estate overlooking Loch Ederline in Argyll and now it is on the market, giving buyers the chance to snap up a fantastic slice of Scottish countryside.
The story behind the current ownership is an intriguing one. The estate was owned by J M B Wright, who bought it in 1934 and lived there until his death in 1973. He bequeathed it to a distant cousin’s granddaughter, who was just a small child at the time.
“My daughter Margaret was a little girl, just four years old, when she inherited the estate, so it had to be held in trust for her,” explains Maida Gibson.
“She was to get it when she turned 25, but by then, she was forging ahead in her career elsewhere and had no wish to take this place on.
“I agreed to look after it for her, which I have done, for 25 years. Now it’s time for me to retire myself.”
Maida remembers her mother’s cousin as a shy, slightly eccentric character.
“He used to buy books all the time – his original library is still in place,” Maida explains.
“He had a fantastic collection of titles. He would put a bookplate in every one, and some have turned up as far afield as America and Australia.”
She adds: “If he read a book he particularly liked, he would buy copies and hand them out to all of his guests.”
Mr Wright had what Maida describes as an “encyclopaedic knowledge” of all faiths.
“He was a very religious man, although we were never quite sure which denomination he followed,” she says, wryly.
“For a time, he was very interested in Roman Catholicism, which is why he had the little chapel in the grounds built.”
This chapel, built in 1955, is one of the unusual, fascinating features of Auchinellan, which is located in a tranquil rural area, half a mile south of the village of Ford in Argyll.
The little oratory was constructed by Carmichael’s of Lochgilphead, primarily to show future generations that mid-20th century craftsmen could produce something which is perfect in its workmanship.
With lancet windows and a specially commissioned “dove” window above the
Nestled on the shores of Loch Ederline, the estate is good for fishing and is brimming with wildlife