En­joy a large slice of the good life

The Herald Magazine - - ETC SCOTLAND’S HOMES HOT PROPERTY - ANN WAL­LACE

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

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