Victorian manse is heaven-sent for young families, says Paul Drury
It can’t have been much fun for children in Victorian times, even if you did come from a big house. Sons and daughters of the manse would have found things even stricter, obliged to keep to the instruction that children should be ‘seen and not heard’.
Well, how things change. Avaig, the ‘big house’ at Crimond, near Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, formerly served as the home of the local minister.
the property can now be considered child’s play as every effort has been made to make it as kiddy-friendly as possible.
the rear garden has a wooden playhouse set amid bark for a soft landing. there are also swings, a rope ladder and in the corner stands a giant basketball net.
Avaig has a number of outbuildings ripe for summer exploration, and you can even see the sea from the edge of the two-acre garden.
Laura totten, of selling agent Savills, said: ‘this property sits in a truly idyllic location and yet a good range of amenities lie within easy reach.
‘It is a superb period home for a growing family or those in search of an elegant country retreat.’
the present-day building dates from 1845, when it was designed by Aberdeenshire architect James Henderson, who carried out many projects for the Free Church of Scotland.
to the rear are older offices which Historic Environment Scotland believes date from 1789.
the ground-floor layout follows traditional lines, with the drawing room and dining room sitting off the reception hallway, which has an impressive staircase. the drawing room fireplace makes a real statement – ornate and tall, if a little forbidding in dark cast-iron and marble. No Victorian child would ever dare venture near it.
the ceiling rose is a cheerier arrangement, big and substantial enough to support the lavish chandelier below.
As tradition dictated, the ceiling rose in the dining room is a humbler affair, though this one suspends an elegant bowl-shaped chandelier, the star of the room. things are much brighter in the charming farmhouse-style dining kitchen thanks to a Rangemaster cooker in a warm shade of red.
there’s a cosy sitting room and study as well as a family room, which has a terracotta-tiled floor.
there are five bedrooms on the top floor, with one further bedroom on the upper ground floor.
this level also has a wet room plus a marvellous family bathroom complete with free-standing clawfoot bath.
Avaig is surrounded by farmland but hidden from view from the road thanks to a bank of tall, mature trees.
this offers privacy to the adults – but a wonderful adventure opportunity for the wee ones. Hide and seek, anyone? Offers over £570,000 to Fiona Gormley on 01224 971122 or email: fgorm[email protected]ills.com
Impressive: Avaig has a smart drawing room, inset top, and children’s play area