Per­fect play­ground

Vic­to­rian manse is heaven-sent for young fam­i­lies, says Paul Drury

Scottish Daily Mail - - Property Mail -

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

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