House with Suf­fragette story to tell

The Courier & Advertiser (Perth and Perthshire Edition) - - LOCAL NEWS - Kirsty Top­ping

A KIN­ROSS-SHIRE house that was once owned by one of Scot­land’s first fe­male doc­tors has gone up for sale.

Ed­war­dian Moss­park House in Rum­bling Bridge is on the mar­ket for of­fers over £850,000.

The five-bed­room prop­erty was once owned by Grace Cadell, one of the first women in the coun­try to gain a med­i­cal de­gree.

Dr Cadell, who was also an ar­dent Suf­fragette, took over the prop­erty in 1906 and turned it into a home for or­phans.

Present owner Meriel Cairns (71) has lived at the house for the last four decades and has de­cided to sell in or­der to down­size.

She and her hus­band orig­i­nally used Moss­park House, which has been in his fam­ily since 1918, as a fam­ily home.

She said: “I’ve lived here 42 years. Be­fore that it be­longed to an un­cle of my hus­band and be­fore that it was my hus­band’s grand­fa­ther’s

“When we moved here in 1970, it had be­longed to my hus­band’s bach­e­lor un­cle and we had to open it up a bit and add on an­other room to make space for our four chil­dren.

“It’s been happy and noisy; it’s been a very nice fam­ily home.”

She added that Dr Cadell had orig­i­nally pur­chased the home as a base for a group of or­phans.

She con­tin­ued


live and work

in Ed­in­burgh, coming by train to Rum­bling Bridge sta­tion at the week­end to visit her chil­dren.

She is known to have taken them for pic­nics up Glen­de­von in her car­riage, along with other chil­dren from the vil­lage.

The house also played host to Suf­fragette leader Em­me­line Pankhurst, who used one visit to in­vite a lo­cal min­is­ter’s wife to join her at a Suf­fragette rally in Glas­gow.

It is re­ported that the min­is­ter was not amused and re­fused to let his wife at­tend.

Af­ter Dr Cadell’s death, the house was of­fered to her nephew, who re­jected it, be­fore it was sold and the money split be­tween her two char­i­ties – a hospi­tal for des­ti­tute women and or­phans, and an­other which funded med­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion for women.

Mrs Cairns said that, fol­low­ing the sale of Moss­park House, she in­tends to move into Dr Cadell’s former coach house, which she is now re­fur­bish­ing.

Dr Cadell died at Moss­park on Fe­bru­ary 19 1918. The house was listed in her will with its con­tents val­ued at £411 18s 6d. Two cat­tle at the prop­erty were sold for £52.

She had be­gun study­ing medicine in Ed­in­burgh un­der Sophia Jex-Blake, who had passed her med­i­cal ex­ams in Ire­land and was only the third woman to be reg­is­tered with the Gen­eral Med­i­cal Coun­cil.

Dr Cadell Inglis.

She also headed the Leith branch of the


stud­ied un­der

Elsie Women’s So­cial and Po­lit­i­cal Union, but later joined the less mil­i­tant Women’s Free­dom League.

She was one of the med­i­cal ad­vis­ers to women hunger strik­ers in prison, who were fre­quently re­leased into her care un­der the “Cat and Mouse Act”.

Although Dr Cadell did not marry, she did ac­quire four chil­dren – Mar­garet Frances Clare Syd­ney, Ge­orge Bell, Grace Em­me­line Cadell and Mau­rice Philip Shaw.

Dione McKen­zie, of es­tate agents Re­max, de­scribed the prop­erty as “fas­ci­nat­ing” and said they had re­ceived in­ter­est from as far af ield as the Mid­lands.

She added: “There’s an award-win­ning garden, which is lovely when it’s in bloom.

“It’s a gor­geous house and the pho­tos of the garden don’t do it jus­tice.

“We are de­lighted to be of­fer­ing the prop­erty for sale.”

Moss­park House, in Rum­bling Bridge, has a fas­ci­nat­ing his­tory.

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