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Land for sale
Mayen Estate, Rothiemay, Huntly, Aberdeenshire
The Mayen Estate is an excellent all round Estate in a very private location overlooking the Deveron Valley which forms a horseshoe around the Estate. The area offers many recreational and sporting opportunities including salmon fishing, grouse shooting, deer stalking, golf on a number of local course and sailing on the Moray Firth. The market town of Huntly provides a wide range of local services including supermarkets, shops and garages, primary and secondary schools, whilst the nearby village of Rothiemay has a post office, shop, hotel and restaurant.
Mayen House, dating from 1788, forms the centre of the Estate, which extends in all to about 740 acres of agricultural land and woodlands. The house has been luxuriously decorated to an exceptionally high standard, with spacious easily run accommodation. There are five completely refurbished cottages, an A frame chalet and let farmland. Mayen buildings include a recently refurbished 18th Century coach house which is a traditional stone and slate building of considerable character.
Mayen was originally part of the barony of Rothiemay which King David ll bestowed on his faithful adherent William de Abernethy in the 14th Century. In 1445 the then Abernethy Laird became the first Lord Saltoun. The family held the property until 1612 when it passed to the Gordons. However, Mayen came back to the Abernethys when Heiress Isobel married Alexander Abernethy and they improved the small fortified Hall of the original lairds which lies up the hill on the old Huntly to Banff road, to the west of the Georgian house. A successor was one of the Jacobite lairds who surrendered at Banff in 1715 and his son James shot dead John Leith of Leith Hall and escaping abroad was outlawed. Fortunately his wife came from the rich and powerful family of Duff and a cousin, Major Alexander Duff, completed the new house in 1788 in the classic Georgian idiom on four levels on a sheltered site above the river.
Shortly afterwards in 1790 they completed the Coach House, stables and Estate offices which unusually remain almost unaltered to the present day. Only one of the two flanking Pavilions at the rear of the house now remains, the other having been pulled down to accommodate an additional wing which was built in 1893.
The B listed house was built of stone and slate to a classic Georgian design in 1788 by the Duff family who inherited the Estate from the Abernethys. A Victorian extension was added in 1893 by the Aitken family to provide a feature cupola and stained glass window on the main staircase. The survey of the province of Moray published in 1788 describes Mayen and Rothiemay as dominated by the beautiful rural scenery equalled by few and excelled by none of equal extent in the Kingdom.
Mayen House enjoys a superb elevated position with magnificent views to the south and east across the Deveron Valley. The elegant mansion has been sensitively restored to provide a sumptuous, well equipped family home with well proportioned reception rooms and the bedrooms on the first and second floors all have distinctive and unique ensuite facilities.
The house is approached from the Gate Lodge along a tree lined avenue which terminates in a sweep at the front.
Railed stone steps lead to the entrance porch which has a mosaic tiled floor, stained glass windows to either side and glazed double doors to the reception hall. The impressive reception hall has twin Doric columns, an open fire with marble mantle, a panelled ceiling and an oak staircase to the first floor.
The elegant drawing room is a well proportioned, bright room with southerly and westerly aspects overlooking the policies. The room has wonderful period features including an open fire with a beautiful carved ornate mantelpiece, a moulded ceiling and oak flooring.
The dining room is an extremely atmospheric room with panelled walls and oak panelled ceiling and shutters and an open fire with a marble mantelpiece.
The study has a westerly bay window with a window seat, an open fire and extensive built in bookcases.
From the main hall a door leads to a passage to the snug with lime washed panelled walls, an open fire and built in bookcases. Further along the passage is a 'blue and white' cloakroom with a Delft WC and an exquisite wash basin and surround.
Also accessed from the main hall is the butler's pantry which has a passage to the kitchen.
The kitchen is a most inviting room. Distinctive features include a monthly frieze depicting wine making above the cream, 4 oven Aga and decorative vine ceiling. There are fitted units with wooden worktops, an island with inlaid granite chopping board, distressed plate rack, a Belfast sink and an integrated Sub Zero fridge.
An opulent, oak staircase with a copula and a magnificent stained glass window leads to the grand, galleried landing with arches and oak columns to the bedrooms.
The master suite spans the front of the house with mostly southerly aspects over the valley. A door leads from the landing to a passage which accesses the master bedroom and the dressing room. The master bedroom has southerly and westerly aspects and an open fire with marble surround. The lime panelled master ensuite has a free standing, roll top bath, a recessed shower, a separate WC and bidet and pine flooring. A door connects from the ensuite to the dressing room, with an open fire and southerly and easterly aspects. There is a walk in wardrobe off the dressing room.
Bedroom 2 with a westerly bay window has an ensuite with Victorian sanitary ware and a pedestal bath. Blue bedroom 3 has a balcony and an ensuite with specially commissioned Delft wall tiles, porcelain bath with an oak top and surround.
The linen room with fitted linen cupboards completes the first floor accommodation. A staircase leads from the galleried landing to the second floor.
The second floor landing could also be used as a sitting area with an abundance of natural light from the copula and an open fire with marble surround.
Bedrooms 4 and 5 both have wonderful ensuite bathrooms with period sanitary ware. Bedroom 4, the red bedroom has a Victorian pedestal bath with shower above. Bedroom 5, which has wonderful views of the river, has a copper bath with shower above.
The lower ground floor hall has a flagstone floor, oak panelling on the walls and ceiling and a wood burning stove. The sitting room has an open fire a bay window and a bar with glass display cabinets. A door from the sitting room leads to the billiard room which has 2 aspects and an open fire. There are various utilitarian rooms on this level including a freezer room, wine cellar, laundry with Belfast sink, boiler room and store rooms. There is a gym with an oak floor and mirrored wall with a sauna and shower room off.
Mayen is positioned amidst wonderful mature policies which are divided into established woodland, designed landscaped garden, walled garden and arboretum.
The main house is approached from either the tarred north or west drive. Beech, ash, Douglas fir, spruce, sycamore, yew, horse chestnut and a number of other specimen trees and rhododendrons line the north drive which sweeps round to both the front and rear of the house. A carved tree stump in the form of a stag on the final approach to the house from the north sets the tone for the attention to detail throughout the property.
The front lawn is dominated by a magnificent Wellingtonia. Steps lead down the ha-ha and a path leads to the octagonal summerhouse. Built of stone under a cedar tile roof, the summerhouse has a BBQ terrace overlooking the wild flower meadow and the river.
At the back of the house there is a parking area and a gate leading to a paved terrace with an al fresco chessboard and a lawn area that is screened by a pleached lime hedge. The terrace has steps and French doors to the kitchen.
The Walled Garden
A breathtaking asset to the Mayen Estate is the wonderful walled garden, which the sellers have created to marvellous effect. Built in 1997, with the basic layout designed by renowned garden designer Suki Urquhart, the garden is divided into 6 distinct areas around a statue of Apollo each with their own character, features and views that make it quite magical.
The Lady of Leisure Garden is characterised by box hedging and a beautiful fountain. An Alice in Wonderland Garden leads to a corner of the garden with a red brick and thatched store (5.2m x 2m). The White Garden is distinct with a selection of white flowering plants including a lily pond with a fountain and a swing seat. The Scottish and Mediterranean Garden features numerous plants native to Scotland and sunnier climes. The Rose Garden has beautiful climbing roses and several stone mosaics. In addition to these unique areas there is a productive fruit and vegetable area.
In the north west corner of the garden is a spectacular octagonal glass house with two adjacent greenhouses producing vines, figs and a range of flowers.
In the north eastern corner of the walled garden is a dining cavern with a traditional range and porcelain sink. Above the cavern is a viewing platform with views to the lochan.
Two areas of diverse arboretum have been planted, one to the north of the coach house and the other to the west of the Pheasantry. Species include several varieties of oak, maple, malus, chestnut, conifers and many others.
Secret Garden and Fish Tank
A most memorable area of the garden is the secret garden with a superb aquarium which is located along the south wall of the walled garden. The secret garden has manicured box hedging around a paved path and is surrounded by unusual walled beds. Built in to the northern wall is an illuminated aquarium.
Japanese Garden and Woodland Walk
Another charming area of the landscaped grounds is the Japanese Garden and woodland walk. To the east of the walled garden is a lochan, fed by a waterfall, which has a central reed-thatched gazebo with wooden jetties; this is a haven for wildlife.
Beyond the lochan a walk has been created around the policy woods.
The Coach House is a fine quadrangle of beautifully restored buildings to the south of the main house. The buildings have recently been re roofed and developed to comprise a range of stores, workshops and coach houses. Part of the Coach House has been developed into a 1 bedroom gardener's flat where internal works are partially complete.
The Other Estate Houses
Within the grounds are five other high quality houses. Each house is set in its own private area of the grounds, is fully self contained and has been fully equipped to the very highest standards with all the necessary facilities.
Flanking the main house and approached from the rear terrace of the main house, The Pavilion is very comfortable and makes for fine overflow accommodation. The front door leads to an atmospheric open plan sitting room with a kitchen area on the ground floor which includes a cathedral ceiling, an inviting wood burning stove with an exposed granite flue and a staircase leading to a gallery passage and onto the bedroom. On the ground floor is a nautical bathroom with a Victorian pedestal bath with port holes and a separate corner shower.
A chocolate box, fairytale cottage. A weaving flagstone path leads to the granite and slate cottage. Double storm doors lead to a porch and a glazed door leads to the sitting room. The sitting room has a wood burning stove and a dresser unit and is on open plan with a beautiful kitchen with sage green units and a Belfast sink. On the first floor are 2 double bedrooms and a bathroom with a pedestal bath and a separate shower.
Built of traditional stone and slate and situated a short distance to the south of the farm steading. The accommodation on two levels comprises back porch/boot room, open plan dining kitchen/sitting room and bedroom 1 and on the first floor are bedroom 2, bedroom 3 and a bathroom. Oil central heating.
Constructed of stone and slate on one level, Butler's Cottage is surrounded by lawn and a beech hedge. It is mostly refurbished and has 2 bedrooms and an open plan kitchen/living area. Electric heating.
On the west drive, built in a traditional style. The accommodation is on one level. Electric heating. (Occupied by a Gardener and a Housekeeper)
Mid Park Chalet
An A frame timber chalet with electric heating built in 1979. There is a living room with kitchenette, a bedroom, a bathroom and an external balcony.
Mayen is situated in the scenic Deveron Valley to the west of Turriff and about 10 miles north east of Huntly. Keith (about 10 miles) and Banff (about 13 miles) are within easy reach and there are pleasant villages nearby at Rothiemay and Aberchirder.
The Deveron Valley combines productive farmland and quality fishing with unspoilt scenery and a pleasant climate in a relatively unknown corner of Scotland, which is becoming increasingly accessible.
Meanwhile the cosmopolitan city of Aberdeen offers all the cultural, shopping, and educational and entertainment facilities one would expect of a city.
Private education is available in Aberdeen at Hamilton's, Albyn, Robert Gordon's and St Margaret's or at Lathallan, a private prep school near Stonehaven. Gordonstoun Public School is 30 miles. There are also various colleges of further education and two universities.
Aberdeen has an international airport with an ever expanding range of domestic and international flights. The mainline railway has inter-city and sleeper services to London.
The farmland extends to 274 acres and is divided into 20 fields, most of which are in grass and have a southerly aspect.
Many of the fields were re-fenced circa 10 years ago with Rylock fencing, new swinging gates and hedges as boundaries. The land is classified by the MacAulay Institute as grades 3 and 4.
The land to the south of the river has been let out on an annual grazing basis to a local farmer, which has produced an income of £3,180. There are no dedicated farm buildings at present but one could easily be built by a buyer if required.
The farmland around Mayen House extending to 73 ha (180 acres) is let at a rent of £8,048 to a limited partnership (Mayen House Farms) of which Mr R Stuart and Mrs McNeil are Partners. The agreement can be terminated in 2015.
The Mayen woodlands (366 acres) are in three main segments and are certified under a Bell Ingram FCS scheme.
The Mayen Woods are on the hillside behind Mayen House and rise from the river at 65 metres above sea level (Spur Wood) to 258 metres above sea level (Gallow Hill). The woods are a mixture of species. Some parts of the woodland have been felled and restocked. Access is direct off the public road along a superb layout of internal roads.
The lower parts of the wood are a mixture of Sitka and Norway spruce, planted in 1965 and well thinned (about 17 hectares) whilst there are areas of Scots pine and larch. Most of the wood has been felled and restocked with a mixture of broadleaves, Scots pine and spruce. The woods are subdivided with deer fencing, show good levels of establishment and have been planted between 1997 and 2010.
The mature woods are currently leased to James Jones & Son until 2020 at a nominal rent but the lease can be terminated early in 2014.
The second segment is Craigmancie Wood (73 acres), located to the east of the River Deveron, but clearly visible from Mayen House. The woodlands were formerly p56 Norway spruce, which was felled and restocked in 1997 with a mixture of coniferous species, Scots pine, Sitka spruce and European larch. There are also sub compartments of broadleaves. There is a good central access track running from the public road the length of the wood.
The third segment of woodland is the parkland trees and arboretum around the house. Some of the parkland trees are very old but the current owner has established arboretums of many varieties to give great contrasts of colour, shape and size, as well as several new small woods.
The woods were awarded the Alistair J Lilburn of Coull trophy for Scotland's Finest Woods; presented by the Royal Highland and Agricultural Society. The woods integrate with the surrounding farmland and are at several scales to include individual parkland trees, riparian woodland and new hedges which combine to form a linked network and provide a new landscape pattern and a framework for habitats.
The River Deveron is acknowledged as a consistent and productive salmon, sea trout and brown trout fishery, rising in the eastern Grampians and flowing northeast for about 40 miles to enter the North Sea at Banff.
The river flows over a bed of shingle and rock in its fast-flowing upper reaches but slackens its pace after being joined by its principal tributary, the Isla, through its middle and lower course where there are deeper pools and smooth glides between fast-flowing riffles.
The season opens on 11 February and closes on 31 October. Salmon run the river throughout the year with a traditionally prolific grilse run beginning in July given appropriate water. The river is also well-known for consistently producing large specimen salmon, particularly towards the latter part of the season. The British record for a fly-caught salmon was a fish of 61lbs caught by a female angler on the Mount Blairy beat of the Lower Deveron.
Sea trout also run the river in good numbers providing alternative sport from late May onwards. The majority of fish are in the 2lbs to 4lbs category but fish of 7lbs or more are not uncommon. Night fishing during the summer months can be particularly exciting and productive.
Wild brown trout fishing on the river provides absorbing alternative sport if water conditions do not favour salmon or sea trout fishing. There is a good population of trout in every pool with the average size being just less than 1lb. Fish of 2lbs to 3lbs are caught frequently and some even larger specimens are caught each season.
The Mayen beat is situated in the middle course of the Deveron, in a section of the river which is regarded by many as being the most visually attractive and private and most suited to fishing a fly.
The Mayen and Garronhaugh beat runs from Island pool downstream for 2.3 kilometres and is mostly double bank fishing. This part of the beat includes 11 named pools. A new luxurious timber frame fishing hut (5.81m x 4.22m) was built in the 1990's at the bottom of the beat with vehicular access. Close to the hut an impressive foot bridge was added in the 1990's spanning the river. It received the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland annual award for design in 1998. The rates paid for this beat are £1080 in 2010. These fishings are mostly kept for family friends and hence are much underutilised.
The Mains of Mayen beat is the upper beat of fishings from Island pool upstream for 2.5 kilometres together with a 10 foot bank and rights of access A-B and C-D over Mains of Mayen Farm. It is owned 50% jointly with a Mr Sharp. The DGS Will Trust owns the south bank. The records above are solely for the north bank, 50% of which could be attributed to the capital value of the Mayen Estate. There is a cooperation agreement with the opposite bank proprietor (of Corniehaugh beat); the agreement allows the seller to fish for 9 weeks each season, or roughly once every 4 weeks. Each party shall be entitled to fish both banks and the agreement allows for maintenance and repairs. It can be terminated on 12 months' notice.
There is a fishing hut, built in the 2000s about 5.0m x 4.0m, with vehicular access (which is half owned).50% of the rates are paid by Mayen Estate (£792 in 2010).
The beat is notable for the contrasting nature of its pools. These range from deep holding pools to fast-flowing grilse water.
In high water, double-handed rods and chest waders are advisable, whilst in low water a sea trout rod and thigh waders will normally suffice. In terms of fly choice, traditional patterns tied on double and treble hooks are popular, with particular Deveron favourites including the Stoat's Tail, Munro Killer, Willie Gunn, Ally's Shrimp, Cascade and Executioner.
Method of fishing on the beat is predominantly by fly, although spinning is allowed when water height does not favour fly-fishing. No formal catch-and-release policy is operated with anglers being trusted to exercise discretion over fish which are kept and returned.
The River Deveron District Salmon Fishery Board recommends that riparian owners adopt the following guidelines:
Prior to 31 May, a daily bag limit of one salmon/grilse per rod should be observed and after 31 May this can be increased to 2 salmon/grilse. The same guidelines apply to both sea trout and brown trout.
Anglers are encouraged to fish fly only in low water.
When spinning, a single set of barbless hooks should be used.
No worming is permitted after 31 August unless during a spate.
After 21 August all hen fish should be returned to the river.
All gravid fish should be returned.
The seller fully endorses these guidelines and has adopted these during the course of his ownership of the fishings.
A plethora of wildlife can be found in the sheltered environs of the Mayen Estate. Red squirrels, badgers, otters, pine martin and roe deer frequently live on and are seen on the Estate and a wide variety of birds including several species of duck, kingfishers and ospreys are present in the policy ponds and on the river.