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3 bedroom detached house for sale

The Ice House, Kirkside, St Cyrus, Kincardineshire, DD10

Sold STC £340,000

Property Description

Key features

  • Home Report 360,000
  • Living room with gallery
  • Open plan kitchen/dining room
  • 3 bedrooms (2 en suite)
  • Paved terrace with outside shower and fire pit
  • About 1 acre
  • Further land extending to 3.55 acres may be available in addition
  • EPC Rating = E

Full description

Tenure: Freehold

Stunning conversion of a former ice house at St Cyrus Beach


The Ice House is situated at the southern end of St Cyrus beach. This part of the coastline comprises sandy beaches and red sandstone cliffs. As well as St Cyrus, other popular local beaches are found at Lunan Bay and Montrose. Away from the coast the range of outdoor pursuits is impressive. Fishing can be taken on the North and South Esks, while golf courses are found at Montrose, Stonehaven and Edzell, together with the championship course at Carnoustie. There is a trout fishery at Mill of Criggie (St Cyrus) and sea fishing is available from Johnshaven.

St Cyrus, which is set above a dramatic cliff, with the coastline and the renowned sandy beach at its foot, has a primary school, together with a post office, hotel and general store. A range of shopping, business and leisure facilities can be found in Montrose. Mearns Academy in Laurencekirk provides secondary schooling. Lathallan School at Johnshaven is a well known private school.

The A90 provides fast access to Aberdeen as well as to Dundee and the south. The A92 coast road links Stonehaven to Dundee via Montrose and Arbroath. Both Aberdeen and Dundee provide all the services expected of major cities. Aberdeen Airport has a range of domestic and European flights, and there are direct services from Dundee Airport to London Stansted and Amsterdam. Both Montrose and Laurencekirk are on the main east coast railway line, and there is a sleeper service to the south, as well as regular services to Aberdeen.

Historical & Environmental Note
The Ice House was originally part of the former Kirkside Fishing Bothy which used to be run as a salmon fishing station by the Tay Salmon Fishery Company. It originally sat at the mouth of the River North Esk until the river diverted its course in 1879 to the south, forming what is the county boundary between Angus and the historical county of Kincardineshire, now part of Aberdeenshire. When it was run as a fishing station it comprised a fish house, net room, skipper's accommodation and bothy, along with an ice house. Salmon from the local fishing stations used to be shipped to markets in London but arrived in bad condition as they were pickled or boiled and packed in barrels, with salt only permitted for the export trade. In the 18th century a new method of packing fish was developed. Blocks of ice were cut from artificial ponds and stored in ice houses during the summer months. Duncan Fraser in A Portrait of a Parish (Standard Press, Montrose) describes how this was a phenomenal success, as "no one had ever tasted fresh salmon in London before....".

From Discovering Angus and the Mearns by I A N Henderson (John Donald Publishers Ltd) we learn that originally St Cyrus "was a scattered hamlet at the foot of the cliff on the shore. Until the 17th century the whole area was called Eccesgreig and the remains of chapels built beside the old burying grounds are all that now remains of the lower settlement. The salmon fishers have always had bothies, along the shore, for salmon fishing was always the staple of St Cyrus."

Nigel Tranter in The Queen's Scotland, The Eastern Counties (Hodder and Stoughton) states that "the church and hamlet . . . were down on the shore. . . the church removed to a higher site and called St Cyrus... while the old estate adopted the name of Kirkside... The River North Esk, which now enters the sea amongst low sand flats and dunes two miles north of Montrose, used to flow almost a couple of miles north-eastwards, to reach the sea directly under the present St Cyrus. So that the original Ecclesgreig was on the shore at its mouth. . . The Nether Kirk . . . is much more interesting, within a walled enclosure down below the cliffs on the raised beach at the former river mouth. There are two ruined chapels or aisles, one older and more decayed. . . Also there is the locally renowned grave of the lawyer who died for love, by name George Beattie. . . Nearby are the white washed cottages of the salmon fishing station."

We learn much about the tragic but well liked poet, George Beattic, from his own words in The Life Letters and Poems of George Beattie published in 1882 and from A Portrait of a Parish. He was a crofter and salmon fisher's son, who trained and practised as a lawyer in Montrose. He fell in love with a local heiress, much against her parents' wishes. She broke off the engagement and married someone considered more suitable. George Beattie shot himself at the graveyard, having first fired a few practice shots at the fishing station. In the churchyard a memorial was erected by his friends "who loved him in life and lamented him in death".

St Cyrus Beach is now part of a Nature Reserve which includes sand dunes, lichen rich dune heathland, foreshore, river estuary, salt marsh and cliffs. As a result it is a haven for a great variety of plants, insects and shrubs. The cliffs were described by the Nature Conservancy Council for Scotland as "one of the richest and most important sites for wild plants and animals on the coast of North East Scotland. St Cyrus beach consists of sand dunes and a flat raised beach backed by a cliff. . . The bay is sheltered from strong winds and has relatively long hours of sunshine. These factors have combined to produce a diverse flora with 393 different species of vascular plant recorded. . . the bird population is also of importance with about sixty regular breeding species."


The Ice House is believed to date from the late 18th or 19th century. Converted in 2000 it was initially used as a restaurant. It was acquired by the sellers in 2008, who completed the renovation works and have since used the property as a holiday let and more latterly it has been used as a home.

It is a hugely impressive house, built into the ground, with a living grass roof, high vaulted ceilings and views out over the former river bed and towards the dunes behind St Cyrus beach. It has access direct onto the wooden bridge which was built by the Gurkhas and leads to the beach. The vaulted ceilings, exposed stone walls, pine wooden floors and a wood burning stove, all create a home of great character. Easy access to the A92 and the stunning beach location have made The Ice House a very successful holiday let. ( and in 2011 the property featured in The Sunday Times 100 Best Holidays, The Scotsman Saturday Magazine, (Interiors Section) and in Condé Naste Traveller Magazine's list of "10 luxury Scottish Retreats". The house also makes a unique permanent home of great character.

Since 2008 the property has been fully renovated, and is now completely tanked and has insulated walls and roof. The renovations, which won an award for the architect, also included new windows and patio doors, a new kitchen together with bathrooms and shower rooms, and stone paved patios to the front with a heated shower and fire pit. Solar panels provide hot water, with an immersion back up, and the property is fully double glazed. There is underfloor heating in the kitchen and the bathroom. The Ice House has a stone and wooden finish to the front. From the living roof, which creates a lovely seating area, there are views over Montrose Bay to Scurdie Ness, and north to Rock Hall at the other end of St Cyrus Beach.

A tarred path from the gravelled parking area leads to the house. Here wide patio doors lead to an open plan dining room and kitchen. The dining area has wooden flooring. The bespoke fitted kitchen has wooden units with wooden worktops, tiled splashbacks, a Curry's slimline dishwasher, porcelain sink, Leisure Range cooker with two ovens, grill and five ring ceramic hob with extractor, Frigidaire fridge, and a tiled floor. Off the kitchen is a walk in cupboard and a utility room with fitted wooden floor and wall units with Beko washing machine, Indesit dryer and Fridgemaster fridge/freezer. A wide opening from the dining area leads into the living room, creating a thoroughly open plan living space. This has a high brick vaulted ceiling, steps up to a gallery, wooden floor and a wall mounted Toshiba TV. Off one side is bedroom 1 with patio doors out to a paved terrace. There is a passage on the other side of the living room, with wooden flooring. Off this is the bathroom with a free standing roll top bath, shower cubicle, pedestal washbasin, WC, shelved cupboard and tiled floor. Beyond is bedroom 2 which has patio doors to a paved terrace, a wardrobe and an en suite shower room with pedestal washbasin, WC and tiled floor.

From the living room the stairs, which lead up to the gallery, continue up to the first floor. Here there is a glazed rear entrance door. Bedroom 3 has a brick vaulted ceiling, wooden floor, walk in shelved and hanging cupboard and an en suite shower room with pedestal washbasin and WC. Also off bedroom 3 is a dressing room or child's bedroom with a vaulted ceiling and a cupboard housing hot water tanks.

The garden ground is mainly grass. Adjacent to the gravelled parking area is a part open fronted wooden shed with concrete base.

Acreage: 1 Acres

More information from this agent

Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
21 September 2016

Map & Street View

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