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14 bedroom detached house for sale

Invercauld Estates, Royal Deeside, Aberdeenshire


Property Description

Key features

  • Castle (14 bedrooms)
  • Parkland & woodland
  • Red & roe deer stalking
  • Potential for low ground shoot
  • About 38,000 acres

Full description

Tenure: Leasehold


Invercauld Estate, of which the subjects form part, lies on the eastern side of the Cairngorms massif near Braemar, on Royal Deeside. The area is renowned for its dramatic Highland scenery with snow capped mountains throughout much of the year, and the famous River Dee winding eastwards from the massif to the North Sea at Aberdeen. The estate enjoys some fine views over miles of
unspoilt countryside with Lochnagar prominent against the skyline to the south. Besides grouse and deer, the wildlife is plentiful, although red deer numbers have been reduced in recent years to benefit grouse.

Deeside is famed for the quality of its fishing, shooting and stalking. Invercauld Estate covers a large tract of Upper Deeside and offers excellent sport. Split by the River Dee, it stretches several miles south to the Spittal of Glenshee and, north of the river, to the march with Inchrory, Delnadamph and Candacraig Estates. The ancient deer forests of Mar and Mar Lodge, offering some of the finest stalking in Scotland, lie to the west, with the royal estate of Balmoral to the south.
The nearby village of Braemar lies in a Conservation Area and the surrounding landscape is within a National Scenic Area and an Area of Regional Landscape Significance. The subjects lie wholly within
the Cairngorms National Park and have a variety of environmental designations. The Braemar Gathering, held yearly on the first Saturday in September, marks the culminating point of the social season on Deeside and is one of the oldest of the Highland Games. For more than a century it has been honoured by the patronage of the reigning monarch, and graced by the presence of the Royal Family on Games Day.

Aberdeen Airport and the City of Aberdeen offer convenient access to and from the south by air and rail. Aberdeen also offers a broad selection of shops, schools, professional services, cinemas and theatres. Both Ballater and Braemar cater for most requirements, and have good hotels and restaurants.


Famed for its grouse moors, Invercauld, centred on the Castle of Invercauld, boasts eight separate grouse beats. Further details on the estate as a whole are available at
It is the Castle of Invercauld, and three moors to the north of the Dee, Sluigan, the Home Beat and Corndavon, which are available.
Amidst breathtaking scenery in the heart of the Cairngorms the moors combined can offer up to 11 separate day's driven grouse shooting and stalking for up to 20 stags, although historically many
more. Low ground sporting rights are also available, although for a small scale shoot only.
The estate is offered as a whole or in up to five lots as follows:

Lot 1 The Castle of Invercauld
Woodland garden, Parkland, Acreage negotiable

Lot 2A Home Beat
Grouse shooting and stalking rights, Low ground sporting rights, Two keeper's cottages, About 15,320 acres

Lot 2B Sluigan
Grouse shooting and stalking rights, One keeper's cottage, About 11,160 acres

Lot 3 Corndavon
Grouse shooting and stalking rights, Low ground sporting rights, Two keeper's cottages, About 12,690 acres

Whilst there is merit in keeping the moors together it is conceivable that interest will dictate that the castle is taken independently of the moors, and that each moor may go to different parties. Only in the event of terms being agreed for Lot 1 would the remaining lots be offered separately. Lot 4 would only be available in conjunction with either of the other lots.

The Estate Trustees' Objectives
It has been Estate policy to manage the moors to improve and enhance the sporting interests with a view to preserving these valuable assets for future generations. Until 1992 the sport on Corndavon was kept in-hand by the Laird of Invercauld. Grouse were often prolific and in most seasons surplus
shooting was let. Corndavon, together with the neighbouring Invercauld moors of Gairnshiel and Micras, were the subject of a Sporting Partnership for 14 years until 2009. Gairnshiel and Micras
were entered into a new agreement in 2009 for a period of ten years. The castle and Home Beat were used between 2004 - 2010 by a third party, the castle principally as a private residence but also by shooting parties and other guests. Whilst the building is immediately habitable it may be a condition of occupation that ongoing improvements are undertaken. The moors are to be made available on a long term, improving basis. It is relevant that a caring partner will be sought, one who can demonstrate that their objectives concur with those of the Trustees. Occupancy is subject to repayment to the Estate of the cost of running the sportings. The Sporting Partner will be entitled to
receive the income from the sport (ie. grouse, stalking income and venison).

The indicative annual expenditure on each part is as follows:
Home Beat (including Sluigan) £150,000
Corndavon £120,000
Dee fishings £10,000

As part of the tender process, interested parties will be requested to provide a brief summary of their plans and objectives for both the castle and the moors; if shortlisted, they will be asked to provide further details.


Lot 1: The Castle Of Invercauld
The Castle of Invercauld has been the seat of the Chiefs of Clan Farquharson since the 14th century and possesses what is generally conceded to be one of the finest situations on Deeside. Elevated on a terrace above the River Dee against a backdrop of mature conifers
and the Grampian Mountains beyond, it is scarcely a mile from Braemar Castle, which stands within line of sight on the opposite bank of the River Dee, and only about six miles from the royal residence, Balmoral Castle.

The castle is approached by a private drive from the main entrance gate to a gravelled sweep at the front. Built of local granite and dominated by its central six storeyed tower, its Scots Baronial style
complements the grandeur of its location. It is Category A listed and contains fabric from the 17th to 19th centuries including fine interior work.
The castle is partially centrally heated with oil and gas boilers and is serviced by a private water supply. It was rewired throughout in 2002, and there are modern fire and burglar alarms. The ground and first floor accommodation is now as laid out on the accompanying plans. The main entrance leads to the upper and lower halls. Off the lower hall are the library and office/reading room. Beyond is the dining room, which seats up to 30, where it is reported that the Jacobite Chiefs met to arrange their plans before the 1715 rising. To the rear of the castle on the ground floor there are a breakfast room, kitchens, pantries, laundry, boiler room and cloakroom, as well as access to the rear courtyard.

The drawing room is off the upper hall on the first floor, and has lovely views south over parkland towards the River Dee. On the same floor are four bedrooms, two en suite, and four further
bathrooms. The central stairway leads to the second floor where there is a master bedroom with an en suite bathroom, four further bedrooms and three bathrooms. The Archive Room could make
another bedroom on this floor. The third floor has three bedrooms, one with an en suite bathroom,
two shower rooms, and a second bathroom. On the fourth floor are two bedrooms and a bathroom, all installed in 2006. The fifth and final floor above has a games room. The Nursery Flat within the castle has a kitchen, three bedrooms, a playroom and a bathroom over two floors. The Butler's Flat is accessed from outside via the North Courtyard and has three bedrooms, a kitchen, sitting room and bathroom. The Caretaker's Cottage has two bedrooms, a kitchen, sitting room and bathroom.
Detached from and to the east of the castle is the Ball Room, a detached and timber built hall under a corrugated iron roof. Behind the castle are a grouse larder, recently renovated gun room,
Victorian dairy, workshop, stores and garaging for up to three cars.

The castle has a charming woodland garden with a number of paths amidst mature conifers.

Lots 2a & 2b: The Home Beat & Sluigan
The Home Beat and Sluigan vary widely in character from rolling moor to steep glens. This provides first class grouse shooting. Ptarmigan and blue mountain hares are also available for excellent
days on the high tops. The Home Beat rises from around 350 metres (1,150 ft) to the
highest peak at 1123 metres (3,685 ft) in the west. Typically there may be up to four driven days, in addition to which up to 15 walked up days may normally be enjoyed. There are 19 lines of butts in
total. Two principal four-wheel drive tracks lead to the hill from the low ground and provide good access to the lines of grouse butts. Sluigan provides more challenging terrain, and typically provides two driven days over 10 lines of butts.

Following a comprehensive programme of heather burning and vermin control, grouse bags have been much improved in recent years and the ten year average bag is 450 brace. The moor is
established for a head keeper and two under keepers. Game book records for grouse are held from 1898 to the current year. The all time record bag on the Home Beat was 1,250 brace in 2004.

The Home Beat supports a resident population of red deer. The
topography offers challenging stalking. Whilst culls have averaged around 67 stags in the last ten years, it is thought that a sustainable sporting cull on the Home Beat might be nearer 10 - 15 stags, and on Sluigan 5 - 10 stags Highland ponies are generally used for extraction and could be made available by agreement. Roe deer may be stalked on the low ground.

Low Ground Shoot
The low ground comprises principally woodland with some lowland grazing. Whilst the Trustees' primary objective is for the Sporting Partner to concentrate on grouse, they would not object to the
development of a small family (non-commercial) shoot on the low ground. There is scope for some enjoyable rough shooting in the woodlands over the winter months and perhaps a limited number of
small driven days of pheasant, partridge, duck and woodcock. A restriction on the number of birds released will be included in the Agreement.

Part of the Home Beat hill ground is farmed under seasonal grazing agreements with sheep being the main enterprise. There are currently no sheep on the Sluigan beat.

The woodlands on Home Beat and Sluigan comprise a mixture of Scots pine, larch and birch, with areas of regeneration and planting protected by deer fences.

The Estate will provide houses for keepers, subject to the recovery of costs. Three traditional stone built keeper's cottages lie within the subjects and may be made available for Home Beat keepering staff:
Stables Cottage (3 bedrooms), No 1 Keiloch Cottage (3 bedrooms) and Kennels Cottage (3 bedrooms). There are dog kennels for all three cottages, and an excellent general purpose storage shed near Stables Cottage. All are serviced with oil-fired central heating, private water and private drainage.

Lot 3: Corndavon
Corndavon is predominantly heather hill with in-bye grazings, mainly alongside the upper reaches of the River Gairn. To the south the land gives way to natural birch and pine woodlands offering potential to develop a small low ground shoot. The moor offers five separate days driving over 23 lines of butts. Guns enjoy some spectacular views over miles of unspoilt countryside with Lochnagar prominent against the skyline to the south. All butts are readily accessible by vehicles. Besides grouse and deer, the wildlife is plentiful. The 10 year average on Corndavon currently stands at 238 brace and 12 stags. There is however considerable scope for improvement. The moor is currently established for two keepers and a trainee.

With the planned reduction in deer numbers in recent years, stalking on Corndavon has become secondary to grouse shooting. As a result, most deer are currently shot as part of a management cull. There is nonetheless an opportunity for a Sporting Partner to enjoy occasional days stalking of both red and roe deer. The ground is both scenic and challenging to the stalker.

Low Ground Shoot
Whilst the Trustees' primary objective is for the Sporting Partner to concentrate on grouse, they would not object to the development of a small family (non-commercial) shoot on the low ground. There is scope for some enjoyable rough shooting in the woodlands over the winter months and perhaps a limited number of small driven days of pheasant, partridge, duck and woodcock. A restriction on the number of birds released will be included in the Agreement.

Much of the land is farmed under agricultural tenancies or seasonal grazing agreements with sheep being the main enterprise. The Estate has been working closely with the tenant farmer over the past few years to achieve best practice sheep treatment for the eradication of tick.

There are strips of woodland along the southern flanks of the moors but these are separated from the moor by a stock fence which also helps reduce the spread of tick from the forest areas. The
predominant species are Scots pine and birch, mostly native but with small commercial pine blocks. The western march of Corndavon is protected by a deer fence to prevent incursion by red
deer from the neighbouring deer forest.

Suitable accommodation will be made available for keepering staff. Tynabaich House, occupied by the Head Keeper, is a traditional stone built cottage (3 bedrooms) conveniently situated beside the
Upper Deeside road just west of Crathie. It has a good range of kennels and outbuildings well suited to a keeper's needs for garaging and storage. A second cottage (Gardener's Cottage, 3
bedrooms) is also available.

Lot 4: River Dee Fishings
The River Dee is a world renowned salmon river and Invercauld Estate is fortunate to own several miles of fishing in the upper reaches The catches tend to peak in May and June. The Private
Water is typically fished by a single rod for a full day; up to three rods may fish for a shorter period. A part-time ghillie may be available by agreement. The Private Water is double bank. A detailed fishing map is available on request.

Whilst the right to fish the remainder of the Invercauld Beats is not included with the sportings offered, it may be possible for interested parties to lease fishing on a weekly basis by separate arrangement with the Estate Office.


From Perth and the south take the A93 north to Blairgowrie and follow signs to Braemar. At Braemar, continue on the A93 through the village towards Aberdeen. After about three miles and after crossing the Invercauld Bridge over the River Dee, the entrance gates to the Castle of Invercauld will be seen immediately on the left hand side.

From Aberdeen, follow the A93 up Royal Deeside towards Braemar. After passing through Crathie with Balmoral Castle on the left, follow the A93 for a further six miles. Before crossing the River Dee at the Invercauld Bridge, the entrance gates to the Castle of Invercauld will be seen on the right.

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Added on Rightmove:
19 May 2011


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