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7 bedroom detached house for sale

Arbigland House, Kirkbean, Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, DG2

Sold STC £1,150,000

Property Description

Key features

  • Georgian country house
  • magnificent coastal gardens
  • 5 reception rooms
  • 7 bedrooms & 4 bathrooms
  • courtyard with garages
  • 7 bed guest cottage
  • 3 bed gardeners cottage
  • derelict stables cottage
  • woodland gardens with lake
  • EPC Rating = G

Full description

Tenure: Freehold

Refurbished Georgian country house with magnificent coastal gardens and sea views


Arbigland is set just above the coast of the Solway Firth. The house lies between mature policy woodlands and magnificent wooded gardens which run down to the sea. It has open outlooks to both the north and south with sea views from all the main windows.
The property was formerly part of Arbigland Estate which extends to about 1000 acres in all. The surrounding countryside combines rolling grass farmland, a spectacular coastline and an abundance of established woodland. There are many attractive walks and opportunities for pheasant shooting and wild fowling.
The south west of Scotland is a genuinely rural area of Scotland. The area has a mild Gulf Stream climate which allows a variety of tender plants to be grown. There is a RSPB bird reserve nearby at Mershead on the Solway Firth.
Recreational opportunities nearby include pheasant shooting, salmon fishing on the Rivers Nith and Annan, hunting with the Dumfriesshire & Stewartry Foxhounds and roe deer stalking in the forests inland. The coast offers opportunities for sailing, with a marina at Kippford 10 miles away. There is a championship quality coastal golf course at Southerness which is only 3 miles away.
Dumfries, 12 miles to the north, is an active country town which provides a wide range of facilities including schools, a hospital, a wide range of shops, sports clubs and professional services. The M6 and M74, the main route from north-west England to Scotland, is only 24 miles to the east. There are railway stations at both Dumfries and Carlisle with services to Glasgow and London. Glasgow airport has a wide range of regular domestic and international services.


The original house at Arbigland was McCulloch's Castle which lay above the cliff to the north of the present property and was used from the Iron Age to about 1500. Thereafter the main house was moved to the top of the cliff on the south side of the bay. The foundations of that building are still in use as the present day sunken garden.

In 1679 the Craik family bought the property and transformed the land to create the estate which exists today. William Craik designed a house to be built set back from the shore, it in the style of Adam, the most famous domestic architect of that time. The new house was completed in 1755.

John Paul was born at Arbigland in 1747, son of the head gardener of the estate. In 1761, at the age of 13, he went to sea and sailed to the American colonies. There he became a merchant captain and amassed a small fortune. In the War of Independence he was the American Navy's ablest commander and earned a place in history as the "Father of the United States Navy". Paul Jones' Cottage, just beyond Arbigland House, has been converted into the John Paul Jones Birthplace Museum and Visitor Centre.


Arbigland House has a classical Georgian entrance façade with a central pediment above Ionic pillars, stone urns on the roof and decorative stone detail. There are matching single storey octagonal pavilions on either side. A porch was subsequently added to the entrance façade to protect the front door from the prevailing south westerly wind.

Internally, the accommodation is arranged on three floors with a basement below. The house has beautifully proportioned rooms, particularly on the ground floor. Many original features such as fireplaces, decorative cornice work and window shutters remain.

The house has been fully refurbished over the past ten years and now provides luxurious accommodation. The ground, first and second floors are all of highly manageable proportions. There is considerable scope to create more accommodation in the basement and also in the unused elevations of the courtyard.


Just to the west of the house is an enclosed traditional courtyard built of stone under a slate roof. The courtyard dates from about 1680 and therefore pre-dates the main house. The courtyard is rectangular and cobbled. It has central archways with a dovecot above the eastern entrance archway.


Arbigland House is set in grounds of over 24 acres which give the house great protection and amenity.

To the front of the house is a large gravel sweep surrounded by banks of rhododendrons. There is a wrought iron fence and steps leading down to the coastal gardens. To the rear of the house is a new formal garden. It has a central rill with a fountain at the end and formal beds with box hedging. A gate opens into a paddock with views to the Solway Firth beyond.
There is a drying green and a lawn behind the courtyard. Adjacent to this is a kitchen garden enclosed with a high beech hedge with productive, south facing vegetable gardens and fenced fruit beds. There is a former tennis court and pavilion, currently disused and requiring refurbishment.

Coastal Gardens

The coastal gardens originate from about 1680, when the Craiks built a carriage drive from the stable block to their house above the shore. This avenue is now known as the "Broad Walk". There are magnificent trees and a mass of rhododendrons to either side.

The gardens were laid out in their present state by the chatelaine in the 1920's.

The gardens are well protected by established woodlands which include stands of conifers and a mix of broad leaf trees. This combined with the mild climatic conditions (which are comparable with Torquay, over 300 miles to the south) means that a huge variety of tender plants and shrubs not often seen in Scotland are flourishing. The gardens are included in the Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes in Scotland. Features include:

Sundial inscribed Arbigland 1815 to commemorate the battle of Waterloo. Four symmetrical beds around. Potting shed to the side.

Sunken garden centred on stone obelisk. Symmetrical beds with box hedging. Open pavilion to side with inscription POW 1946, believed to have been built by Italian prisoners of war.

Decorative well with circular bed around.

Large pond or lake thought to date from 1750 with central island. Wooden bridges over burns.

Above the pond is an area called Japan, with acers, bamboos and hostas. 1930s water feature fed by mains water supply. Handkerchief walk with handkerchief trees (Davidia involucrata).

Square Footage: 10,796 sq ft
Acreage: 24 Acres


From Dumfries take the A710 road south, pass through the village of New Abbey and continue south for a further 3 miles to the small village of Kirkbean. In Kirkbean turn left off the A710 and take the first turning on the right. Follow this minor road for a further mile. The driveway to Arbigland is signposted on the left hand side.

Follow the tree lined drive to the junction opposite the gates to Arbigland. Proceed through the gates and continue on to the house.

More information from this agent

Listing History

Added on Rightmove:
25 May 2013

Map & Street View

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