6 bedroom detached house for saleThe Craig, By Montrose, Angus, DD10
- Castellated house
- Extensive gardens
- Policy woods and paddocks
- Close to Montrose Basin
- 2 bed cottage
- Separate cottage in addition
- EPC Rating = F
One of the most historic houses in Scotland
The Craig is situated just to the south of Montrose Basin and Nature Reserve, renowned for its wide variety of migratory bird life, tidal changes and spectacular sunsets. The River South Esk flows into the Basin and out into the North Sea. Within the heart of agricultural Angus, the Basin is surrounded by hills and rolling farmland as well as the hiker’s paradise of the Angus Glens to the north reaching the Grampians; its hill walking is among the finest in Scotland. The Angus coast includes popular sandy beaches including Montrose, Lunan Bay and St Cyrus and also historic ruins, red sandstone cliffs and beautiful vistas and landmarks.
Nearby and inland, a sportsman’s paradise exists in the form of golf, including courses at Montrose, Brechin, Edzell, with the championship courses of Carnoustie, Gleneagles and St Andrews within easy reach, as well as some of the finest shooting and fishing in Scotland.
Excellent roads and train services place Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Perth and points to the north and south, accessible and easy. Montrose is well served by various train services, with connections throughout the United Kingdom, and a good direct service to London. Edinburgh and Aberdeen airports have a range of domestic, European and international flights while Dundee connects to London Stansted and to Amsterdam.
Nearby Montrose is an historic port, once one of Scotland’s principal ports of entry. Trading dates back many centuries. The town provides comprehensive shopping for provisions, a monthly farmer’s market with local producers and vendors and all the other services inherent in an active town. There is a good library, NHS practice, gymnasium and leisure facilities, an active tennis club as well as an annual music festival.
Montrose has a secondary school and at nearby Johnshaven, Lathallan is a well-regarded private school. Further private schooling is possible at Dundee High School, as well as Robert Gordon’s College, The Albyn and St. Margaret’s School in Aberdeen, which are all available on a daily commuting basis, by car or train. Other schools in the general vicinity are St Leonard’s in St Andrews, Glenalmond and Strathallan.
HISTORICAL AND ARCHITECTURAL NOTE
The Craig, also known as Craig Castle or Craig House is one of the oldest properties in Scotland with a fascinating and diverse history as well as having been continuously occupied throughout its existence with records dating from the 13th century.
In “1535, James Beaton, Archbishop of St. Andrews granted the lands of Craig together with…the tower and fortalice built on them…to David Wood, one of James V’s closest advisors and later his Comptroller and Coroner of the shires of Forfar and Kincardine… Archbishop John Spottiswood granted them to James Carnegie (in 1620)... son of David, Lord Carnegie (later, first Earl of Southesk).” (James Gifford, Buildings of Scotland, Dundee and Angus, Yale University Press, 2012).
Tradition claims that Sir James Douglas spent his final night in Scotland at The Craig protecting the heart of Robert Bruce, to transport it faithfully to the Holy Land in battle against the Saracens. On two occasions (1535 and 1539), visits by King James V are historically noted and Mary Queen of Scots is described as having visited and stayed twice at Craig Castle, the first visit during her initial Northern Progress. She may have set fire to the house during another visit believing it to be an enemy stronghold. Additionally, the Old Pretender is thought to have passed his final night at Craig Castle before departing into exile to France.
A long entry by Nigel Tranter in the Fortified House in Scotland (James Thin, 1986) describes the pleasing and high position of the castle overlooking the Basin and its “interesting and most unusual series of buildings of highly individual planning,” describing flanking drum towers protected by gun loops, sturdy and strong square 15th century towers as well as the high walls enclosing and protecting the courtyard.
In the book, Queen’s Scotland, The Eastern Counties, (Hodder and Stoughton,) Tranter continues, “Craig House or Castle…is an exciting place…a most unusual complex…dating from the 15th and 17th centuries and later,” adding …” the composition is most picturesque with high curtain-walls, gunloops, parapets and crow-stepped gables.”
James Gifford also describes walling at The Craig as having “been partially rebuilt in harled brickwork in the late 18th century, probably for Hercules Ross who had made a fortune……during the American War of Independence…..The house’s entrance in now in the west range”... with “a Georgian cantilevered stair. The principal first floor rooms are in the north range. At its west end is the drawing room.” The ceiling has a recent recreation of an original painted ceiling from the Scottish Renaissance of the 16th century, fragments of which were located in 1921 during restorative work and bearing the date of 1529. These fragments from Craig Castle are presently on display in the Museum of Scotland, as described by Michael Bath in the Renaissance Decorative Paintings of Scotland (2003). The creation of the present ceiling was designed and painted by the well-known American artist, Richard Jordan, who included all of the historical fragments in the design which includes birds and beasts, human figures and initials from the period.
The property and house have undergone significant restoration, improvements and modernization since in 1986, continuing through the stewardship of the present owners. Richard Jordan, an architectural and decorative artist-painter was also commissioned to oversee the colour plan and to execute two other friezes in the house. The dining room has a variety of extinct Scottish animals and the morning room has a decorative cornice.
Since 2003, the courtyard Victorian loggia has been renovated, the master bathroom has benefitted from a respectful modernization, a shower has been added and most of the utilities have been upgraded throughout. The kitchen has been improved with the addition of a second Aga, basin and cabinets while maintaining the feeling of a country kitchen. The boiler has been renewed, a fire alarm added along with careful rewiring of the property. Outside, the magnificent walled gardens have been enhanced, an old greenhouse refurbished in the lower gardens, as well as the addition of raised vegetable beds and a tool shed.
The Craig, a castellated house or castle, is situated within extensive grounds and gardens, 130 feet above the Montrose Basin. The approach, a tree-lined avenue leading to ancient, ivy covered drum towers, takes one through an arch in the 15th century curtain wall with an inscription, “qui s’y frotte s’y pique”. The drive leads into a courtyard around which the house and walls extend on three sides, the southwest wall hosting a Barbican tower with corbelled parapets. It is a dramatic, yet welcoming entrance. Unusually, the house sits in the middle of beautiful gardens affording special vistas throughout. As such every window in The Craig offers light and a view.
There are lovely wooded grounds and paddocks. These include the old west drive and policy woods around the house. They provide privacy and shelter, together with woodland walks. Recently some of the fields, which used to grow raspberries, have been planted. There is a further field beyond the entrance into The Craig.
Situated below the gardens, overlooking Montrose Basin this is an attractive harled cottage with a slate roof and double glazing. It can be reached from the road which comes up past Timber Cottage. All the rooms are accessed from the hallway. The living room has recessed shelves and an open fireplace with stone mantel, and which houses a wood burning stove. The kitchen has fitted base units with sink, Beko four ring ceramic cooker, Beko fridge/freezer, two shelved cupboards, a linen cupboard which houses the hot water tank and a back door to the garden. The bathroom is partially tiled with bath, washbasin and WC. Adjacent is bedroom 2 while bedroom 1 has a recessed wardrobe and cupboard.
To the rear of the property is a stone built shed with box profile roofing (4.31 m x 3.74 m) which has power and light. The enclosed garden is mainly down to grass.
Further two bedroom cottage may be avaiable in addition.
Square Footage: 6,478 sq ft
Acreage: 20.8 Acres
If coming from the north on the A90 (Aberdeen to Perth dual carriageway) take either the A92 at Stonehaven or the A937 at Laurencekirk, and proceed to Montrose. Continue through Montrose, on the A92. Just south of Montrose and opposite the junction with the A934 (Forfar road) turn left, signposted Balgove. Proceed up the hill for about half a mile and at the right hand corner proceed straight ahead and then turn left and proceed down the avenue. Care should be taken driving through the gatehouse arch to the parking adjacent to the house. Alternatively there is parking just outside the gatehouse.
If coming from the south on the A90, head north from Dundee and turn off at Forfar and then take the B9113 signposted for Montrose. Proceed over the junction with the A933 onto the A934, following signs for Montrose. At the junction with the A92 (Montrose to Arbroath road), proceed straight over, signposted Balgove, and continue as above.
If coming from the south on the A92 (coast road) head north from Arbroath towards Montrose. Just before reaching Montrose and opposite the junction with the A934 (Forfar road) turn right, signposted Balgove, and proceed as above.
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