A “heavenly” country estate which has been home to two extraordinary women has been put on the market for £3 million.
Kinrara is set in more than 1,000 acres of the Scottish Highlands and boasts a large principal house and a further five estate cottages.
It lies adjacent to the River Spey in the Cairngorms National Park and has a renowned pheasant shoot.
And the estate, described as having one of the finest Georgian properties in the region, has been home to two influential and colourful women.
It was built in the 1790s for Jane, Duchess of Gordon, following her estrangement from the Duke of Gordon.
She was renowned for her independent spirit and beauty as well as her forthright determination and political endeavour.
Jane, Duchess of Gordon, was one of the leading political hostesses of her time and both at her London home on Pall Mall and on the sprung dance floor she had installed along the full length of Kinrara House, she threw lavish parties.
One of her proudest achievements was securing titled husbands for all five of her daughters, including three dukes, a marquis and a baronet.
She insisted the marriages and offspring of all her daughters be inscribed on her gravestone, which lies at Kinrara near the ancient site of St Eata’s Chapel near the banks of the Spey.
She also established The Gordon Highlanders, later commanded by her son George, recruiting it’ first battalion in 1794 with ‘a shilling and a kiss’, by offering the King’s shilling between her teeth to any man who would join their ranks.
From around 1929 until 1936 Kinrara was lived in by a second extraordinary woman.
Lucy, Lady Houston, was a former ‘show-girl’ known as ‘Poppy’.
She eloped in 1873 at the age of 16 to Paris with a member of one of the families that owned the Bass Brewery, Frederick Gretton.
They had a tumultuous relationship and when he died in 1882, he left her £6,000 per year for life.
She went onto marry three times and was an active suffragette.
Later in her life she made a huge financial and political contribution to the fledgling aviation industry, with her funding ultimately leading to the development of the Spitfire.
The Kinrara Estate’s current owner has just put it up for sale with Savills for a guide price of £3 million-plus.
Of national importance historically, architecturally, and for its spectacular woodlands, Kinrara is “a hidden gem amongst the majestic mountains” which form the dramatic backdrop.
Evelyn Channing, of Savills, said: “Kinrara has it all, tranquillity and beauty and a range of possibilities for developing income streams.
“Its lovely setting, in the midst of glorious Speyside which attracts visitors from all over the world, will appeal to entrepreneurial buyers wishing to capitalise on Scotland’s growing tourist sector.
“Or, quite simply it will appeal to those looking for the ultimate family home in the Highlands.”
There are seven principal bedrooms on the first floor of Kinrara House with a further five bedrooms located in the cadet wing, which was used in recent years to accommodate cadets from the Gordon Highlanders.
The main house also has two self-contained apartment and the estate, which has five further cottages, has fishing, stalking and shooting rights, wonderful wetlands, pasture and glorious mixed woodlands.
Set in 1,010 acres, the estate has a 3.2 mile stretch of the River Spey for salmon and sea trout fishing.
It also provides an excellent habitat for both Roe deer and Red deer hinds It is thought the population would support culls of up to about 30 Roe deer and ten Red deer hinds per year.
Jane, Duchess of Gordon, and her daughter-in-law Elizabeth Marchioness of Huntly were avid tree planters and are responsible for the Scots-pine woodlands which continue to thrive on the estate.
By Ben Gelblum and Adrian Hearn