A Description of Boleskine House

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BOLESKINE HOUSE Foyers, Inverness-shire. Foyers 1.5 miles, Fort Agustus 14 miles, Inverness 18 miles, Edinburg (Airport) 140 miles, Dalcross (Inverness) Airport 28 miles. Entrance Hall, Drawing Room, Dining Room, Playroom, Kitchen, Utility Room, 5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms, Cellars. [Crowley, of course, used some of these rooms for quite a different purpose, especially when he was engaged in the Abra-Melin Operation.]

GATE LODGE Living Room, Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom.

Traditional stone built former Coach House. Well maintained lawns and gardens with fish pond, fruit garden and orchard. About 18 acres fenced and railed Paddocks. Mature Woodlands, 250 yards of Loch Frontage. About 47 acres with vacant possession.

SITUATION Boleskine House occupies a spectacular position overlooking Loch Ness and yet is o­nly 18 miles from the centre of Inverness from where the mainline British Rail service links to the rest of the UK. Dalcross Airport is about 10 miles further East via the A96 (T) Nairn road.

The A9 (T) road is the main North South route for the East of Scotland and from Inverness, Perth (90 miles) is 1.5 hours and Edinburg (140 miles) is 2 hours by car.

Excellent salmon fishing can be rented o­n Loch Ness and evidence of this can be seen in the Foyers Hotel who keep a pictorial record of all fish caught over 15 lbs. The owners of Boleskine House have the right to fish for trout o­n Loch Ness from the bank and there are numerous hill lochs and several rivers nearby which provide excellent sport.

Loch Ness, being part of the Caldonian Waterway, is a very popular boating area and Boleskine House has a Boathouse o­n the edge of the Loch allowing the owners to keep a boat.

DESCRIPTION Boleskine House enjoys o­ne of the best situations in the Highlands with unrivalled views over, and frontage to, Loch Ness. The property benefits from beautiful mature gardens and grounds extending in all to about 47.5 acres.

In front of the House are terraced lawns and flowering borders and to the rear of the House the garden is laid to lawns and flowering shrubs with box hedge borders and a large pond. There is also a soft fruit garden and orchard.

Boleskine House and gardens are further enhanced by the natural backdrop of a steep hillside dominated by a mass of rhododendrons, mature Larch, Birch, Scots Pine, Noble and Douglas Fir trees.

RIGHTS OF ACCESS A tarmacadam track passes through the land below the B852 minor County Road as marked A-B o­n the enclosed plan. The owner of Boleskine House has a vehicular right of access over this track in order to reach the land running down to Loch Ness.

ENVIRONMENTAL STIPULATIONS Boleskine House, the Gate Lodge and Coach-house are listed Category ‘B’ as buildings of architectural or historic interest. NOTE: There is an informal agreement between the owners of Boleskine House and the Local Authority allowing the free use of the hardcore area above the burial ground as car parking o­n the rare occasions when a burial is taking place in the Boleskine Burial Yard.

HISTORY Boleskine House was built in the late Eighteenth Century o­n land acquired from the Church by the Honourable Archibald Fraser, a relative of Lieutenant General Simon Fraser, Lord Lovat at the time. The Honourable Archibald Fraser reputedly chose this site for a house in order to irritate Lord Lovat, whose lands surrounded the property, in retribution for Lord Lovat’s support of the English during the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745.

The associations with the Fraser family can also be seen in the Boleskine Burial Ground situated below the B852. Recognised as a site of historic interest the burial ground holds several of the family graves and is notable for the remains of the original Chapel and Grave Watcher’s Hut. The Grave Watcher was employed to prevent body snatchers from defiling the graves.

Boleskine House remained in Fraser family ownership until the late Nineteenth or early Twentieth Century. Since then there have been several owners.

BOLESKINE HOUSE A pair of iron gates beside the attractive Gate Lodge give access to a tarmacadam drive ending in a large gravel sweep behind Boleskine House. Entry to Boleskine House is achieved via a handsome sandstone porch. Double storm doors give access to:

ENTRANCE HALL. With a pair of display alcoves and two walk-in cupboards, o­ne of which is fitted with coat hooks. The roof above this section of the house has been completely rebuilt by the present owners using steel beams to replace the old roof timbers. Doors lead off to:

DRAWING ROOM (W). 26′ 5″ x 18′ 2″:. Large bay window with wonderful views over Loch Ness to the South, West and North, moulded ceiling cornice, open fireplace housing a solid fuel stove, with tiled hearth and carved wooden surround and mantle featuring fruit, flowers and gargoyles. A pair of recessed book shelves.

PLAYROOM/FAMILY ROOM (N). 21′ 3″ x 18′ 1″. Tiled floor, steps down to cellar, door to:

KITCHEN (W). 29′ 7″ (max) x 18′ 1″. Tiled floor, double drainer stainless steel sink unit with mixer tap and cupboards below, plumbing for dishwasher, electric cooker control point, Oil fiered 2 oven Aga, island table unit, built in airing cupboard with hot water cylinder, built in double storage cupboard, access to extensive attic space, door to:

REAR PORCH. With coat hooks, separate w.c.

UTILITY ROOM (W). With fitted shelves, earthenware sink, plumbing for washing machine, overhead pulley rail. Back door to parking area and gardens.

DINING ROOM (W). 26′ 6″ x 18′ 1″. French window to garden, bay window with views over Loch Ness to the South, West and North, shelved recess, and recess with built in drawers.

BEDROOM 1 (W). 18′ 1″ x 11′ 6″. Built in drawers and wardrobe with hanging rail, night storage heater.

BATHROOM 1 (W). Bath, pedestal wash basin, w.c., electric wall heater.

BEDROOM 2 (W). 18′ 1″ x 11′ 1″. Built in cupboards with hanging rail.

BEDROOM 2 (S&W). 19′ 11″ x 17′ 11″. Shelved recess, built in cupboard, full working shutters.

EN SUITE BATHROOM 2. Bath with fitted shower, pedestal wash basis, w.c., heated towel rail, electric wall heater, “Xpelair” ventilation unit.

BEDROOM 4 (S). 21′ 2″ x 12′ 9″. 2 shelved recesses.

BEDROOM 5 (N&E). 18′ 1″ x 16′. Built in cupboard with shelves above.

EN SUITE BATHROOM 3 (S). Bath, illuminated pedestal wash basin, w.c.

OUTSIDE A second cellar, housing the oil tanks and a “Potterton” oil fired boiler is reached via a door o­n the North gable of Boleskine House.

THE GARDENS Boleskine House is sheltered from the North by a screen of mature Douglas Fir and Cyprus trees and several handsome Cedar trees. In front of the House are well maintained terraced lawns with flowering borders and shrubs running down to a curved Ha-Ha.

To the rear of Boleskine House is a gravelled turning and parking area with a central roundabout containing several Eucalyptus trees. Stone steps lead up to a lovely sheltered garden principally laid to lawns but with several flowering borders and shrubs as well as specimen trees and box hedging. At the top of the garden there is a large pond (measuring approximately 100′ x 40′) which is reputedly a rare breeding habitat for the Great Crested Newt. From the pond a small burn runs down through the garden. Also in the garden is a timber built workshop/garden store with power laid to it and a green house with power and water laid to it containing a productive Black Hamburg vine. Below the greenhouse is a small duck pond.

The steep slopes of Taman Tarsuinn Hill run down to the pond and provide a dramatic backdrop to Boleskine House and gardens. The hillside is covered in a mass of rhododendrons providing a spectacular show of colour in the Spring and many mature Larch, Birch, Scots Pine, Douglas and Noble Firs add to the landscape.

Next to the garden is an extensive soft fruit garden and an orchard. The soft fruit garden contains Raspberries, Logan Berries, Blueberries, Redcurrants, Blackcurrants, White Currants, and Apple and Pear trees. This is complemented by the orchard containing Apple, Pear and Plum trees as well as a single Cherry tree.

THE GATE LODGE The Category ‘B’ listed Gate Lodge lies at the entrance of the tarmadacam drive to Boleskine House and is a most attractive small property with lovely views over Loch Ness. The Lodge is constructed of stone under a slate roof and the accomodation briefly comprise: Large covered porch to substantial double storm doors opening into the Entrance Hall containing the meter cupboard and fuse box, access to the attic housing the cold water tank and doors off to:

KITCHEN, LIVING ROOM (W). 14′ 6″ x 10′. Single drainer stainless steel sink unit, electric cooker control point, built in shelved cupboard containing hot water cylinder, open fireplace with back boiler, electric wall heater.

BATHROOM (E). Bath with shower, pedestal wash basin, w.c., electric wall heater, plumbing for washing machine.

BEDROOM (S&W). 14′ 6″ x 10′. Built in shelved and hanging cupboard.

OUTSIDE In front of the Gate Lodge is a small rockery garden planted with numerous flowering and evergreen shrubs. To the South of the Lodge is a garden area planted with daffodils and flowering Cherry Trees. Behind the Lodge and next to the burn are two productive gooseberry bushes.

OUTBUILDINGS About 200 yards to the north east of Boleskine House, approached over a hardcore track, is a Category ‘B’ listed stone built former Coach House. This is a substantial building and benefits from both mains and private water and mains electricity. If the necessary Planning Consent was obtained, this building could be converted into an attractive Cottage with superb views over Loch Ness.

The building briefly comprises: Stables with 4 stalls, Large Hay Store, Useful Large Store with steps to feed loft above, Storeroom.

Below the Coach House is a substantial former piggery.

At the edge of Loch Ness, o­n the Western boundary of the property, is a timber built BOATHOUSE capable of taking a 16′ boat.

THE LAND The land lies mainly to the south and west of Boleskine House, although the House occupies a reasonably central position o­n the property. The land is mainly pasture but the hill ground behind the House and garden, and the land running down to Loch Ness below the access road to the west of the graveyard are wooded.

Below the Coach House is a most useful pony paddock extending to about 2 acres. This paddock is partly railed and partly fenced with stock proof fencing. A second paddock lies to the south of the House and extends to about 3 acres.

Beyond a burn a further paddock extends to about 10 acres and has the benefit of separate access off the B852. Below the country road, there are 2 further paddocks extending to about 3 acres in total.

Thanks to Both Fhleisginn for supplying this, the earliest known description of the House:

On the eve of St. Andrew was completely finished, with masonic honours, the Cottage of Boleskin, erected by the Hon. A Fraser of Lovat, o­n the side of, and embracing the view of Loch Ness, a piece of water 24 miles long, and between 2 and 3 miles broad. Its termination o­n the left is the water and remarkable cascade of Foyers; and its front the countries of Glenmoriston and Urquhart, with their ancient Castles; o­n its right Marshal Wade’s Hut, with the passage Faragig, and the stupendous glass fort, and signal hill D’un-d’arthulla, with its rocky woodland scenery, equally romantic, but less terrific than Glencoe. Here the new road of Inverfarragig opens, through weeping Birches, and coppices of Oak, Holly, and mountain Ash, to the hunting country of Stratherick, facing southwards; bounded o­n the east by the Charr-lake of Ruthven, and o­n the west by that of Tarff; the centre of Stratherick opens o­n the evergreen meadow pastures of the forests of Killin, bounded due west by Culachy. Grazings, o­n whose brows modern Barouche can be driven to a position whence the Western and Eastern Ocean are clearly seen every fine summer’s eve.

The Boleskin Cottage, with its double green houses, facing the rising and the setting sun, its Meranda, whose principal apartment is of forty feet long, embraces more of the simplex munditiæ in the midst of majestic scenery than perhaps any spot in Europe; the body of the Mansion is built of solid silver tissued Granite, and its proportions are pure Grecian Ionic. The wings and offices are of Saxon frame work, white as driven snow; the whole building by a projecting roof of azure Ballachulish slates, harmonizing with the Lake below the Sky above it; and here the snow never lies one day, so that herds of cattle ornament the grounds, at open pasture, in the dead of winter.

(Anon., ‘Cottage of Boleskin’, Inverness Journal (01 Dec., 1809), 3.)

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