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Vast £23m Scottish estate neighbouring Balmoral for sale for first time in 500 years

·2-min read
A £23 million price tag: the 11,500-acre Abergeldie Estate is for sale for the first time since 1482 when it was bestowed on the Gordon family by King James III  (Handout)
A £23 million price tag: the 11,500-acre Abergeldie Estate is for sale for the first time since 1482 when it was bestowed on the Gordon family by King James III (Handout)

A vast Scottish estate neighbouring Balmoral has been listed for sale for the first time in more than 500 years for £23 million.

Spanning 11,500 acres, in the heart of the Cairngorms National Park, the estate was leased by the Royal Family until the 1960s when the Baron of Abergeldie, John Gordon, and his wife Gillian assumed occupancy — moving into Abergeldie Castle on the River Dee.

The couple managed the entire estate themselves until John's death late last year and now Gillian plans to find a new custodian for the lands and 34 buildings which are included in the sale. The castle is not included in the sale as Gillian plans to continue living there, keeping some land around it for privacy.

"I couldn't run it with 10 staff, but they did it themselves for 50 years," said Gordon Fraser of selling agents Frasers & Mulligan.

"Hopefully it'll go to somebody interested in looking after the interests of the land. And Gillian will be hands on in choosing the next custodian."

Abergeldie Estate is most remarkable for being in such an accessible location, says Fraser: "A lot of these estates are very remote, in the middle of nowhere, whereas here you're 50 miles from Aberdeen.

Thirty-four outhouses, cottages and lodges are to be included in the sale (Handout)
Thirty-four outhouses, cottages and lodges are to be included in the sale (Handout)

"A lot of it is really wild terrain. And it needs money spent on it, but if you're going to spend money on somewhere you might as well do it in Mayfair over Brixton."

Shooting and hunting rights over the estate are still let out to Balmoral, so the next owner could be in for a surprise should the neighbours ever come to tea.

Fraser says interest so far has been good, with many enquirers choosing to remain anonymous — as is common with listings of this value — but there are “enough names to go ahead” with the first viewings this week.

The 34 buildings included in the sale are made up of houses, lodges and outhouses, the majority are rented out, around 10 are vacant and three are uninhabitable.

This is the first time the estate has been for sale since it was bestowed to the Gordon family by King James III in 1482. It is bordered to the north by the River Dee, a world-famous salmon fishing river, while low-ground farmland spans over 600 acres.

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