Beechmont House up for sale for £4.5m

Beechmount House. Picture: Retties
Beechmount House. Picture: Retties
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A FRESH bid is being made to sell off a multi-million-pound mansion and former war ­hospital designed by a fêted Victorian architect.

Beechmount House, on Corstorphine Road, sits in eight sprawling acres of private grounds and boasts its own gate lodge and coach house – with estate agents billing it “one of Edinburgh’s most impressive properties”.

Beechmount House. Picture: Retties

Beechmount House. Picture: Retties

But despite a catalogue of stunning features such as a tower, marble fireplaces, grand Imperial staircase, formal ballroom and long, tree-lined private driveway, the property has languished on the open market for the past four years.

The imposing Italianate estate dates from 1900 and was designed by John Watson, former head of architecture at Edinburgh College of Art and assistant to Sir Robert Rowand Anderson – the brains behind the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Queen Street.

It is on the market with a guide price of £4.5 million and was previously the private residence of Sir George Anderson, treasurer of the Bank of Scotland from 1889 to 1916.

A century on, the grand house still proudly displays the bank’s coat of arms over its entrance porch.

Beechmount House. Picture: Retties

Beechmount House. Picture: Retties

After Sir George’s death, however, his wife bequeathed the house and estate to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, to be used as a convalescent home for officers injured in the First World War.

The mansion continued to be used as a hospital until the late 1980s, when it returned to private ownership and became residential apartments.

The B-listed property’s former staff wing now houses short-term rental tenants, producing an income of around £61,000 a year.

James Whitson, a director at Rettie, which is selling Beechmount House, said the estate was back on the market after being taken off for eight months following a “challenging” sales period.

Beechmount House. Picture: Retties

Beechmount House. Picture: Retties

And he revealed a number of potential buyers – some from as far afield as Asia and America – had now shown an interest in the mansion. He said: “I’m showing all kinds of people [around it]. It’s a fantastic building.”

Property bosses said planning consent had previously been granted to convert the house into a boutique hotel, while the staff wing “offers the opportunity for renovation”.

The gate lodge and coach house, meanwhile, both have planning consent for alteration and extension.

The sales pitch reads: “Beechmount House offers a prime opportunity for conversion into a large family home, care home or apartments, subject to the necessary consents.”

Photos show spacious interiors offering sweeping views towards the Pentlands.

And the high surrounding wall, long drive and accompanying gate lodge ensure that any future resident will enjoy privacy and security.

alistair.grant@jpress.co.uk