Abandoned mansion with links to Spanish royalty up for sale

An once grand Palladian mansion that has links to the Spanish royal family and was abandoned by its owners more than 60 years ago has gone up for sale.

Monday, 28th May 2018, 6:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 29th May 2018, 12:41 pm
Wardhouse near Insch, Aberdeenshire, has been abandoned for more than 60 years and is now on the market. PIC: Contributed.

Wardhouse near Insch, Aberdeenshire, was left behind in the 1950s by the “Spanish Gordons”, a branch of the prominent north east family whose lineage took on an Iberian connection after several of its members moved to Jerez to make their fortune in sherry.

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Designed by revered Scottish architect John Adam in 1757, the ruined property is now up for sale for £500,000 with the price including planning permission to build seven properties behind the original facade.

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How it was: Wardhouse in 1907. PIC: Contributed.

Architect Douglas Forrest has worked for several years to execute his vision for Wardhouse but said it was now time to pass the project on.

Mr Forest said: “Of course, I am sad to let Wardhouse go but I have got to this stage with the project and now is the time to hand it on. It is an absolutely brilliant project for someone to take on - an architect’s dream.”

Mr Forrest said several “interesting” inquiries had already been made about the property, including one from a potential investor from the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Alfonso Gordon, the current head of the Spanish Gordons, who lives between Seville and Madrid, has also been in touch, Mr Forrest said.

The ruined Category B listed building now sits on the Buildings at Risk Register.

It is said that King Alfonso XIII spent part of his honeymoon at Wardhouse in 1906 following his marriage to Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg, the granddaughter of Queen Victoria, who was born at Balmoral Castle.

The King was a close friend of the 10th laird of Wardhouse, Rafael Gordon, who was born at Madrid’s Royal Palace where his mother was lady-in-waiting to Queen Maria Cristina.

Gordon, also known as the Count of Mirasol, died in Nairn in 1933. He served as the King’s equerry for a number of years and was once the Lord Mayor of Madrid.

Wardhouse was also the childhood haunt of Napoleonic Admiral Sir James Alexander Gordon, on whose life CS Forester reportedly based his fictional character Horatio Hornblower.