Scottish estate lit by oil lamps and candles hits the market

A remote country estate which only had electricity partially installed in 2017 and is still mainly lit by oil lamps and candles has gone on the market for £2 million.

Tuesday, 25th June 2019, 9:32 am
Pait Lodge only had electricity installed two years ago.

The Pait and West Monar Estate near Beauly – most of which is accessible only by boat – is now on the market for the first time in almost 55 years, having been little changed since before the second world war.

The principal house is Pait Lodge, which dates from the 19th century, while there are three more cottages, one of which is home to the head stalker - who has been employed at the estate for almost 40 years - and housekeeper, two game larders and further estate buildings.

It offers a combination of red deer stalking, walked-up grouse shooting and loch fishing with a five-year average of 23 brace including 31 brace in 2018. It is also possible to shoot ptarmigan on the higher ground.

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Pait Lodge only had electricity installed two years ago.

Robert McCulloch, head of estate and farm sales for selling agent Strutt & Parker in Scotland, said: “Pait and West Monar is one of the most beautiful estates the firm has ever been instructed to sell in Scotland.

“In an increasingly hectic world, the peace and solitude combined with traditional field sports of immense quality that the estate offers is close to unique.”

He added: “Its availability for sale offers a fantastic opportunity to a wide range of buyers and we expect significant national and international interest in this estate.”

Electricity - generated by solar voltaic panels on the roof - is only present in the kitchen, larder, washing up room and central passage of the house, while the remaining rooms are still lit by candles and oil lamps. The selling agent said that there was also “theoretical potential to establish several run-of-river hydro schemes” although they had not been explored by the current owner.

The details for the property state that there are no “formal vehicular tracks” through the beats and that hunted carcasses have to be removed by amphibious all-terrain vehicle Argocat - although admitted that “dragging is required in places”. It also suggested that the traditional Highlands method of extracting carcasses using High;and ponies known as garrons could be reinstated.

It said: “The network of pony tracks is still in existence, and with stables at Pait, together with much of the required tack, this traditional method of extraction could easily be reintroduced on the estate.”

It added: “The existence of the original pony paths makes the opportunity to explore parts of the estate on horseback a realistic possibility in future.”

The 15-mile private road to the pier at East Monar passes through Glen Strathfarrar, considered to be one of Scotland’s most beautiful Highland glens - north of the Great Glen. It is open to the public between April and October on a first come first served basis with a maximum limit of 25 cars per day allowed into the glen.

During the winter, only Mountaineering Scotland members have approved access to the glen.

Loch Monar was dammed in the 1950s as part of the Affric-Beauly power scheme.