Prestige viewing: Years of history, acres of space
The revival of a spectacular townhouse after years in service as an office complex has created the potential for two appealing homes, discovers Kirsty McLuckie
The townhouse at 6 Broughton Place in Edinburgh has had a fascinating history. Built as part of the Georgian New Town, it was completed around 1810 and is a mirror of Great King Street.
One of the most notable purchasers in the property’s past was Alexander Robertson Kerr, a decorated naval captain who served under Lord Nelson in the Napoleonic Wars.
Current owners Jemima Scott and Paul Subido bought the house in 2009 and have researched other deed holders of number 6. Scott says: “Kerr’s daughter Cecilia moved in upon her marriage to a wine merchant. Her husband installed a beautiful wine cellar in the basement which is still intact and one reason for the house’s A listing.”
Cecilia lived in the house for more than 60 years until 1898. It was to be the last time the property was used as a home for a century. The building served, until the 1970s, as a distribution warehouse.
Scott says: “There were all sorts of items on each of the four floors, with a horse and carriage at the front for delivery in the early days. We found packets of kirby grips and crayons during the renovation.”
Number 6 was converted to office use for the next 40 years, but had lain empty for 18 months when Scott and Subido took it on.
Where others might have found the challenges of returning the house to its former glory too much –
there were no fewer than five different electric systems operating separately and no proper bathrooms – Scott says she could see the potential.
The first stage was to convert the lower ground floor into a livable apartment so that Scott and Subido could use it as a base and work their way through the rest of the house.
The couple had prior experience of renovation work with properties in Union Street and Forth Street, both of which they subsequently ran as hotels. And Broughton Place was also expected to earn its keep; after a five-year renovation, Scott and Subido have since used it as an upmarket boutique B&B. But the pair say that it would work equally well as a family home located in an enviably central part of Edinburgh.
Each floor of the property has its own delights. The main house is entered via a beautiful Georgian portal and has a formal drawing room with impressive fireplace at the front. To the rear, a kitchen and dining room overlook a private garden.
Two splendid main bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms are on the first floor, with three more bedrooms and bathrooms on the second storey.
The lower ground floor has a bright dining-kitchen extension, with French doors to the good-sized garden, a sitting room, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.
There is planning permission in place to separate the basement level.
Indeed, 6 Broughton Place is actually two substantial homes in one and likely to be sold to a multi-generational family, or someone looking for a live-in business.
The restoration has obviously been a labour of love. Scott says: “It has so much character. I could have bought a property that didn’t need any work doing to it but I do prefer a house with soul.”
The property is priced at offers over £1,600,000. For more information, contact Knight Frank on 0131-222 9600.
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